Your Holistic Guide To Exercise Recovery
You’ve made it to the end of your workout – well done! Although it’s tempting to throw down a little water, stretch your legs and then go about your day, it’s actually beneficial to make sure you do a proper cool-down to stay energised and reduce the risk of injury.
Here’s our holistic guide to exercise recovery, encompassing movement, nutrition and mindfulness.
Keep moving your body
When you’re low on time, it may be tempting to skip stretching after exercise, but stretching is really important to help keep muscles flexible, strong and healthy, and prevent them from shortening and becoming tight¹ Target the muscle group you’ve been using and focus on ‘static stretching’, where you hold stretches without moving to the point of feeling mild tension (but not pain).
Eliza Milsom, Swisse Mindfulness and Wellbeing Expert, suggests Yin yoga as a useful tool for exercise recovery. “Yin yoga – in comparison to the fast pace of Yang yoga – moves through poses slowly, focusing on stretching and lengthening deeper connective tissues. From a physical perspective, it can help keep muscles limber, flexible and strong, and enable faster recovery to support whatever exercise you are doing.”
Nourish and hydrate yourself
You’re no doubt feeling hungry after expending so much energy, but what should you eat to help your body get the best out of your workout?
“Carbohydrates, protein and fat are key for recovery, as these macronutrients help restore muscle glycogen stores and maximise protein synthesis between workouts²,” explains Eliza. “Aim to consume a well-balanced meal, such as an omelette with vegetables, ideally within a few hours of exercise.”
And, of course, hydration is also important for recovery. You might want to consider taking a post-workout product, such as Swisse Active Recover*. This premium quality formula contains BCAAs, magnesium and turmeric to replenish after exercise. Simply add one of the convenient powder sticks to water as part of your recovery routine.
Focus on your mind
The final piece of the recovery puzzle is breathwork. As Eliza explains: “The breath helps to regulate the nervous and circulatory systems. When we exercise, we put our body into a high-stress, fight-or-flight mode, which needs time and focus to regulate. Deep, mindful breathing helps activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers the heart rate and puts the body into ‘rest and relax’ mode.³”
Take a few moments after your workout to sit upright or lay on your back so your lungs can be filled completely. Breath in through your nose and ensure the breath fills your belly, not just your chest (putting your hand on your stomach can help). Hold your breath, and then exhale slowly through the mouth, counting to six.
Swisse Active Recover should be consumed in conjunction with a nutritious diet and appropriate exercise program. Not a sole source of nutrition.
1. The importance of stretching. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching. Published March 14, 2022.
2. Burke LM, Kiens B, Ivy JL. Carbohydrates and fat for training and recovery. J Sports Sci. 2004 Jan;22(1):15-30. doi: 10.1080/0264041031000140527. PMID: 14971430.
3. The Science of Stress: Stress Management Strategies/Relaxation. Stress & Development Lab. https://sdlab.fas.harvard.edu/relaxing/overview. Accessed August 31, 2022.