u train almost every day, but your progress is not as you would like it to be? Then it can actually be due to too much training or too little recovery, technical term: regeneration. You should change that.
Because if you drive your body to top sporting performance every day, neither muscles, joints nor the cardiovascular system have time to recover. This is exactly why it is so important that you regenerate properly after exercising. We’ll tell you the best way to do it here. And if you’re still looking for clever workouts to take at home: Here is our 8-week training plan for attractive muscles.
After sport: the regeneration phase
So often do people say, “You need to relax.” Well, if that were just as easy as I said. In truth, it is usually the fear that keeps you from undoing hard-earned training successes by doing nothing.
According to experts, however, it is clear: nonsensical actionism or remorse are not only totally out of place, but also very counterproductive: “Many recreational athletes train haphazardly and therefore tend to exercise too much,” says sports physiologist Dr. Wolfgang Friedrich.
The book author (“Optimal regeneration in sport”) advises relaxed handling of relaxation: “Stress and recovery form an inseparable unit. Regeneration must therefore be understood as an indispensable training content.”
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How long do I have to regenerate after exercising?
So lounging should become an integral part of the training plan? Yes, because your body needs this time to relax. Hard training sessions lead to fatigue, depleted energy reserves and minor injuries to muscle tissue. For the necessary repair and growth processes, your body then needs time windows in which the cardiovascular system, muscles, joints and, above all, the psyche are not exposed to any strain.
Completely training-free days are therefore very important. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, an active recovery period may be right for you. This can also help to improve performance. Movements in the low heart rate range (such as slow jogging) and muscle relaxation create the best conditions for faster regeneration. And with full energy tanks, your next workout is guaranteed to be a success again.
What are the best exercises for active recovery?
Did you know that stretching a muscle means increasing its range of motion, making it more flexible and preventing injuries? This is exactly why stretching is the perfect active recovery. But be careful: almost everyone makes these 3 mistakes when stretching.
This is how it works: Hold each position for 15 to 30 seconds. In this way, tense muscles are relaxed directly.
- Hip flexors: Get deep in your kneeling lunge. Right leg forward, knee at a 90-degree angle. Stretch your left leg straight back, place your hands next to your right foot and shift the weight of your upper body onto it. Push the pelvis forward slightly. Leg change.
- Glutes: Lie flat on the floor, lift your right leg and hold it at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Now cross your left leg over your right and place your foot on your right thigh. Grasp the back thigh of the right leg with your hands and pull it towards you. Keep your back flat on the floor. Leg change.
- Chest area: Stand to the side of a wall. Press your right forearm and palm against the wall. Keep elbows at shoulder height, bend 90 degrees in the joint. Take a step forward with your right leg, hand and arm remain stable on the wall. Page change.
- Rear thigh: Have a towel ready. Lie on your back on the floor, lift your right leg and stretch it straight up. Wrap the towel around your right foot and pull your leg towards your upper body. Keep your right leg straight while your back and left leg lie motionless on the floor. Then repeat with the other leg.
How do I regenerate properly after exercise?
Regeneration is not just regeneration – that As is important. Your body can only regenerate properly if you support it. This works, for example, with restful sleep, a balanced diet and a lot of mindfulness. Here you can find out how mindfulness works in everyday life. And these are our 5 best tips for more regeneration for you:
1. Sleep well
Yes, the bed also makes you fit! “Sleep is a natural regeneration measure and its effect cannot be replaced by anything else,” says Friedrich. Leaving sleep robbers the night without a fight is therefore counterproductive for several reasons. The hormone level is mixed up, fewer growth hormones are released, adaptation processes, metabolic processes and recovery are slowed down by lack of sleep.
The immune system is also unable to produce red blood cells as well as it should. The result: muscle fibers are repaired and renewed more slowly. Those who don’t sleep long enough (7 to 8 hours are perfect, by the way) also have a greater need for sugar as an energy kick. Another disadvantage: the workouts also become less effective.
2. No permanent load
How much training per week is ideal? Theoretically, a load every 24 hours is not a problem for amateur athletes. The form of the load is just as important as the relaxing hours in between. Optimally, it runs in waves: 3 intensive units are followed by a regenerative workout, then 2 intensive training sessions and a day off. “The actively designed recovery phase with light workouts or massages improves regeneration,” says Friedrich.
3. Feed muscles
After you have exhausted yourself while exercising, the glycogen stores are empty for the time being. If you do not fill it up again, you will lose a lot of your performance: “The first three quarters of an hour after the end of the exercise is decisive. This is when you have to start with carbohydrate intake,” advises Friedrich.
Don’t worry: you don’t have to eat pasta right in the gym. One drink is enough for now. Half a liter of fruit or buttermilk will serve you and your muscles well. “The ratio of carbohydrates to protein is ideally 70:30. This stimulates insulin expression, which is important for the muscular blood flow, so that the damaged muscles are restored.”
4. Correctly interpret body signals
Everyone knows acute displeasure. So it’s important to know how to deal with your lazy weaker self. It’s best to tell him about the fight every now and then and at least do some light training. On some days, however, you should allow the no-go feeling, because then your body cries out for recovery. And this is just as important for the psyche as it is for the body.
While you are lounging comfortably on the sofa, the level of willpower, perception and concentration as well as the speed of action increases. However, if you feel permanently flat, suffer from insomnia or notice that your eating behavior is changing, it is high time to shift down a gear. “Real exhaustion must be taken very seriously,” warns the expert. Because with overtraining you damage your body excessively.
5. Start the wellness program
Sure, you can just lounge on the sofa as a regeneration. However, it is more effective to get the most out of relaxation on days when there is no training or during active regeneration. Speaking of which: do you already know our sofa workout?
Massages, for example, are great. “Kneading increases the blood flow to the muscles and internal organs. This significantly increases the metabolism. Waste products such as lactic acid and urea are also removed more quickly,” says sports physiologist Friedrich. You don’t even have to go to the massage studio for this, because self-massage with a fascia roller is just as effective. Here we reveal why fascia training is really good for you.
For warm-blooded animals, the sauna is also just the thing. Sweating in the sauna relaxes the muscles, strengthens the immune system and reduces the feeling of stress. But the opposite of heat is now also effective: “Kneipp casts achieve good regeneration results. The skin is supplied with extensive and intensive blood, which boosts the metabolism enormously,” says the expert. Simply pour ice-cold water over your body for a brief moment. Tip: Start with small parts of the body and then work your way up to the full body cast.
Have you just come from training and have really exhausted yourself? Then now is the time to give your body the rest it needs and to help it regenerate. With our tips, nothing can go wrong.