Sunday, 15 February 2015

5 ways to improve recovery after exercise

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Exercise is one of the most important tools when it comes to obtaining an excellent quality of health. It is important for weight management, blood sugar regulation, detoxification, circulation, mood enhancement and the list just goes on. Personally, I have experienced a huge increase in energy since I began regular exercise last year and I have found that I am no longer experiencing such cold hands and feet. However, exercise can actually be detrimental to health if you are not replacing what the body is losing during this time. It does place a stress on the body, and the body needs to be nourished just as when we are under mental stress we need to take the time to relax.
Here are my 5 tips for getting the most out of your workout!
1.     Keep hydrated. Although this is the most basic tip it is also the most vital. We all know the importance of hydration and when we exercise we lose a lot of water and electrolytes. Our cells require these electrolytes to function so if we are dehydrated our bodies will not be able to function to their full abilities. Plus, dehydration contributes to a myriad of health concerns such as dizziness, constipation, palpitations, lack of energy and feeling faint. What I recommend is drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day. Make sure to increase your water intake the day before training. Also adding electrolytes to your water can be very beneficial if you are sweating a lot, if it’s a hot day or just simply if you exercise regularly. I really like the Endura Hydration low carb fuel (Coconut is my favourite flavour).
2.     Eat 5 small meals a day and incorporate protein into every meal. Protein which is found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, dairy and legumes is necessary to repair tissue damage during exercise. That burning feeling you get in your muscles after a workout is actually due to you damaging your muscle fibres. However, this is not a bad thing as it encourages them to strengthen and grow. This cannot occur though without the amino acids found in protein. Protein is also important to stabilise your blood sugar levels so that you do not become dizzy or lightheaded during a workout.
3.     Following on from protein there is 1 particular amino acid that stands up above the rest. This amino acid is called Glutamine. Glutamine is required for the repair of any tissue damage in the body. It helps to repair damage in the digestive tract which if not rectified can lead to leaky gut as well as repairing the damage caused in the muscles. It aids with the immune system so if you are the type of person that always gets sick when you start exercising then glutamine may be the solution for you!
4.     Take a magnesium supplement! This one I cannot stress enough. And not just for people exercising but for everyone. We simply just do not appear to be getting enough magnesium from our diets now days. In terms of exercise magnesium is a muscle relaxant so it will help reduce muscle cramps and pain in the muscles post exercise. As it is also a nervous system relaxant, taking it before bed will aid in sleep.
5.     A warm bath with Epsom salts. This is similar to the above point but soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a much quicker way of getting magnesium to your muscles. You will definitely feel the relief after and it is a great way to wind down after a busy day.
So go out, exercise and have fun!

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