How to recover post workout!

Bianca Cheah, Kate Kendall, running stretch, lunge
Pictured: Kate Kendall from Flow Athletic and Bianca Cheah

So, how do you recover post workout? Recovery is an important part of your training process, as or if not more important, as any other part of my training. I’ve had quite a few people ask for my advice and recovery after a workout or run. And since I just completed the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival 9km Bridge Run, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you some of my tips.

My diet

Post runs, it’s super important for me to rehydrate my body and replace those electrolytes that I lost through sweating. Otherwise cramping, dehydration, faintness and nausea can set in for me. My everyday favourites are:

  • Rehydration: Fresh coconut water is a fantastic option. Not only is it filled with natural electrolytes, but it’s delicious when chilled and is an awesome thirst quencher. I call it my natural sports drink! You can buy fresh coconut water from just about anywhere. Even the local convenience store! Tip: Just chill, cut the top off, sip the coconut water then scoop the flesh out and eat.
  • Energy and muscle recovery: Blackmores do a Bio Magnesium tablet that’s fantastic for cramping and the Womens Vitality Multi vitamin is great for energy. I highly recommend taking these while you are training, especially the Bio Magnesium. Have you ever had a leg cramp creep up on you during your training? Or worse still attack you in the middle night, like they do with me? Not the most welcomed feeling at all! Magnesium tablets are a great supplement for this as they help to relax your muscles, therefore reducing cramping. They also help you sleep better. I’ve tried and tested these and they work a treat! Highly recommended! Tip: Vitamins should be taken during the course of your training for maximum benefits.
  • Good carbohydrates and lean proteins: Think quinoa, vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish and lean red meat. These are all great for recovery and replenishing your protein and energy levels. Because without the right fuel your body can’t recover or build up muscle. So eat up and eat well! Tip: Best to buy your produce fresh and cook at home so you know what you are putting in it.

Lizard Lunge, low lunge, Bianca Cheah, Kate Kendall, Yoga pose

My exercise tips:

The low lunge or Lizard Pose

This is my favourite pose post run. It’s perfect for opening the hips, stretching the hamstrings, groin and thighs.

How to: From Downward Dog, glide your right foot through and place it next to your right hand and gently sink your hips down to the floor while broadening your collarbones. If you feel you can go lower, then drop your elbows to the floor and sink your hips down further for a beautiful deep stretch. Remember to keep your neck line long and back nice and flat.

Pigeon Pose, Bianca Cheah, Kate Kendall, yoga

The Pigeon Pose

Naturally you will transition to this pose from the Lizard Lunge. The Pigeon Pose is an extremely effective hip opener that also lengthens the psoas muscle. I like to spend a good five minutes in the Pigeon Pose on each leg as the gravity increases my flexibility. If you’re in class, maybe ask the instructor to adjust you further into this pose.

How to: From Lizard Lunge walk your right foot over to your left hand. Now gently ground your hips to the floor. Make sure your left leg is straight behind you and your hips are square and front on. Take a deep breath in. Now gently exhale while lowering your chest to the floor. Stretch your arms out in front of you and spread your fingers. Now breathe and let go of any tightness and tenseness you feel. The more you let go, the further you will be able to stretch. Beginners, if you are new to this stretch, its best to put a bolster or block under your sit bones while you ease into this stretch.

mermaid pose, Bianca Cheah, Kate Kendall, yoga

The Mermaid Pose

The Mermaid Pose is a variation of the Pigeon Pose and while it strengthens your core and pelvic floor, it is also a very deep stretch for the quadriceps, hips, groins, back, chest and shoulders.

How to: From your Pigeon Pose slowly bring yourself up. Bend your left knee, bring your foot back towards your body. Gently cradle your foot in your inner elbow and pelvis while broadening your collarbones. A great stretch for your quadriceps.