The best way to aid in muscle growth is by allowing your body to rest. But how long do you really need to wait after an intense workout to recover?
Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about workout recovery and how to best take care of your body during this time!
How Long To Rest After A Workout
As you may have expected, the length of time you need to rest after a workout depends on a number of factors. Of course, the most significant factor that determines how long you should rest is the type of workout you’re doing.
Recovery After Running
If you are brand new to running, you should wait at least one day between training sessions. Of course, this depends on how long you ran for and how intense it was.
Let’s say you took a slow jog around the neighborhood but didn’t really break out into a good sweat. As long as your body isn’t sore, you can run the next day.
On the flip side of that, if you ran intensely up and down hills, through different terrains, and ran for a long time, you should give your body a day or two to rest fully. If you’re a trained runner and are used to this, you might be able to start running again the very next day, but always listen to your body.
Recovery After Lifting Weights
Lifting weights is obviously a different workout than running, and the time of rest you need depends on your muscle groups and schedule. For example, larger muscles, such as your thighs, need more recovery time than your biceps would. That’s why many weight lifters tend to train on a schedule where they work different muscles each day.
A good routine for weight lifters would be to work on their lower body one day, upper body the next, then do cardio the following day. This way, they’re constantly working new muscles and allowing their body to rest.
If you’re new to weight lifting, you really should work with a personal trainer. That way, you can build a workout plan that’s effective for you and also safe to perform. There are so many things that can go wrong with lifting, and a trainer will be able to teach you the proper ways to lift, so you don’t get hurt.
Recover After HIIT
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a very intense cardio workout that gets your body moving and can have very positive results. However, as we’ve mentioned before, you should never do these workouts multiple days in a row.
You should only do HIIT three times a week at most and never do them on back-to-back days.
How To Aid Workout Recovery
You may feel like there’s nothing you can do, but there are ways to make your workout recovery easier and faster.
One of the best ways to prevent soreness after intense workouts is to start foam rolling. What is foam rolling? It’s a form of self-massage that helps relieve tension due to exercise, and when done regularly, can help reduce the amount of time it takes to recover from exhausting workouts.
If you don’t eat healthily, your body is going to take longer to recover because it doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to properly fuel you. That’s why you should drink plenty of fluids during your workout. If it’s an especially long workout session, you should eat a snack packed with carbohydrates to keep you going.
Then, when you’re done, drink even more water and high-protein meals so it can build the muscles you worked so hard on.
Get Enough Sleep
There’s no denying that sleep helps you recover in all aspects of life. Go to bed early, turn electronics off an hour before bed, and make sure you stick to a regular sleep schedule.
When you start to exercise more, you’ll notice it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
What Can I Do While Waiting To Recover?
We get it, you’re excited about working out and wish your body would recover quickly, but you have to be patient. Still, there are things you can do while waiting for your body to heal.
Go For Walks
Just because your body is resting doesn’t mean you can’t take a stroll around the neighborhood or take a walk on a treadmill. It’s good to keep your body moving while recovering but never push it too hard.
Even though it’s your off day, you can still get in a good stretch. It’s important to stretch before, during, and after your workout to keep your body in tip-top shape. Make your off days your chance to increase your flexibility, and become more aware of your body.
Start Personal Training Today
Remember, these are suggestions and tips for workout recovery, but you know your body best! If you are still sore two days after a workout, don’t force yourself to exercise because you think you need to. Be kind to your body, and always listen to what hurts.
If you’re ready to be so exhausted from workouts, it’s time for you to start personal training! At Peak Physique, we are dedicated to helping you train safely and reach your fitness goals, no matter where you are in your fitness journey.
Contact us today so we can help you train better today!