Muscle recovery is defined as the time it takes for muscles to recover post-workout, whether it be from weight training, playing a sport, running or Pilates, every activity requires rest. It gives our muscle tissue time to heal! Muscle soreness occurs due to small, microscopic tears in the muscles which can cause minor inflammation. Nothing to worry about, it’s natural!! The body does this as a way of healing itself. Regenerating and strengthening the muscles that have been worked on. 

There are 4 stages of muscle healing:

1. Degeneration - tiny micro tears in the muscles 

2. Inflammation - blood flow and oxygen to the working muscles to help remove toxins 

3. Regeneration - repairs the microscopic tears that have occurred during exercise 

4. Remodelling - the repairs of the tissue and muscle fibres mature 

 A day after a workout you may notice muscle aches, this is DOMS also known as delayed onset muscular soreness which generally occurs 1 to 2 days after a workout, peaks at 2 - 3 days and recovers 4-5 days. DOMS aren't due to an underlying health condition. Exercise at high intensity or exercise that you don't normally do can cause DOMS to occur.

Symptoms of DOMS:

1. Tenderness

2. Muscle fatigue 

3. Reduced range of motion due to tightness or pain in the muscle

DOMS doesn’t always affect everyone so if you don't experience DOMS it is perfectly normal! 

Tips for muscle recovery:

  • Massage = foam roller or seeing a therapist
  • Hot pack - reduce stiffness and increase blood flow to the muscles
  • Cold pack = reduce inflammation
  • Yoga = helps with blood flow 
  • Hydration = decrease dehydration helps with regulating body temperature and muscle tension  
  • Getting enough sleep = sleeping will give the brain enough time to heal 
  • Sleep gives time for the anabolism hormones (Growth Hormones) to repair the tissue    
  • Protein = amino acids in protein can help muscle growth and repair