Understanding Your Body: How to Speed Up Muscle RecoveryFrom “gym-rats” to runners, cyclists to swimmers, we all know the dreaded muscle pain and soreness that comes along with an intense exercise routine. For those that body build or do other sports that constantly push their bodies to the limit, this can be a nearly daily occurrence. The aches and pains you feel after exercise, especially within the 48-72 hour period, can be really uncomfortable and even interfere with work and school. Though believe it or not, this is actually the body’s natural healing process of repairing all the torn muscles and exaggerated pulls or strains you might have acquired by pushing too hard, or intentionally – you could be one of those “types”. Read on to learn a few recovery tips, advice, and facts.

Why Protein is So Important

Protein is a rather broad term, but it more or less defines any nitrogenous organic compounds that have multiple or individual chains of much needed, natural amino acids and other nutrients that support the recovery of the structural components of your body, from muscles to tissue and even your hair. Protein is so important for muscle recovery, but it also is responsible for critical antibodies to fight off illness and diseases. In fact, it’s probably more understandable now why you feel so weak when recovering from a hardcore exercise or fitness routine. Hopefully, this also makes it a little more obvious as to why and how you’re prone to becoming sick if you’re not properly nurturing and resting your body.

A lot of people only focus on proteins post-exercise, or every morning. But in reality, you should be feeding your body much more protein than this. If you’re an active person or athlete it’s essential that you’re regularly putting proteins and much-needed nutrients in your body. This includes at breakfast, before working out, after working out, and even before sleep! Which leads us to our next topic and discussion.

Why Rest is So Important

Rest and sleep is a major part of the recovery process. Some people might not know it or deny it, but it’s been scientifically proven that the majority if not all of your muscle growth takes place during rest and sleep.

When you rest, nap, or sleep it allows your body to naturally recover muscles, repair tears, strains, pulls, and other aches and pains commonly associated with hardcore exercise or an otherwise regularly active person.

Consider some of these methods for in-gym precision and stress-reduction:
• Consider chewing gum during your workout to avoid clenching your teeth and causing damage during heavy lifting or long-distance (sometimes boring) sprints or mile long runs.
• Gum can also be helpful post-workout, as your body has just been exposed to an extraordinary amount of stress! Gum can also serve as a distraction for your brain to forget about, or minimize, the pain you’re feeling.

Most importantly of all, if in doubt go lighter, or don’t do it at all. Consider starting off with push-ups, sit-ups, and other body resistance workouts before diving into weightlifting and hitting the gym. Sometimes, if you’re not experienced and you hit the gym hard you can cause both irreversible damage, as well as ridiculously prolonged periods of muscle recovery that wind up being rather painful and inconvenient.

Author Bio: Tony Rollan provides consulting services for Fitness 360 gym and writes about fitness, health, well being and alternative medicine.

Image credit: kzenon

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From “gym-rats” to runners, cyclists to swimmers, we all know the dreaded muscle pain and soreness that comes along with an intense exercise routine. For those that body build or do other sports that constantly push their bodies to the limit, this can be a nearly daily occurrence. The...