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How to recover more quickly from exercise?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by fan, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    I'm in my late 20's, decent shape, not bouncing back from exercise super quickly but healthy. i recently signed up for a physical challenge to raise money for kids with disabilities - a 100 k bike ride. I'll go from exercising 3 days/wk to 5 days (maybe six). i have 13 weeks to lead up to it, so i'll build my kms slowly. but i will need to be exercising on consecutive days, rather than my 1 on, 1 off schedule now. weekly i'll be doing 2 skates, 3 bike rides, maybe 1 weight training. Does anyone know how to recover more quickly from exercise to ensure that i can perform well the next day? I dont want to constantly be popping advil.

  2. Kelleys6th

    Kelleys6th Active Member

  3. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

    Fan... I would look into what you are eating post work out. If you're not eating post workout you really, really should. For example, are you eating protein, veggies and fruit after work outs aids muscle recovery. I would recommend some type of protein like eating lean meats, cheese, protein shake and combining it with fruit or a green leafy veggie like spinach.

    I'm a weight lifter/trainer myself, I highly recommend adding another day or two of strength training to your workout. Women always forget this and I've found that weight training properly can burn as much if not more calories than straight cardio. Besides strength training builds muscle which is leaner than fat, improves your body tone/shape and makes you stronger.

    I only do two days of cardio(straight) a week. My straight cardio is 30 to 40 minutes(depending on my time limits) on the treadmill power walking. The remaining 2 or 3 days a week I combine weight training with circuit training(doing weight training exercises, 7 exercises in a row without resting). I rest between circuits for about 3 minutes. I do this 3 times or 3 sets.
  4. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    You definitely need to have a recovery snack. 3:1 carb to protein ratio is often recommended but I don't really pay much attention to that as long as my snack has both protein and carbs. I also use the recovery drinks because they are convenient and sometimes it's 2 hours after exercising before I can get a meal. To really make a difference, you need to eat your recovery snack within 30-60 min. of exercise.

    I also agree about weight training. Every time I up my weight training, my run gets faster. It helps with the bike too.

    Another thing I have found that at my age I must get two rest days a week. But I need to do 8 workouts a week. So I do have days where I do double workouts. One in the morning and one after work (or at night on the weekends). I can do that if I get my two days off.

    Finally... you need to get enough sleep! Proper sleep is essential for recovery.

    Oh and don't pop Advil. What Advil does to your muscles to feel less sore also decreases your fitness gains. So you are actually sabotaging yourself and making your workouts less effective. Save it for when you have an actual injury and need it to stop severe pain.
  5. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. What would be a good recovery drink that would help me NOT put on weight? I'm looking for the benefits of an additional couple of kg weight loss. I generally train 8-10 at night, so a meal isn't always possible.

    Also, about the strength training - it'll be hard to fit it in. I was told I need at least 3 days on the bike per week, and I love skating, so I'm not going to cut back on that. It'll be hard to fit in the weights. any advice there?

    Finally, what does the advil do to decrease fitness gains? I'd love to understand a bit more of how that works.

    Thank you to all!
  6. Hedwig

    Hedwig WoolSilk Fanatic

    One tip to get fit again is not to take a warm bath or a sauna after a hard exercise even though it feels sooo good.
    Marathon runners actually put their legs into ice-water after an extra hard exercise in order to be fit again very quickly. It supposedly helps to keep the sour stuff in the muscles from spreading to far.

    A personal anecdote: I experienced the benefit of it myself only last week when I went skiing for a week. the first two days I took a warm bath to warm up again and felt very tired after it and my muscles were tired. the next few days I used cold water to shower my legs and they felt soo much fitter it wasn't even funny!
  7. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Take a look a the meal replacement shakes in the grocery store. They've got all sorts and one may have the carb/protein and flavor combination you're looking for. The Ensure with protein is pretty good and comes in dark chocolate flavor that is almost palatable if well chilled.
  8. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    I always thought that the purpose of those types of drinks was to bulk up/add weight? I'd like to aid in recovery, but not add on any kg...

    thanks all!
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    I think of them quite differently. I use them as meal replacements, for times when I cannot eat, not in addition to my regular diet. When used that way, they do not add to the total caloric load. When you mentioned needing replenishment late in the day, this was the first thing that came to mind.
  10. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Advil, Motrin, Naproxen sodium, aspirin are all anti-inflammatories (sorry, I don't know the non-us names for these meds). Inflammation is a necessary and integral part of muscle recovery and muscle building. If you are injured, take it as directed by your health care practitioner, but don't use them for muscle soreness.
  11. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Well, it depends on they type of drink...the post-workout meal/drink is supposed to have a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Good old chocolate milk is one of the very best recovery drinks I know...it's the perfect ratio of carbs/protein. I could provide links, but this is pretty common knowledge, just google "recovery drink."

    Protein drinks also come with different proportions of proteins, fats, and carbs. Yes, they can be used to help bulk up, but as someone already mentioned, they are also used as meal replacements.

    Eggs are one my first choices for extra protein...they're easy and cheap.

    Regarding weight gain; muscle is denser than fat, so as you work out/lift weights, you may actually gain weight, but look slimmer.

    If you are pressed for time, consider circuit training...well-designed circuit training is almost like two workouts in one...weights/strength and cardio.

    At your age, sleep is prolly the best recovery. Yoga or other types of "active recovery." I've been learning about "active resistance" to help recover at my advanced age of 48.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  12. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Your recovery snack shouldn't be more than 100-200 calories. It's just to get some calories and protein into your muscles.

    I use "Fluid Recovery Drink". I like the Berry Treasure and Chocolate Wave flavors.

    You might want to try a light strength session on the days you skate.

    Yes, you definitely want to use ice immediately after exercise. Warmth is for when you are creaky and need to stretch out. Ice is for inflammation.

    The reason not to use Advil are similar to why you use ice but not heat. But not exactly. It's hard to explain all the technical reasons in layman's terms, but when you take Advil, it decreases prostaglandin biosynthesis and that leads to less collagen produced. You need the collagen to repair your muscles and it's the repair of the muscle that makes it stronger and gives you your fitness gains.

    (I hoped I explained that right.)

    Btw, acetaminophen also has this effect.
  13. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    thank you to all - to summarize, i will drink chocolate milk, not take advil, ice my muscles, and try to slip in some light weights after skating!
  14. kia_4EverOnIce

    kia_4EverOnIce Active Member

    muscles pains will pass with regular exercise...Anti-inflammatory are useful only ifyou strain a muscle or hurt yourself, otherwise avoid them. When I have a full sport day, I always try to add some stretching in the evening and also the day after, so as (the day after) I try to do something else (eg: take a walk to work instead of going by bus/car,...). If you do regular exercise it won't be a problem after the first week or so.
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Proper cooldown and stretching are important. Another thing that will help is to cut processed sugar and all grains - so no bread, pasta, rice etc. Grains (even whole grains) have inflammatory properties. Instead eat something like a nice steak with a buttered sweet potato and a big salad. Protein is definitely key to building muscle.

    This link has some good info:

    Best of luck in your (truly admirable) endeavor :)