2 articles Tag muscles

Tips to Help Your Post-Workout Recovery

Tips to Help Your Post-Workout RecoveryNow that the gyms are open again, millions of Brits have hit the workouts hard, in an attempt to shake off that lockdown weight gain. The fact that lockdown has ended just in time for Spring and Summer, when many of us feel the pressure to be slimmer anyway, means that people are exercising harder than ever, and that means injuries are inevitable.

When I started weight training, back in 2017, the exercise itself was fun and fulfilling, but the days of DOMS in my thighs (why is it that walking UP stairs isn’t so bad, but walking DOWN the stairs feels like torture?!) were hellish! With this in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips for making sure you look after your body properly with your post-workout recovery:

Hit The Showers

Having a post-workout shower is important for getting yourself clean, but the water can actually help your muscles too. Alternating between blasts of hot and cold water, known as a contrast shower, can help improve recovery and alleviate muscle soreness. Even better is if you’re lucky enough to have steam showers at your gym, as using steam is like putting a warm blanket over your aching muscles!

Hydrate

Most people remember to take water with them to the gym and to drink while they’re working out, but drinking plenty during your post-workout recovery is super important too. Experts generally agree that, for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, you should drink at least 260ml of water, followed by another 230ml no more than half an hour after you’ve stopped to keep your muscles healthy. If you can add some electrolytes to your water, that’s even better.

Stretch

Most people will strecth before they start their workut to help avoid injury, but they don’t always stretch again at the end, which is a common mistake. When you stretch your muscles after a workout, you’re helping to give your body a jump-start on recovery, while also releasing stress and tension, and boosting the flexibility of your joints.

Protein

Whether you’re following a strict diet or not, one of the most important ways to help your body to recover from exercise is to make sure you have plenty of protein. This can come in the form of a protein shake, eggs, steak or even seitan for the vegans – as long as it’s protein-rich, it’s what you need to help your muscles to rebuild and really benefit from all the exercise you’re doing.

Rest…But Still Move!

I know how tempting it is to take the “rest” part of “rest day” a little too literally. You’ve worked out hard all week and come your rest day, you want to remain as sedentary as possible. Believe it or not, failing to do ANYTHING on a rest day can actually do more harm than good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting a full-on HIIT routine or anything – a gentle walk, some yoga or even just playing Mario and Sonic at the Olympics on your games console – a bit of movement will prevent your muscles from seizing up, which will make it easier to go back to full activity on your workout days.

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after Childbirth

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after ChildbirthChildbirth is an exciting time and there are many news skills to master – and for some women, managing incontinence may be one of them.

It is a common problem that many women suffer from, mainly in the short term. In rare cases, it may be a long-term issue that requires further medical help to alleviate the systems. Being informed means being prepared and so check out these five top tips for managing incontinence after childbirth.

Tip 1 – Use appropriate pads and products

There is a range of incontinence pads in various absorbency levels that make managing incontinence on a daily basis much easier. Unlike sanitary towels, they trap odour as well as urine. They absorb the urine away from the skin, preventing soreness a common complaint alongside urinary incontinence.

They can be worn day and night, and are the ideal solution for catching accidental leaks of urine post childbirth. They allow you a sense of confidence in that embarrassing leaks are stopped in their tracks, great for when you go to post-natal exercises class or enjoy activities with your family.

Tip 2 – Pelvic floor exercises

Alongside incontinence pads, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day help to combat a weak bladder. These exercises are discreet but incredibly powerful as they tone the pelvic floor muscles, meaning you gain control of your bladder.

The great news is that you can do these exercises anywhere, they are free and require no complicated or expensive equipment.

The pelvic muscle runs from the front of your pubic, across your body to the base of your spine. It is a sling like muscle and during pregnancy, is under pressure not only from the weight of your growing baby but also from a cascade of pregnancy hormones. It is under further pressure during labour and clearly, all that pushing during childbirth also impact on it.

To strengthen it, you need to tighten and hold the muscle for a few seconds and then perform a controlled release. Some people also suggest ‘forcing’ the muscle to relax as the final step. Doing this means that the muscles go through its full movement.

Not sure where your pelvic muscle is or which part to clench? Find out more here.

Tip 3 – Yoga

Incontinence pads and pelvic floor muscles are fantastic just after giving birth mainly because the pelvic floor exercises help you heal and the pads make incontinence much easier to manage.

Now that you have fully recovered you may decide you want to try something that strengthens your pelvic floor in the longer-term. Yoga is having some great results for people who suffered from stress incontinence – in other words, an accidental leak of urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise and so on.

Yoga strengthens and tones a variety of muscles groups, including those in the abdomen, the lower back and the pelvic floor muscle itself. There are various yoga poses that can help manage incontinence better and your qualified yoga instructor will be able to help.

Tip 4 – Train your bladder

Some people find that bladder training helps them too. This works with stress incontinence but with urge incontinence too. The latter is when the bladder has a sudden urge to empty, making it difficult to get to the toilet in time. If you can’t make it to the bathroom in time, an embarrassing leak could ensue.

Training your bladder means holding on between toilet breaks for a certain length of time. For example, when you get the urge to visit the toilet, override this urge by clenching your pelvic floor muscles and resist visiting the bathroom for a length of time, such as 10 minutes. Over time, you increase this amount of time from 10 to 20 minutes and so on. If you need help with this, your doctor may be able to refer you to an incontinence specialist.

Tip 5 – See your doctor

Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and so if it continues, becomes worse or you are in pain when you pass urine, seeing your doctor is essential. It is common for women to suffer from incontinence immediately after birth. For some women, it soon disappears but for others, it can carry on for some weeks. However, if you are still struggling to control your bladder several months after birth, see your GP or have a chat with your health visitor.

Incontinence, on one hand, is to be expected after birth but it should right itself within a few weeks. If not, follow these tips – which ones worked for you.

HARTMANN Direct stock a range of incontinence products, ideal for use during and after pregnancy, helping you to manage accidental leaks.