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p.r.e.p. Corner is a monthly blog put together by our in-house registered nurses of our physician referred exercise program (p.r.e.p.) here at acac!

Working out is super important; obviously, as a health club, we preach that! However, a huge and often forgotten aspect of health and wellness is post-workout recovery. Proper recovery maximizes the benefits of your workout and ensures long-term health and fitness while minimizing injuries. Let’s explore essential recovery practices, from nutrition and sleep to stress management and innovative recovery techniques.

Post-Workout Nutrition

Protein builds and restores muscle. For optimal muscle synthesis, aim for 20g of protein an hour before your workout and 20-40g within an hour post-workout. High-protein foods include chicken, fish, eggs, and plant-based options like beans and tofu.

Carbohydrates help give you energy and restore glycogen in your muscles. Aim for 30g about an hour before your workout and about 30g within the hour after. Choose complex carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to fuel your body effectively.

For more detailed guidance on pre- and post-workout nutrition, check out this insightful article from Healthline. Note that some carb recommendations are for endurance athletes. Athletes who are not training at high intensity 6-7 days a week should stick to the lower ranges.

Effective Recovery Methods

“Improving recovery in fitness involves reducing the time it takes for your muscles to recover after a workout. In an article by Healthline, Daniel Yetman mentions three specific recovery methods shown to assist the body in relaxation and rejuvenation: cryotherapy, massage, and compression.

Cryotherapy is a technique that exposes the body to extremely cold temperatures for a short period. It can reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after strenuous activity.

Regular massages can alleviate muscle tension, reduce stress, and enhance relaxation. Massage therapy promotes better blood flow, which helps deliver nutrients to your muscles for repair.

Wearing compression garments has been shown to lower the time for body muscle recovery, speeding up the recovery process.

acac is proud to offer a wide range of recovery services, including compression and massage therapy, at select locations. Visit to find the location nearest you.

Setting Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is essential for effectively managing stress, which can have a profound impact on both mental and physical well-being. Healthy boundaries can include:

  • Saying “no” when necessary: Avoid overcommitting and prioritize your well-being.
  • Limiting time with energy-draining individuals: Set clear expectations and boundaries to protect your energy.
  • Allocating time for yourself: Engage in activities that recharge you, whether it’s a hobby, meditation, or simply some quiet time.

Remember, you are in charge of your life and can make healthy decisions that benefit your overall wellness.

Quantity and Quality of Sleep

Sleep is vital for recovery. During sleep, our bodies undergo numerous chemical reactions essential for repair and growth. Lack of sleep has been linked to heart problems, high blood pressure, and depression. Ensure you get enough quality sleep by:

  • Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Creating a restful environment: Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limiting screen time before bed: Blue light from screens can disrupt your sleep cycle.

If you’ve tried everything to get better sleep and nothing seems to work, don’t lose hope. Keep exploring different strategies until you find what works for you. Your health will thank you!

Incorporating these post-workout recovery essentials into your fitness routine optimizes your workout benefits and maintains overall health. From balanced nutrition and effective recovery methods to stress management and quality sleep, these practices will help you feel your best and achieve your fitness goals. Remember, recovery isn’t just about resting; it’s about actively taking steps to ensure your body can perform at its peak.