- 12 Proven Ways To Speed Up Muscle Recovery
- 1. Mental Stimulation
- 2. Stress Reduction
- 3. Knowledge
- 4. Vocabulary Expansion
- 5. Memory Improvement
- 6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
- 7. Improved Focus and Concentration
- 8. Better Writing Skills
- 9. Tranquility
- 10. Free Entertainment
- What to Read Next?
- 8 summer superfoods that will boost your physical fitness
- Foods & Drinks For A Quicker Workout Recovery
- 1. Greek Yogurt
- 2. Coconut Water
- 3. Beets
- 4. Protein Shake
- 5. Tart Cherries
- 6. Watermelon
- 7. Walnuts
12 Proven Ways To Speed Up Muscle Recovery
Last Updated on March 17, 2020
When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?
If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.
Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here’re 10 benefits of reading to get you to start reading.
1. Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power.
Just any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with cognitive stimulation.
2. Stress Reduction
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
Additionally, here’s a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
4. Vocabulary Expansion
This goes with the above topic:
The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary.
Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem.
It could even aid in your career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.
5. Memory Improvement
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvellous things and can remember these things with relative ease.
Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods. How cool is that?
If you want to learn more about how to increase brain power, boost memory and become 10x smarter, check out this technique!
6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”.
That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc.
Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly, as you’ve taken the time to really consider all the aspects involved.
7. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day.
In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via gchat, skype, etc.), keeping an eye on , monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. This type of ADD- behaviour causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.
Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
Additional information: if you find staying focus hard and re trying to improve your focus, it’s possible you’ve been doing it wrong.
8. Better Writing Skills
This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of your vocabulary:
Exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work.
In the same way that musicians influence one another and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, it’s possible that the subject you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility.
Reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.
10. Free Entertainment
Though many of us to buy books so we can annotate them and dog-ear pages for future reference, they can be quite pricey.
For low-budget entertainment, you can visit your local library and bask in the glory of the countless tomes available there for free. Libraries have books on every subject imaginable, and since they rotate their stock and constantly get new books, you’ll never run reading materials.
If you happen to live in an area that doesn’t have a local library, or if you’re mobility-impaired and can’t get to one easily, most libraries have their books available in PDF or ePub format so you can read them on your e-reader, iPad, or your computer screen.
There are also many sources online where you can download free e-books, so go hunting for something new to read!
There’s a reading genre for every literate person on the planet, and whether your tastes lie in classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, young adult books, self-help guides, street lit, or romance novels, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imagination.
Step away from your computer for a little while, crack open a book, and replenish your soul for a little while.
What to Read Next?
If you need some ideas about what to read next, here they are:
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
8 summer superfoods that will boost your physical fitness
There’s nothing biting into a perfectly ripe peach, tossing back a handful of sweet blueberries or snacking on refreshing watermelon. But seasonal summer produce offers so much more than great taste and nostalgia — many contain nutrients that may give your fitness routine a boost.
From replenishing electrolytes and increasing blood flow to reducing muscle soreness and speeding recovery, these eight workout-boosting summer superfoods will have you running (literally) to the farmer’s market stat.
This ruby red stone fruit actually comes in several varieties. The vibrant dark red cherries found at most stores are Bing cherries, which are revered for their antioxidant properties. Research has found that eating Bing cherries may reduce the prevalence of inflammatory diseases, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
80 Twenty Nutrition
However, it’s the tart cherry variety that is considered a true superfood for active individuals. Mainly, tart cherries and their juice have been shown to reduce oxidative damage from strength training and attenuate muscle soreness.
The only drawback is that fresh tart cherries are hard to come by unless you live in a region that grows them. But dried and frozen tart cherries are available year-round.
Add any type of cherry to your pre-workout breakfast with this recipe for Cherry Chocolate Overnight Oats.
Marisa Moore Nutrition
True to its name, watermelon consists of 92 percent water, making it a hydrating snack for the hot summer months. If you exercise outdoors, eating some juicy watermelon before or after your workout will aid in hydration and help provide energy.
It also contains potassium, an important electrolyte lost in sweat. What’s more, watermelon has an amino acid called l-citrulline, which may diminish muscle soreness after intense exercise.
So go ahead and add this Sparkling Watermelon Lime Slushie to your workout-fueling routine.
Eleat Sports Nutrition
A little known fact about everyone’s favorite fajita ingredient is that bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C. “A red bell pepper contains more than twice as much Vitamin C as an orange,” says Angie Asche, MS, RD of Eleat Sports Nutrition.
She adds that this essential vitamin is “an antioxidant that also plays a huge role in the production of collagen, the most abundant protein in our body.” And that’s good news for athletes because early research suggests that collagen may ease joint pain.
Invite your workout buddies over for taco night or opt for these Vegan Southwestern Bowls.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find more nutrition in a smaller or fuzzier package than the under-appreciated kiwi.
This tropical fruit contains two important electrolytes, potassium and magnesium, plus antioxidants that prevent inflammation and actinidin, an enzyme that helps with protein digestion. If you’re intimidated by peeling a kiwi, don’t be.
Cut it in half and scoop the flesh the skin with a spoon, or make these Toasted Coconut Kiwi Cups for a fancier snack.
Nutrition A La Natalie
The tiny blue berry packs an antioxidant punch, according to Asche. “Athletes who consume berries prior to and after prolonged exercise experience less inflammation and oxidative stress,” she says.
As a matter of fact, one study found that drinking a blueberry smoothie before and after the development of exercise-induced muscle damage helped athletes recover their strength more quickly. In other words, blueberries may help ease muscle soreness.
Blueberries make a great topper on toast or oatmeal, or whip up this 3-ingredient Blueberry Chia Jam.
Snacking In Sneakers
Another purple item to add to your shopping list is the durable beet. “Even though beets can be harvested for a fairly long growing season, they tend to peak in summer and fall,” says Chrissy Carroll, MPH, RD and USAT Level I Triathlon Coach.
“This is one superfood that should be in any athlete's diet, thanks to their dietary nitrates, a component that increases blood and oxygen flow to the muscles,” Carroll adds. There’s no denying the benefits of beets and their juice, and “ample research has linked consumption of beetroot juice prior to exercise to increased performance,” says Asche.
No one wants to roast beets in the dead of summer, so add raw sliced beets to your salad or try this unique beet lemonade.
Snacking In Sneakers
As every athlete knows (and dietitians can’t emphasize enough), hydration is crucial to athletic performance.
“Drinking water is vital, but mixing in foods with a high water content also helps with hydration,” says Carroll. She recommends adding cucumbers to your fueling routine, since they are comprised of 96 percent water.
Snack on cukes with some tzatziki or hummus, or whip up this gorgeous Spiralized Cucumber Apple Salad.
Nutrition a la Natalie
This sweet Georgia fruit is packed with potassium, a mineral that helps maintain fluid balance within the body.
Those who exercise for longer than an hour or in intensely hot conditions lose potassium in sweat and need to replace it for proper hydration.
Snacking on a peach thirty minutes before a workout will offer quick acting fuel, or add them to your lunch with this Peach Panzanella Salad.
Want more tips these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on , and Instagram.
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Foods & Drinks For A Quicker Workout Recovery
Breaking a sweat is so essential to increasing health and combating stress. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which can make us feel happier and more relaxed.
However, exercising can also result in sore muscles, and what we do to recover after working out really matters.
Beyond stretching and getting enough shut-eye, the food and drinks that we consume play a pivotal role in helping our muscles repair and strengthen over time and in allowing our bodies to hit the trails all over again the next day.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding forms of exercise that work for their needs and schedules. Exercise can be really fun, and it's best to incorporate a variety of types into your practice. Choose activities that range from strenuous, high-intensity, such as HIIT or spin, to restorative, low-intensity, such as yoga or Pilates.
“Recovering after a training session isn't just about replenishing the fuels used during a workout, but also about resetting the nervous system from 'fight or flight' mode to 'rest and digest' mode,” says Todd Nief, owner at SouthLoop Strength & Conditioning, in an email interview with Bustle. It's important to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to build muscle, prevent soreness and perform better over time. Here are seven food and drinks that are teeming with benefits and are easy to put together right after a tough workout.
1. Greek Yogurt
Research shows that Greek yogurt is beneficial post-workout, as it is high in both protein and healthy, gut-promoting bacteria, which can reduce inflammation.
After working out, muscles become inflamed, but by consuming plain, Greek yogurt, you're better able to get your body back to normal.
By adding in a few almonds and berries, you can up your protein, antioxidant and fiber count, which will help provide sustainable energy to power you through the rest of the day.
2. Coconut Water
While all liquids will help you recover, as your body becomes dehydrated right after working out, coconut water is particularly helpful after exercise, as it is loaded with potassium to replace lost electrolytes. It has about 470 milligrams per eight ounce serving! Stick with unsweetened brands to limit sugar intake.
“Beets have been proven to help aid recovery and fight inflammation,” says Susie Lemmer, running coach and blogger at Suzlyfe, in an email to Bustle. Marinate some beets with balsamic and toss with feta for a light, refreshing salad post-workout. Or sip on some fresh beet juice to enhance hydration and reap the benefits.
4. Protein Shake
Protein shakes provide immediate recovery, especially ones that contain whey protein, advises Nief. “The goal is to include as much of the amino acid, leucine, as possible,” he continues.
As some people cannot tolerate whey protein, Nief recommends “egg white protein or vegan blends of hemp, rice and pea protein.
” However, steer clear of those shakes that contain 60g of protein! “You only need 20-30g of protein at a given time,” Lemmer recommends, “and it's important to consume within an hour of working out for best results.”
5. Tart Cherries
According to studies, tart cherries have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and speed muscle repair. Whether consumed fresh or in a smoothie, it's a tasty way to benefit your body and gain a hefty dose of antioxidants.
If cherries are not in season, frozen will do just fine. Lemmer recommends a post-workout smoothie, one that incorporates tart cherries, healthy fats and protein.
Her healthy fat of choice? Avocados! Avocados are high in healthy fats and fiber to keep you satiated for hours.
Research shows that watermelon can relieve muscle soreness by removing lactic acid, a byproduct of exercise, from the body at a high rate.
Its high level of the amino acid, L-citrulline, which is also found in garlic and onions, can increase blood flow throughout the body and reduce the occurrence of muscle pain.
Eat fresh, throw in a juicer, or pair with cheese, sea salt and mint for a delicious snack.
Eating nuts after working out is a great way to get in enough protein and magnesium to relax and repair tired muscles.
While all nuts and nut butters are beneficial, walnuts are particularly helpful, as they contain healthy fats, in the form of omega 3's. Omega 3's reduce inflammation and help you perform better.
Other forms include hemp and chia seeds, olives and oily fish, such as salmon.
Soreness post-workout can still happen, especially if you take a new class or work a different muscle that your body isn't used to using. However, with the right bites and sips, you'll be better able to recover and stick with an exercise regimen for the long-term.
Images: Pixabay (7); Pexels (1)
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