The Best Ways to Recover From Exercise

The Best Ways to Recover From Exercise

By Skye Donovan | Featured on US News

After exercising, most of us half-heartedly stretch for 15 seconds before hitting the shower, smoothie shop or couch. But dedicating a little extra time to post-activity recovery can help speed healing, prevent injury and allow you to get back at it sooner. Here are four of the best ways to do it:

1. Massage

Many of us think of massage as a costly luxury. But self-massage can be very effective and easy on the wallet. Plenty of tools on the market, such as rollers and knobs, can aid in self-massage. It’s not necessary to buy anything fancy; in fact, some of the best tools can be found in your sports equipment closet. Golf, tennis and lacrosse balls can all do the trick. The important thing to remember with self-massage is to not be too aggressive. You should only use moderate force – especially on tired and sore muscles. Your technique can vary depending on your desired results. For instance, you can knead tissue to try to promote circulation or use sustained pressure on trigger points or “knots.” After a long run, you might want to rejuvenate tired feet by rolling them over a lacrosse ball. You will see the best results if you can sustain massage or pressure until the trigger points decrease in size or number.

2. Foam Rolling

Certain tissues in the body are difficult to stretch, massage or both. Foam rolling allows you to use your body weight to apply pressure to tight, sore tissue. A common issue that responds well to foam rolling is IT band dysfunction. Foam rolling can be incredibly painful, depending on how you position yourself on the roller, so take caution to only apply enough pressure to slightly compress tissue. You want to roll over the tissue several times until you notice a decrease in tightness or painful spots; 30 to 60 seconds is a good target. Many runners have found foam rolling to be an important part of their daily routine.

3. Mobility Work

During a workout, muscles typically generate heat, which improves their extensibility. Take advantage of this fact post-exercise doing some stretching. You will improve your range of motion and circulation. It’s best to hold a stretch for at least 15 seconds, but no longer than two minutes. Complete the same stretch several times – rather than only once – in order to improve your flexibility. Pay special attention to muscles that are often tight, such as hip flexors and hamstrings. This will help counteract the forces we put on those muscle groups daily from all of our excessive sitting. Flexibility training is important to incorporate after many types of exercise, but it’s essential after lifting weights, since muscles incur damage during this type of training.

4. Active Recovery

If you absolutely do not want to take a rest day, active recovery is a good alternative. Engaging in a different activity the day after a tough workout is a great way to get a quality workout in while resting your body at the same time. For example, heading to the pool for a swim the day after a 10-mile run will allow you to increase your heart rate and work your muscles without pounding the pavement. Yoga, Pilates and light walking are all forms of active recovery that have been shown to improve performance. Anything can count as active recovery, as long as you dial back the intensity and the volume of exercise. There are also many psychological benefits to active recovery, since many people feel guilty if they skip a day.

If you’re looking for pilates in Hillsboro, Oregon, look no further than Balance Massage + Core Fitness Studio. We are a fully equipped massage and fitness practice located in downtown Hillsboro. Our core fitness studio features STOTT Pilates®, the gold standard in Pilates training, using specialized equipment. We offer 20 group fitness classes per week, including Zumba, Zenga, and Total Barre, as well as private instruction from our highly qualified team. Much of our massage practice is focused on injury recovery, relief from pain, and car accident and workers compensation rehabilitation. We also provide a variety of massage treatments purely for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Whether you enjoy the attention of one-on-one private training, or the excitement of a group fitness class, Balance Massage & Core Fitness Studio has the right training options to help you meet your fitness, physical therapy, and relaxation goals.

Balance Massage and Core Fitness Studio

233 SE Washington Street, Suite 103
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Phone: 503.352.9685