Hello and thank you for taking the time to read another installment of “Finding Fitness.” This week we are going to be focusing on recovery, an important and necessary part of building strength.
Recovery can be broken down into many areas. I will be giving you some tips on physical and nutritional recovery. Hopefully, after reading, you will have a better grasp on what to do after a workout.
To help in physical recovery, stretching is one of my favorite things to do post-workout. The good news is you can do it at home and without any special equipment.
A great starting point is the pigeon stretch. To begin, stand straight and have something nearby to grasp for balance, if needed. Next, fold your right calf over your left thigh. They should intersect in a T-like shape.
Lower yourself like you are sitting in a chair (make sure to balance with another stationary item if this is new to you). If you are doing it correctly, you should feel this stretch in your hamstrings and hip flexors. Hold for about 20 seconds and switch to the other side.
For more of a challenge, you can do the reclining pigeon pose. In this variation, one leg is extended straight behind you, while the other is folded in front of you. With your chest facing down, lean forward. You should feel a deeper stretch in your hamstrings and hip flexors. This stretch can help ease lower back and leg pain and can aid anyone who is on their feet most of the day.
Following any type of exertion, it is always important that we refuel our bodies.
Water is a great place to start, but protein is another important element of recovery. Protein is an essential building block of the body. As I’ve stated in previous articles, there are many sources to choose from.
When using protein after a workout, it is important that you are getting enough throughout the day. The best amount to aim for is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. When using protein to help increase muscle mass, it’s a good idea to aim for 1.3 to 1.8 grams per pound of body weight.
This is where supplements like whey, casein and vegan protein come into play. However, it is always important to focus on protein from meals before adding in supplements.
This wraps up another quick look at fitness and easy ways you can improve your health. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions. Next week, we will be looking at a great upper-body stretch and a great protein-rich recipe you can add to your meal arsenal.
As always, never give up!