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Just finished an intense workout? Now you have a 6-hour window for active recovery if you want to avoid severe delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is that soreness you feel the day or maybe even two or three days after intense exercise. The pain you feel is inflammation due to the influx of nutrients and fluids in your muscles to help repair the microtrauma caused by working out. 

To minimize or avoid DOMS altogether, try implementing an active recovery routine into your schedule within the first 6 hours post-workout. Active Recovery is a low-intensity, integrated dynamic movements that mobilize tissues and slightly elevate your heart rate after a high-intensity workout. This pumps blood through muscles and tissues which were damaged in training, thereby flushing waste from the tissues and recruiting other nutrients to help expedite healing and recovery. You can read more about active recovery here. Active recovery done within 6-hours of your training session has been found to be the most effective form of recovery.

Active recovery done within 6-hours of your training session has been found to be the most effective form of recovery. Click To Tweet

After the 6 hour window, studies show that the positive effects of active recovery on DOMS diminish significantly. At the 24 hour marker, active recovery has very little impact on DOMS. So if you workout in the morning and put off your recovery until after school or work, you’re missing out on your optimal recovery window.

While everyone’s optimal recovery window varies slightly, 6 hours is a good guide. Try engaging in active recovery no later than 6 hours post-workout this week and see if you notice a difference in your training.

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