When it comes to our fitness goals, it’s important to remember that results and recovery are two sides of the same coin. Without a proper post-workout recovery, your body can’t repair itself, leading to injuries and burnout–both of which can seriously slow down your progress and mess with your mojo.  

At Body Machine Fitness, we go hard in every class with the expectation that you will listen to your body and give the rest it needs to go even harder next time. Recover like a pro by following these trainer-approved tips.  

Conquer Your Cool Down  

Cooling down is the first step of every workout recovery period. It’s a process  that brings your body back to its pre-workout state. As you perform languid, muscle lengthening movements , your heart rate slows down and your breathing stabilizes, as your muscles release the lactic acid that may otherwise cause soreness and muscle fatigue.  

Don’t rush your cool down. Always allow at least a few minutes to jog in place or walk to decrease your heart rate safely. Then, transition into static stretching to elongate your muscles and improve flexibility. Try to hold each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. 

An effective cool down and recovery after any type of cardio or strength training would include some combination of the following stretches: 

  • Cat-Cow stretches for the spine, shoulders, and upper back 
  • Cobra stretch for low back and shoulders 
  • Quadriceps stretch (foot to tush) 
  • Toe touch for the hammies 
  • Seated butterfly stretch for the inner thighs, hips, and knees 
  • Side bends for the obliques 
  • Leaning calf stretches

Quench Your Thirst  

Hydration is vital to optimal recovery and performance. Whether you’re a pro-level athlete or weekend warrior, dehydration impairs muscle function, hinders recovery, and negatively impacts performance in future workouts. After a sweaty BMF class, your electrolytes must be replenished. 

It’s a good idea to sip water consistently throughout the day rather than chugging a large amount at once. Your body can only absorb so much at a time. Gulp down too much during a tough workout, you might find yourself unable to keep it down.  

A good rule of thumb is to take a sip of water before you get thirsty. As they say, if you wait until you are thirsty— you are already dehydrated.  

Feed The Machine 

To optimize your recovery from daily exercise, nutrition is your strongest ally. Working out depletes your body’s stored energy and causes muscle tears. Prioritizing a high-protein diet helps to counteract those effects, helping you repair your muscles and stay energized.  

This is doubly important if you work out every or most days, like many Body Machine Fitness members. With proper nutrition, you’ll have the power and strength to exercise intensely, burn more calories, and get the most out of daily workouts. If you skip or don’t take the refueling process seriously, getting through your next BMF session could be a struggle.  

Eating The Right Foods at The Right Time Makes a Difference  

Your post-workout meal matters, so it’s important to consider several criteria when making your choices. Start paying attention to your intake as it pertains to: 

  • Calories 
  • Macronutrients (Think: Carbs, Fat, & Protein) 
  • Micronutrients (Think: Vitamins & Minerals) 
  • When you eat (and how often) 
  • Supplements targetted at inflammation and muscle/tendon/bone repair

Nutritionists recommend a balance of protein and carbohydrates. After a workout, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) advises eating: 

  • 15 – 25 grams of protein and  
  • 1-2 grams of carbs  
  • per 2.2 pounds of body weight per hour of depleting exercise.  

So, if you weigh 150 pounds and take our Sunday Funday class for 45 minutes, you should aim for roughly 15 to 20 grams of protein and between 55 and 120 grams of carbs. 

This is true even if you’re trying to lose weight. Falling into the trap of skipping meals and undereating can negatively affect your waistline and performance. Simply put, if you want to see change in your body, you gotta eat! 

Having a protein-rich nutritious bite soon after your workout helps your body hold onto lean muscle mass which in turn, helps boost metabolism, promote muscle recovery, and give your figure that toned athletic look.  

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep  

Sleep is the ultimate post-workout recovery method known to enhance muscle growth and help prevent injury. The body waits for the resting state to repair damaged tissues, build new muscle, and replenish energy.  

Be greedy about it! Try to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night for maximum benefits.  

Questions About Your Muscle Recovery? Ask Your BMF Trainer!  

We won’t say all Body Machine Fitness trainers are oracles–but they’re pretty close. If you feel like your body isn’t recovering as well as it could be, don’t be afraid to approach your Body Machine Fitness trainer and pick their brain for more muscle recovery tips and tricks.  

Check out our schedules for group fitness classes in Plano and Fort Worth today. We can’t wait to treat you to a FREE fitness class and dispense our workout and recovery wisdom.