After being inside for multiple months, are you trying to improve your health and get in shape now that we can be out and about? If you answered yes to the first question, you might have encountered this problem... you participated in one workout, and now your body hurts. Just thinking about walking down the stairs makes your legs already hurt. We've all been there! We are so eager to get back in the game that we push ourselves to see results faster. However, we push a little too much and our body punishes us for it instead!
This article will tell you some natural ways to help you recover quicker from your exercises so you can actually stay consistent and optimize your health and performance the way you envision.
Getting Past The Initial Stage of Getting in Shape
Some people want to get into shape, but they complain that their back hurts, muscles are sore, or that their body doesn't agree with it.
It takes time, and sometimes small steps are needed to get to a place where you actually enjoy exercising. The hardest part is just starting. It takes strength to get into a routine and push through the days that your body just doesn't want to do it. Of course, there are days that you should take off to rest and let your body recover; however, there are other ways to help your body power through exercises and recover quicker. This will make it easier to get to the point where the word "exercise" doesn't make you want to go hide in your bed.
Natural Ways to Enhance Exercise Recovery
Enhance Your Diet, Enhance Your Recovery
There's no one size fits all diet. Some people may flourish on a higher fat diet, while others may need more protein. However, I think all providers can agree that diets high in processed foods are definitely not optimal. What is optimal is adding an abundance of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
When you work out, especially when you push yourself and participate in high intensity and long workouts, your body may see this as a stressor. To combat the inflammation and oxidative damage, you'll want to fuel your body with beneficial nutrients that counteract the stressors.
Try Myofascial Release And/Or Stretching
Have you ever heard of myofascial release? How about foam rollers? Foam rollers are used as a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It can reduce inflammation and relieve delayed-onset muscle soreness and tension. Studies have shown the benefits of doing this before and/or after workouts to help with recovery. Simple stretching before your exercises can also be beneficial to help avoid any extra overstretching or pulled muscles.
Whether you are an athlete or just a person trying to increase your fitness, please don't underestimate the power of sleep! Sleep is when your body is able to rest, recover, and reset. Your body works on ridding itself of damaged cells so that your healthy cells perform their functioning properly. In fact, since you are working your body harder than others, you actually might need even more sleep! You need to make sure you are getting enough sleep for adequate physiological and psychological recovery following your training/exercise.
Supplements For Exercise Recovery
- Quercetin Dihydrate
- Turmeric (Curcumin)
- Vitamin D
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
Collagens are a vital part of the makeup and strength of tendons and ligaments. It's a protein that helps make up connective tissues (like tendons and ligaments) as well as muscle tissue. Certain collagen peptides have been shown to help increase the extracellular matrix of these structures, which helps to strengthen them.
This is an amino acid that is a precursor for the production of Nitric Oxide (NO). NO has critical roles in all sorts of cells that can increase vasodilation and blood flow. Because blood flow is so important in increasing oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body, when this is increased, your body can access restorative nutrients quicker. Studies have shown that L-citrulline supplementation can significantly enhance exercise performance and power output, and reduce muscle soreness by up to 40%.
This is a powerful antioxidant that can help balance inflammation in the body. It can improve endothelial cell dysfunction as well, keeping your cells healthy to be able to function optimally.
Curcumin is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory molecule found in the root, Turmeric. Thousands of studies have shown the benefits of reducing inflammation throughout the body with curcumin. When you push yourself to workout, inflammation in your body rises for about 48 hours. While some inflammation can be beneficial, a lot of inflammation can be seen as a significant stressor on your body. Reducing inflammation can help your muscles feel better so that you can get back to working out. Not only that, but it can also help adrenal fatigue, cardiovascular health, and mood imbalances.
Studies suggest that Vitamin D may play a part in the regeneration of muscles. However, be careful with how much Vitamin D you take. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so taking just the right amount may be the key with Vitamin D.
Glycine is an essential amino acid that is needed for normal tissue repair. Glycine is also a precursor to creatine, which can help increase muscle mass and size with resistance training.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
This is a powerful antioxidant that can also increase glutathione, which is another vital antioxidant in the body. These antioxidants can help eliminate free radicals floating around in the body and help detoxify, allowing your body to recover faster.
This is needed for optimal mitochondria function. Since your mitochondria are your cell's powerhouse, it's vital that you are providing the right nutrients to maintain its functioning. If your mitochondria can produce ample amounts of energy, the cells can have the power to perform their job (like help recover). Supplementation with L-Carnitine has been shown to reduce free radicals that are damaging to the body, muscle tissue degradation, and muscle soreness after workouts.
If you attempt all these tips but still need more help to enhance your exercise recovery, scheduling an appointment with a telehealth integrative medicine provider can be beneficial. Since these are just a few available supplements that can help in exercise recovery, your provider can give you more suggestions to specific ones or preferred brands.
Reshma Patel, PA-C, is the founder of Ananda Integrative Medicine located in Brentwood, Los Angeles. She is an integrative provider who offers in-person services as well as telehealth services. With over 17 years of experience in urgent care, she knows what works best for patients. Reshma can give you personal recommendations on high-quality supplements that your body will be thanking you for! She will also work with you to assess your lifestyle behaviors, and give you recommendations on specific supplements after lab testing is performed.
Schedule a virtual appointment so you can learn how to enhance your exercise recovery time naturally.
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