- 10 Tips to Speed Recovery After Exercise
- Post-workout protein shakes: Do they reduce muscle pain, aid recovery?
- 17 Scientifically Proven Ways to Speed Muscle Recovery
- Tips to Aid Recovery from Training — Uphill Athlete
- Key Components of Recovery from Training
- Food and Water
- Foam Rolling/Self-Massage
- Recovery Workouts
- Other Recovery Methods
- Contrast Baths
- Final Thoughts
- 12 Proven Ways To Speed Up Muscle Recovery
- 1. Connecting the Dots
- 2. Allowing Your Environment to Predetermine Your Mood
- 3. Don’t Work So Hard
- 3 Best Ways To Aid Recovery
- 1. Sleep
- 2. Nutrition
- 3. Relaxation
- 5 Recovery Tips to Prevent Muscle Soreness
10 Tips to Speed Recovery After Exercise
Rest and recovery is an essential part of any workout routine. Your after-exercise recovery routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train much more effectively. Unfortunately, most people don't have an after exercise recovery plan. Here are some tips to get your post-workout plans on track.
Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session.
A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building.
For weight training routines, this means that you should never work the same muscle groups two days in a row.
There are as many methods of recovery as there are athletes. The following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts.
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You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery.
Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function.
Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.
After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle.
Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and carbohydrates.
Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time.
Resting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace.
It's not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.
After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.
Easy, gentle movement (such as a brisk walk or a bike ride) improves circulation, which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. You can also try self-massage and Foam Roller Exercises for Easing Tight Muscles and avoid the heavy sports massage price tag.
Some athletes swear by ice baths, ice massage or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
How to use contrast water therapy: While taking your post-exercise shower, alternate 2 minutes of hot water with 30 seconds of cold water. Repeat four times with a minute of moderate temperatures between each hot-cold spray. If you happen to have a spa with hot and cold tubs available, you can take a plunge in each for the same time.
While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.
Adding a mental practice to your workout routine can be a huge benefit for any athlete.
Spending time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude and reduce anxiety and reactivity.
Getting familiar with how your mind works, how thoughts can bounce around, and how you don't need to attach to any of them, is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically.
Additionally, practicing positive self-talk can help change the ongoing dialogue in your head. Consider using both types of mental practice during your recovery days.
One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.
The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don't have to force yourself to go slow.
If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs, when it needs it.
The problem for many of us is that we don't listen to those warnings or we dismiss them with our own self-talk (“I can't be tired, I didn't run my best yesterday” or “No one else needs two rest days after that workout; they'll think I'm a wimp if I go slow today.”).
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Dupuy O, Douzi W, Theurot D, Bosquet L, Dugué B. An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol. 2018;9:403. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00403
Shirreffs SM, Armstrong LE, Cheuvront SN. Fluid and electrolyte needs for preparation and recovery from training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2004;22(1):57-63. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140572
Burke LM, Kiens B, Ivy JL. Carbohydrates and fat for training and recovery. J Sports Sci. 2004;22(1):15-30. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140527
Post-workout protein shakes: Do they reduce muscle pain, aid recovery?
A recent, small scale study concludes that protein shakes, compared with high carbohydrate drinks, do not reduce muscle pain or speed up muscle recovery after a workout. However, there are several issues with the study.
Share on PinterestDo protein shakes help reduce post-workout aches?
Following resistance training, muscles can feel sore for around 48 hours.
There is also a measurable decline in muscle function. For instance, a study looking at rowers found that intense exercise causes a reduction in muscle performance 24 hours later.
Individuals who wish to perform at their best are keen to find ways to restore muscle strength and reduce pain as quickly as possible.
Two compounds that scientists know are important for this recovery are protein and carbohydrates.
The body needs protein to build and repair muscle, and it needs carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels — the primary form of glucose storage in the body.
After working out, gym-goers often consume protein- and carbohydrate based shakes. This can be for several reasons — to gain muscle mass in the long term and to help repair muscles and reduce pain in the short term.
Most commonly, these drinks draw their protein from either whey or milk protein.
Some studies have concluded that protein shakes aid the recovery of muscle function after exercise. However, the authors of the latest paper say that no research has compared the performance of the two types of protein.
The scientists, from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, decided to fill this gap in current knowledge. They published their findings in the Journal of Human Kinetics.
To investigate, the researchers recruited 30 males, aged 20–30, all of whom had been doing resistance training for at least 1 year.
The researchers put each participant through an intensive resistance training session. Ten minutes after exercising, the researchers gave the participants one of three drinks:
- a whey protein based drink, which contained the carbohydrate dextrose
- a milk protein based drink, which contained the carbohydrates lactose, sucrose, fructose, and maltodextrin
- a carbohydrate drink containing dextrose
The researchers provided all the drinks in 900-milliliter (ml) servings, and they all contained the same number of calories.
Participants revisited the laboratory after 24 and 48 hours. For the duration of the study, participants were asked to continue their usual dietary and lifestyle patterns but to avoid supplements. They were also asked not to carry out any strenuous exercise for 48 hours before the study.
At the 24- and 48-hour visits, the scientists conducted a range of assessments. Firstly, they asked participants to rate how sore their muscles were using a scale from 0 (no muscle pain) to 200 (pain as bad as it could be).
They also used a test of leg power called countermovement jump. In this activity, the scientists measure how high the participants can jump straight up from crouching.
Next, the researchers tested the participants’ upper body strength by asking them to throw a medicine ball from a seated position. Each participant threw the 3-kilogram ball, and the scientists noted the distance.
Lastly, they measured the peak torque of the participant’s dominant leg. Torque is a measure of rotational force.
As expected, soreness scores were higher at both 24 and 48 hours compared with baseline. However, there were no differences between the three experimental groups at either 24 or 48 hours.
Similarly, the researchers identified reduced measures of power and performance at the two follow up sessions but, overall, there were no differences between the three groups. The authors conclude:
“Globally, there was no apparent difference in recovery response between [whey protein], [milk protein] and [carbohydrate] conditions following intensive resistance exercise.”
They also conclude that there was no difference between the two types of protein drink “at attenuating muscle soreness or dynamic power” compared with the carbohydrate based drink.
The results are interesting, mainly because they fly in the face of common understanding. Protein shakes are popular because people believe that they help repair muscle, reduce pain, and restore performance, among other things.
However, there are numerous issues with the study. Firstly, 30 participants are not enough to produce reliable conclusions.
The low number of participants appears to be a significant issue in this field of research in general. Of the studies referenced in the paper, the vast majority recruited only small numbers of people.
So, although the seemingly negative findings of this study go against previous results, it is worth noting that much of the earlier research claiming the opposite is flawed in a similar way.
It is also worth noting that not everyone uses these shakes for recovery. There is good evidence that protein supplements can help people gain muscle mass and improve strength.
Also, the scientists used no true control. As the authors write, “The recovery eliciting effects of carbohydrate-only solutions have been documented to provide significant increases in glycogen replenishment and muscle function recovery.”
This means that it is not necessarily that the protein shakes are not working; it might just be that all three drinks produced similar effects. Adding a fourth group that consumed only water or nothing might have produced more interesting results.
At this stage, it is not clear whether protein shakes can speed up recovery and reduce muscle pain after exercise. Until scientists carry out more research on a much larger scale, we will not know.
17 Scientifically Proven Ways to Speed Muscle Recovery
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Having a day where no matter which way you move, you hurt? Whether you’re an occasional runner or a gym fanatic, you should consider recovery an essential part of your health.
Instead of dealing with the fatigue and soreness by popping an Advil and sucking it up, try one of these science-backed tips to help your body feel better, faster. Trust us, your recovery days and easy workout days are just as important as the days you crush it.
Take the time you need to rest your bones, treat your body well, and reap the benefits later.
While the exact relationship between sleep and exercise is still unclear, research suggests that sleep deprivation can have a significant negative effect on performance and recovery. Patrick Y, et al. (2017). Effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive and physical performance in university students. DOI: 10.1007/s41105-017-0099-5
Sleep affects the whole body and all its systems — including the brain, heart, lungs, along with metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. So getting extra Zzz’s after a tough workout might do more than you know to speed your body’s recovery.
Music can be great for helping us power through a tough workout — or at least distracting us from that “My legs are on fire!” feeling — but listening to relaxing tunes can also aid in exercise recovery.
Slow-tempo songs can help reduce your heart rate faster and get your blood lactate — the stuff that causes the pain in the first place — down back to resting levels more quickly after exercise. Lee S, et al. (2016). Influence of music on maximal self-paced running performance and passive post-exercise recovery rate. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27314136
Barring a serious case of sleepwalking, we’re not usually giving our body nutrients while we sleep. And you probably know by now that, when we workout, we cause tiny tears in our muscle tissue.
The body immediately goes to work repairing these tears, fueled by the protein we eat. Research shows that consuming a light, protein-rich snack before bed allows our bodies to keep repairing muscles overnight. Res PT, et al. (2012). Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363
After a hard workout and a good night’s rest, the body can use some nutrients to recharge. Breakfasts high in protein can keep the muscle rebuild chugging along and might also reduce cravings later in the day and put the kibosh on evening snacking.
Leidy HJ. (2013). Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.
Looking for a convenient post-workout snack on the go? Chug some chocolate milk.
The protein it contains will kickstart muscle recovery, and those chocolaty carbs have been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes for the body to get ready for its next challenge.
Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 2006, Jun.;16(1):1526-484X.”
Looking for a convenient and delicious, post-workout snack on the go? Down some chocolate milk.
The protein it contains will kickstart said muscle recovery. Also, those chocolaty carbs have been shown in actual studies to decrease muscle soreness and the amount of time it takes for the body to get ready for its next challenge. Pritchett K, et al. (2012). Chocolate milk: A post-exercise recovery beverage for endurance sports. DOI: 10.1159/000341954
Stiff as a board from yesterday’s spin class or lifting session? Tart cherry juice or supplements might help reduce the swelling that occurs when muscles are damaged, allowing our bodies to recover faster and with less pain.
Shop for tart cherry juice and supplements online.
A research review that looked at the benefits of dietary supplements in athletes found that tart cherry juice reduced inflammation and the delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise.
(Curcumin — the active compound in turmeric, the spice that makes Indian curries so yellow — also showed these benefits Rawson ES, et al. (2018). Dietary supplements for health, adaptation, and recovery in athletes. DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0340). You can also buy curcumin supplements online.
Better recovery could be just a glass (or two, or three… ) away. Among many other functions, fluid helps to remove the metabolic waste a heavy workout produces.
According to the American Council on Exercise, you should drink 8 ounces 30 minutes after exercise and 16 to 24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
In the heat, apparently it’s possible to lose up to 4 liters — or almost 9 pounds of fluid — per hour. Gisolfi CV. (1993). Chapter 5: Water requirements during exercise in the heat.
Nutritional needs in hot environments: Applications for military personnel in field operations. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK236237/
Before reaching for Gatorade, however, know that H20 is often enough.
Those of us who enjoy a post-workout happy hour might want to be careful of too much of a good thing. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, anything with 4 percent or more alcohol can increase how much you pee, which delays rehydration after exercise.
Also, alcohol interferes with the synthesis of protein, which means it can mess up the body’s muscle repair magic after a workout.
Much of the soreness that goes along with exercise occurs when our muscles and fascia — the connective tissue that runs throughout the body — become “knotted.”
Rolling out muscles with foam or semi-rigid rollers can help remove those knots — aka myofascial adhesions — and prevent muscle imbalances from forming. While not exactly noted for its comfort, the benefits of foam rolling are worth it.
Shop for foam rollers online.
Recovery back rubs, anyone? As though we really needed randomized controlled studies to tell us, research shows that massage helps reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. Imtiyaz S. (2014). To compare the effect of vibration therapy and massage in prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/7294.3971
Scented candles and relaxing tunes optional.
Amino acids are the building blocks of tissue, and we consume protein to give our bodies enough amino acids to rebuild and maintain the muscles we “damage” during workouts (see numbers 3, 4, and 5, above).
Research has shown that having a little protein before working out can trigger our bodies to start repairing and building more muscle during and after hitting the weights. Ormsbee M, et al. (2014). Pre-exercise nutrition: The role of macronutrients, modified starches and supplements on metabolism and endurance performance. DOI: 10.3390/nu6051782
Sensing a trend here? While protein helps the body do its repair work, eating something containing both carbohydrates and protein is a good idea immediately post-exercise.
Consuming milk, yogurt, or a peanut butter sandwich within two hours after your workout can help your muscles recover and restore the glycogen they’ve lost.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. Also, a study involving over 10,000 students, ages 16 to 30, found a link between sleep quality and duration and muscle strength.
Men who got seven or more hours of sleep had greater hand-grip strength than those who got less than six hours. Sleep had no significant effect on women’s strength, however. Chen Y. (2017). Relationship between sleep and muscle strength among Chinese university students: A cross-sectional study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5749041/
And trust us, a quick power nap won’t ruin an upcoming night’s rest.
While many advocate two days between workouts involving the same muscle group, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for recovery time. Factors age and fitness level are important in determining how much rest we really need between our weight-lifting sessions.
If you notice your performance is deteriorating from workout to workout, that’s a sure sign to schedule in a few extra rest days.
For many athletes, it’s important to quickly regain the energy (and willpower) to run, jump, or throw once again. Research suggests wearing compression garments can help decrease muscle recovery time, especially strength recovery, between intense bouts of exercise. Brown F, et al. (2017). Compression garments and recovery from exercise: A meta-analysis. DOI: 10.1007/s40279-017-0728-9
While it might be a scary prospect, it’s a common assumption among some athletes that taking a cold, full-body plunge after working out can significantly reduce soreness and inflammation after exercise.
However, research suggests that while cold water immersion may be helpful for reducing muscle inflammation after resistance training, it’s not any more effective than active recovery (in this case, low-intensity cycling). Peake JM. (2017). The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. DOI: 10.1113/JP272881
Make sure you’re cleared by your doctor first and don’t have any reasons to avoid them, but anti-inflammatory medications can speed muscle recovery and reduce soreness, at least in the short term. Morelli, KM. (2018). Effect of NSAIDs on recovery from acute skeletal muscle injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis. DOI: 10.1177/0363546517697957
Tips to Aid Recovery from Training — Uphill Athlete
The muscle damage and depleted energy stores that accompany fatigue are also the two most powerful training stimuli, and are most endurance athlete’s constant companions. These stimuli signal a cascade of subcellular events that result in what is called the training effect.
Essentially, being fatigued is teaching your body to handle increased training loads. As endurance athletes, we labor under a nearly constant burden of fatigue, because training for endurance requires that you exceed your current work capacity in your workouts.
You must drive yourself into a state of fatigue in order to improve.
That said, fatigue without recovery is absolutely anathema to your training goals. Adaptation, which happens NOT during training but during recovery, is the body’s way of preparing for the next workout.
If you don’t recover properly, you diminish the work capacity you can take on in your next workout, hence diminishing the returns you can get from the training effect of that workout.
So the flip side is also true: You must drive yourself into a state of recovery in order to improve as well.
Key Components of Recovery from Training
If you haven’t mastered your recovery process yet, it’s time to get cracking. No more putting this on the back burner! Below is a list of tools that will speed adaptation (recovery) and get you back on your feet and feeling strong quicker.
The most important tool for recovery is sleep, especially REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During REM sleep, the release of several anabolic (growth) hormones is highly elevated.
One of these hormones, GH1, is the body’s primary signaling agent for adapting to higher training loads. If you aren’t getting enough REM sleep, GH1 levels will be reduced and your recovery will be impaired.
Naps are a staple of elite athletes to insure they get enough REM sleep. Even a 30-minute nap can do wonders.
Food and Water
Refueling is critical to recovery, especially within 20–30 minutes of your workout. Missing this window after training can extend recovery time by days (a significant amount).
Depending on the workout, it is advisable to take in 100–200 calories immediately. Using a recovery drink or eating a bar works as an easy way to get the macronutrients.
Adequate hydration is important especially if you are training in heat or for extended periods of time.
For more information on good nutrition, refer to Training for the New Alpinism (pp. 283–321).
Foam rolling and self-massage are cheap and easy things you can do every day to speed up recovery. When your muscles are tight or sore, you are experiencing acute inflammation. Inflammation is actually an important part of the adaptation process.
However, too much inflammation will result in stiff and tired muscles, and will impact your ability to train.
Several self-massage tools are available, from foam rollers to sticks and balls, all of which serve the purpose of working out knots and increasing blood flow to tired muscles.
Self-massage allows you to control the depth and pressure of the massage. In general, if the rolling is very painful, you NEED to do more of it. Stretching and yoga will have similar effects on your muscles, but probably will not have the immediate impact of a good self-massage session.
Working out to aid recovery may seem a contradiction in terms, but proper recovery workouts have real benefits. A fundamental part of training for almost every professional endurance athlete, recovery workouts are not meant to increase fitness. Instead, they serve the vital purpose of getting you back to training as quickly as possible.
The key to recovery workouts is to keep the intensity very low. It can also be a good idea to mix modalities of training. For foot-borne athletes, swimming is a favorite (see below) when your legs are feeling really beat up from running.
Something as simple as a 20-minute evening walk can also be helpful, and is especially effective after a long, hard day in the mountains or after a hard effort or race.
Even on days off, the light aerobic stimulation of a recovery swim or bike ride will speed recovery.
While the jury is still out on “why” these work, there is ample evidence that they do in fact work. So if you are pushing the envelope of what your body can absorb, these should be built into every training week.
Over the years we have discovered with many of our athletes that swimming (even for nonswimmers) is the most effective recovery workout for loosening up and getting rid of that dead leg feeling.
An easy few hundred meters of freestyle in a pool, lake, or ocean coupled with some flutter kicking works wonders on heavy legs. If you are not a swimmer, then try vigorously treading water or running in place in water too deep to stand in.
There is something magically therapeutic about water.
Other Recovery Methods
Here are some other more exotic and expensive methods to speed recovery.
The old Finnish trick of rolling in the snow right after the sauna can be duplicated even if you have neither snow nor a sauna.
Taking an ice bath followed immediately with a hot bath can have the same flushing effect of increasing blood flow in your limbs. And wading into a cold stream at the end of long run can give much of the same effects.
These all seem to reduce local inflammation, which is a necessary side effect of training but can be too much if you can’t walk down the stairs the day after a big run.
Electrostim machines have gained popularity with pro cyclists who need to recover quickly in multiday races. Special sports versions such as those sold by Compex are effective but expensive. We recommend only using these on the recovery setting. They work very much a massage by increasing blood flow to depleted areas.
Massages are one of the best ways to speed recovery. A professional massage therapist accustomed to working on athletes can do a better job than self-massage and any machine, which is why pro athletes use them so much.
Remember that you get weaker during training and it is during recovery that you become fitter. Equal attention must be paid to each, or your training results will be severely diminished. Using these tools will help you train more effectively and recover faster. For more information on any of these topics, refer to pages 72–80 in Training For the New Alpinism.
Cover Photo Credit: Marko Prezelj.
Discipline nutrition Recovery Training Plan
12 Proven Ways To Speed Up Muscle Recovery
Last Updated on April 22, 2020
Some days you wake up and right when you are going to begin your work, you feel a presence within you that stops you from doing so. You sit down, but you sit down quietly this time.
Suddenly, that feeling where you once were so passionate and energized to take action just isn’t there anymore. You try to hype yourself up but it’s not working, and everything you do seems to be counterintuitive. You face the truth.
You don’t want to work today and you don’t feel motivated to do anything but just escape. Without this motivation, you feel a little hopeless, lost, and stuck.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. If you’re not a hundred percent passionate about your work, then it’s impossible to wake up everyday feeling motivated when you wake up. You might compare it to the ocean.
Sometimes you’ll wake up feeling a tsunami, other time you’ll feel just barely drifting to shore. When you feel drifting to the shore, understand that it doesn’t always have to feel there’s no hope.
You can still feel inspired when you feel giving up.
1. Connecting the Dots
“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” –Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement speech said that giving this speech the students was the closest thing he came to graduating college. He’s never finished college.
He recalls that the working class savings that his parents had made their entire life was being spent on his tuition on a college he says was as almost as expensive as Stanford. After 6 months, he couldn’t see the value in it and dropped out.
Not knowing where to go in life, he decided to take a class in calligraphy. He, however, didn’t see any practical application for it in life.
Ten years later, they were designing the first Macintosh computer, and it all came back to him. He used the ideas that he had learned in calligraphy class, including the different types of typography, and put it in the Mac.
It was the first computer to have beautiful typography, which has affected the different types of typography that we use today.
If he had never dropped out in collage, he would have never taken that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do today.
Sometimes when you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s impossible to connect the dots where you currently are. Somehow you just have to trust in yourself, and have faith that you will reach your dreams, despite not having the slightest clue or perfectly laid out road to where you are going.
Nobody can connect the dots looking forward; you only can connect them when you’re looking backwards.
You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future; you have to trust in something, whether it’s karma or destiny, but trusting yourself is the first step towards feeling inspired and having the motivation to move forward.
2. Allowing Your Environment to Predetermine Your Mood
“There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.” –Timothy Ferriss
Tim Ferriss has always advocated the idea of using your environment to your advantage. He believes that controlling your environment is often much more effective than relying on self discipline.
He finds that he writes the best between the hours of midnight and 1 AM to 3 to 4 in the morning. As he is writing, he will put a movie in the background so it will feel he is in a social environment, even though the entire movie is on mute. Next to him may be a glass of tea.
This is what puts him in the mood to do quality writing and make him so successful.
Look around your room right now or your workspace. Does it inspire you? Does it give you motivation? Is it noisy or quiet? Sometimes the hardest thing we do to ourselves is try to force ourselves to work in an area that is subconsciously telling us, “I can’t work here.”
And when you are constantly trying to discipline yourself, you will feel worse and be less productive. Instead try to build your ideal workplace and ideal time. Free it from distractions. Perhaps add a piece of artwork or a quote of your favorite person nearby you on the wall.
Maybe add a beautiful plant in the corner to give you inspiration. If you feel more energy and enthusiasm during the night, schedule your day to work at midnight if you can.
If you can realize the power of having a productive environment, you will naturally feel inspired and motivated to get work done.
3. Don’t Work So Hard
“Research now seems to indicate that one hour of inner action is worth seven hours of out-in-the-world action. Think about that. You’re working too hard.” –Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield was once giving a speech to an audience. He tells of a story of a chiropractor who went into his dream city, near Pebble Beach, and asked chiropractor associate if they could hire them. They told him no because they had 1 chiropractor for every 8 patients.
Instead of letting his external reality which was his control determine his future, he went back to visualize and think about it, and something would come to him.
He put a pen in his new office one day, and put concentric circles that he needed to go ask people in town that he was opening up a new chiropractor office and if they were interested in joining.
Over 6 months he knocked on 12,500 doors, talked to 6,500 people, and gathered over 4000 names to the people who wanted to go to his open house. He opened his chiropractor in a town he was told there was too many chiropractor. In his first month in practice, he netted $72,000. In his first year in practice his gross income was over a million in income.
Now you may look at this and say knocking on 12,500 doors is hard work. To you it is, but to the man it was probably effortless. Jack Canfield says there are 2 types of action – outer and inner.
Outer action is actually going out to do the action – whether it’s networking with people, going door-to-door to make a sale, or just writing at home.
Inner action is other things visualization, meditation, and affirmations.
If you’re trying to force your way into taking action, it could be a sign that you are working too hard.
Most people won’t wake up and waste an hour visualizing, meditating, or affirming, and the first thing they think about is asking what do I need to do today? And when they get the answer, they feel miserable, as if their work suddenly weighs them down.
But Canfield says that if you spend time to focus on your goals, you’ll receive good feelings – feelings that help you feel inspired and motivated to take real action.
Don’t try to paddle upstream. That’s just basically going everyday saying to yourself that you need to force yourself to work every day. Instead, paddle along the stream of the river.
Trust yourself, let your environment work in your favor, and spend some a little bit of time putting yourself in a state before you work.
Inspiration will come to you from different ways – inside and out – and give you the motivation to guide yourself towards reaching your dreams.
3 Best Ways To Aid Recovery
by adidas Runtastic Team
Yin and yang. Rest and activity. That’s how Chinese philosophy pictures a balanced life. We’re usually pretty good at the yang part: a challenging job, exciting travel destinations and the planned half-marathon keep us busy. But, what about the yin? Where’s rest and relaxation in our lives?
Unfortunately, only one ten people know what they need for ideal recovery. So, how can we best recharge our batteries to master stressful situations in our every day lives as well as conquer fitness challenges with energy?
Here are three effective methods that will help you unwind, relax and calm down.
Especially for those who are very active, sufficient sleep is vital. Only with enough time for recovery your body will be able to do even better in the next training. Healthy, regular and deep sleep is key to any workout routine or race preparation, e.g. when training for a marathon.
Night-time recovery is also a must to calm down spinning heads after hard work days. Dreams help us cope with our daily lives and improve our health and mental well-being.
Having a hard time falling asleep? Try these tips on how to sleep better:
- Sleep in a cool room, 16 – 18°C / 60 – 65°F is ideal
- Turn off your TV, laptop & phone 30 minutes before bedtime
- Do without energy drinks, coffee or green tea after midday
With the right nutrition, you can support your body’s regeneration efforts. Your diet and nutrition habits also influence your sleep, therefore avoid late dinners so they do not interfere with your recovery during the night.
These foods contribute to muscle recovery:
- The antioxidants contained in blueberries aid the recovery of sore muscles
- The gingerol contained in ginger relaxes your muscles and relieves muscle pain by up to 24%
- Omega-3 fatty acids, also found in avocados, help your muscles regenerate
We should always strive to find a healthy balance between tension & stress and relaxation. Yet, it’s not that easy to relax. Do you know how to best relax and unwind? We’ve got a few suggestions for you.
These simple relaxation techniques are worth a try:
- Breathe in for a count of 4, then breathe out for a count of 6. Focus on your breath and the counting – and continue for 3 minutes
- Yoga is ideal to relax both your body and soul
- A bubble bath works wonders when you’re tense and stressed out
Besides sufficient sleep, a balanced diet and those soothing relaxation techniques, a healthy dose of humor can help your body and mind regenerate. The Irish proverb says it all: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
Put on a smile and you’ll see – your entire body will automatically relax.
P.S. Are you a runner? Try jogging with compression socks every now and then. They improve blood circulation in your muscles, which leads to a faster recovery.
5 Recovery Tips to Prevent Muscle Soreness
Some people call it “good” pain, but the truth is that no one really enjoys getting bed the morning after an intense workout. Your body is tense, your muscles feel weak and swollen, and you are ferociously hungry.
You may feel you never want to go to the gym again. But exercise-induced muscle damage, and the steps you take to recover, are all part of becoming a better athlete, as long as you know your limits.
Knowing the right steps to take for recovery is essential to repair muscle. Taking the right steps will also prevent injury.
And the good news is, recovering and preventing injuries are easier than you think.
There is a growing amount of evidence that suggests moderate- to high-intensity exercise performed for more than 90 minutes can negatively impact your health. This study shows that too much exercise can lead to:
- chronic infections and fatigue
- allergic reactions
- digestive discomfort
When you constantly push your body to its limit, your performance can suffer. Your health may also deteriorate, and you can seriously injure yourself. When it comes to exercise, managing the intensity and time of your workouts and your recovery can help you stay fit and well.
A short nap of ten to thirty minutes can restore your energy and potentially improve your performance and learning ability. Research suggests that recovery naps help you to enter a deeply restorative state. This can help you recover after an intense workout.
After your next workout, head home and set your alarm for 30 minutes. Listen to a meditation recording, relax in a chair, or snooze on your couch for 30 minutes before preparing your post-workout meal.
Post-workout recovery shakes are a great way to ensure your body is getting the nutrition it needs. Following intense exercise, a combination of protein and carbohydrates will help your muscles restore and regain strength.
One study suggests that eating or drinking a high-quality protein source from egg whites, soy, or whey protein, is ideal. These protein sources contain essential amino acids to promote maximum protein synthesis. Adding quick digesting carbohydrates oranges, pineapples, or raspberries, can help refuel the muscles and speed up your recovery.
Sleep and nutrition will do wonders to aid in your exercise recovery, and according to this study, compression clothing can be another tool to help ease muscle soreness. Compression clothing can be worn on any part of your body to accommodate any sport.
It’s engineered to apply mild pressure without losing its shape throughout the day. If you are a runner who experiences shin splints and pain in your lower legs, a compression sleeve may help reduce recovery time and get you back on the track faster.
Lifting weights involves two different types of muscle contractions: the concentric, or contraction, phase, and the eccentric, or lengthening, phase. The lengthening phase is when you extend the contracted muscle of each rep you perform. This contraction is what causes most muscle damage and soreness.
If you’re feeling stiff, you can still go to the gym — just perform only concentric exercises. Step-ups, pulling, or pushing a sled, and light work with a medicine ball will get your blood flowing. These exercises will also add variety to your regimen while protecting your body from injury.
Exercise is great for your mind and body. And it’s important for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. But too much exercise can be damaging to your body.
Rest, a proper diet, and many other things can help relieve muscle soreness, repair muscle, and prevent injury, so you can stay healthy and happy and keep on exercising.