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How to improve recovery - and decrease DOMS!

I talked a lot about DOMS or Delayed Muscle Soreness in my previous blog post (click here to read it!). This one is about how to reduce the onset of DOMS and how to keep your muscle recovery firing on all cylinders!

1. Eat protein - lots of it

Most people don't eat enough protein for their training program. This is one reason why they may not see as many physique changes as they were expecting. Our body uses protein for recovery and for repair... we need plenty of it in order to fuel our body in a way that it can heal nice and quickly after exercise. Protein doesn't have to equal a 50% share in a chicken farm, think outside the box and get that protein intake up!

2. Sleep

While we are asleep our body does magical things to heal itself and we need to make sure that we let it have plenty in order to get the job done. Getting in your 7 hours a night will help you feel a lot more lively the next day and will give your body a chance to get healing after your intense workout!

3. Eat lots of fruit & veg

This is no lie - fruits such as pineapples and cherries are famous for their muscle healing properties and do wonders to improve recovery and get us back in the studio/gym as soon as possible. Stick your face into your local greengrocer and get on some pineapple based loving.

4. Keep moving

The more you are still, the more you will find it difficult to move! Whilst we shouldn't train the same muscle group within 48 hours, it is good to perform general physical activity and keep those muscle lubed up, full of our magical blood and ready for action!

5. Remain well hydrated

Yup.... our muscles are like little reservoirs of water. The more hydrated we are, the better our muscles feel and perform. Drinking plenty of water, with or without electrolytes as required, will help our muscles perform at their absolute best!

6. Stretch

I know I know, we all just want to go home when we have finished training, but it is industry standard to make sure we stretch (at least some) of the muscles that we have used. Stretching also helps to maintain flexibility and stops us becoming shrivelled up old prunes.

7. Use magnesium spray or Epsom salts

Both products contain a wealth of magnesium which is one of the mystical substances which your muscles quite enjoy, especially when they are feeling a little battered! Epsom salts are probably the cheapest but both can be purchased from retailers such as Holland & Barrett.

Although feeling some light DOMS and aches is normal, a sign that we have pushed ourselves that fraction to hard OR that we are not fuelling our body well enough, is when the DOMS lasts longer than 72 hours. Make sure you are following these steps in order to get that recovery period under control!

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