Here are three crucial points to get the most out of your exercise:
1. Pre-exercise warm-up, post-exercise stretching. Stretching is one of the most misunderstood components of exercise. Although the latest research has made it clear that pre-exercise stretching is a no-no as it can hinder workout performance and even increase injury risk, a proper warm-up prepares you for a more effective workout and quicker recovery. Stretching post-workout is one of the best ways to relieve muscular tension. Maintaining flexibility, mobility, and muscular pliability are important for recovery and to keep injury risk low. Plan for it and accept that your workout will be 10 minutes longer, because you need to warm-up and cool down— your body will thank you the next day.
2. Get serious about nutrition. The answer to pretty much every health-related question is proper nutrition. Protein shakes and post-exercise recovery drinks are all the rage in sports supplementation, but you don’t need a drink consisting of a bunch of expensive ingredients you’ve never heard of. A combination of protein and fast-digesting carbohydrates will help replenish glycogen and vital nutrients, and regulate insulin levels. Don’t forget calcium, potassium, and sodium—electrolytes depleted during intense exercise. Chocolate milk is the current fad as it provides adequate amounts of both fast- and slow-digesting proteins (whey and casein and simple carbohydrates from the chocolate and calcium. But a Slim & Sassy® TrimShake mixed with some fruit can also do the trick.
3. Active recovery. While “rest” is the operative word, for best results you need to be pro-active about recovery. You don’t want to work through the pain, but light movement and other active recovery techniques can help expedite the process. A light walk or bike ride, self-myofacial release (the scientific term for what you use those foam rollers for), yoga, or even a massage can stimulate blood flow and improve circulation to the broken down muscle tissue. Also, don’t forget Deep Blue® the perfect soothing blend after exercise, and a few drops of Lavender on your pillow to prepare for a restful sleep!