5 Scientifically Proven Ways To Recover Faster From Exercise

Updated: May 8, 2020

Anti-Aging Secrets - Exercise

I’ve always been quite active. Exercise, sports and the outdoors get me going and will continue to be important in my life as I get older.

But now that I’m in my mid 50s, my workouts aren’t so easy! And it takes me a little longer to recover than I would like.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry. We just have to listen to our bodies and learn some tips to recover faster from exercise, naturally…

How To Recover Faster From Your Workouts Using These 5 Easy Tips

There are many ways to help you recover faster from exercise. Here are my top 5 favorites that I use myself:

  1. Give your body the rest it deserves: When it comes to strength training, more is not necessarily better. Research suggests 48-72 hours of recovery time between strength training workouts for optimal results. Recovery time does vary across individuals so it’s important to monitor your training closely. This will help you determine your most productive training frequency.
  2. Invest in a foam roller: This has made a big difference in my workouts. If you already have a foam roller, you know what I’m talking about! If not, I urge you to get one at your local sports store, ASAP. Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique or what some call a “poor man’s massage”. You should use your foam roller pre-workout (as part of your warm up or before stretching). And post workout (to flush out and circulate blood flow and allow fresh nutrients and oxygen into your muscles to begin the healing process). Honestly I have a love/hate relationship with my roller. I hate the pain it inflicts especially in the first few weeks, but love the results.
  3. Think About Protein: Grab a little protein before your workout to fuel your muscles during training. While eating a protein rich snack can get your body prepared for your workout, having protein post-workout is good, too. It can ensure that your body will have enough building blocks to keep your muscles rebuilding throughout the day. Small protein choices include a hard boiled egg, peanut butter with an apple or a glass of chocolate milk.
  4. Hydrate: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workouts. Working out dehydrated can cause damage to your muscles and slow down your body’s recovery time. And unless you are an elite or competitive athlete, water is usually enough for most to hydrate. Please stay away from those sugary sports drinks – science shows they will not help your recovery and they will make you fat.
  5. Incorporate Anti-Inflammatories Into Your Diet: Swelling and inflammation occur when your muscles are damaged from exercise. This is normal as exercises such as strength training creates micro tears in your muscles. To speed up recovery, studies suggest that anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric curcumin and ginger can help. So if you’re already taking Triple Power Omega 3 Fish Oil you’re actually getting three potent anti-inflammatories in your diet.

These are just 5 things that have worked for me and I hope they work for you!

But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recovery. Are there tactics that have worked or not worked for you? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

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  1. Kate

    September 29, 2015 , 5:54 am

    I have a banana or orange after a particular stressful workout – even a hard yard workout like digging. It seems to help with potential muscle cramps or muscle depletion shaking or trembling (don’t know if there is a real term for that).

  2. Monica

    September 29, 2015 , 7:08 am

    Hi Kate,

    Awesome! Bananas are a great post-workout snack. Especially if you’re doing a stressful or high intensity workout like you say, you need to replenish lost carbs, sodium and potassium. Bananas definitely meet these requirements as they’re rich in potassium, magnesium and fast-working carbs. It’s also great to pair it with a protein like some cottage cheese or peanut butter.

    I’m not sure if there’s a real term for the muscle shakes either (I’m sure there is), but I know exactly what you mean! Haha

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,