It's not about how hard you train, it's about how much your body recovers from training hard. Most people have it backwards! Training is just the stimulus for our bodies to change the way we want it to; getting stronger, faster, leaner, bigger, etc. The recovery process is the actual adaptation where these changes will occur!
Here is one of my favorite ways to recover from tough workouts in the gym, sporting events, or any type of activity that puts physical stress on my joints & muscles. This does not take into account nutrition however.
10-15 minutes after training session, allow your body to soak in cold water or ice water for roughly 3-5 minutes. This will alleviate inflammation in the body caused by the workouts. Afterwards, soak 15-20 minutes in Luke warm water to calm the nervous system & your muscles. Use EPSOM SALT as a way to absorb nutrients like magnesium into the body which is one of the most effective minerals for your body to use for recovery. My preferred choice is Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt or his Foaming Bath solution. You can find this in any local store like CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, etc.
After bathing, the pores on your skin will be wide open.. this is normally a critical time to apply lotions to lock in moisture to keep your skin hydrated. Remember, your skin is an organ so it can absorb and extract things into and out of the body. This is the perfect time to apply my favorite muscle rub from DoTerra. Deep Blue Muscle Rub is an excellent product I use to alleviate more soreness and assist my body in recovery. Common ingredients in this product are Aloe Vera, Sweet Almond Oil, Eucalyptus, and also menthol to give it a "wintergreen" scent. Rub small dime shaped applications into your palms and apply to affected areas. For example, after running I will apply this rub to my ankles, calves, knees, and upper thighs as those areas take the most stress when running. Use this product like Icy Hot but better with more natural ingredients, not chemicals. Wash your hands after and don't touch your eyes or privates with this stuff! (learned the hard way).
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After applying the deep blue rub to affected areas, it's time to lock in and absorb all those nutrients/minerals & natural oils. Using a moisturizing lotion after the deep blue rub will lock in all the applications and let your body really soak things in. You will notice a cool soothing sensation on your skin followed by warm afterwards. This indicates your skin has absorbed the ingredients and is doing the job right! Again, I would recommend a Dr. Teal's product with more natural and cleaner ingredients. Think of your skin like any other organ so don't put cheap lotions on it! Applying lotion will help keep your skin looking young, moisturized, and absorb nutrients.
Apply these 3 steps anytime you are looking to recover faster from work, training, or sporting events and watch how much better you will feel the next day. The more you recover, the more workouts you can do. The more workouts you do, the faster your body will change the way you want it to look!
Remember, its not how hard you train, it's how well you recover!!