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Feeling worse for wear after your workout? Modifying your go-to recovery methods could help to boost your exercise results. Whether you’re n...




Feeling worse for wear after your workout? Modifying your go-to recovery methods could help to boost your exercise results. Whether you’re new to fitness, or a seasoned gym-goer, you’re probably familiar with the pumped up feeling you get after you finish a workout. The endorphin rush that floods your body when you get moving helps to keep your mood in gear and your health on track. But if you don’t allow your body to recover fully after an intense workout, you can be left feeling worse for wear.

Without adequate recovery, your workout can leave you feeling fatigued with physical discomfort and exhaustion, brain fog, headaches and nausea. A new study shows that 29 per cent of exercisers felt so bad after a workout they ended up missing work, whilst 55 per cent admitted to feeling forced  to stay indoors due to extreme soreness. Experts have dubbed this phenomenon ‘the fitness hangover’ which is essentially when your workout leaves you feeling worse off than before you exercised.

Recovery is important to side step any hungover feeling. Recovery helps  to prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness, rebuilds energy stores in the body and prevents the build up of toxins. It’s also important to have rest days to prevent overtraining (which can actually increase body fat and cortisol, and prevent restful sleep)


There are lots of reasons that exercise might not be giving you that pumped up feeling that you’re searching for. During exercise, glycogen stores in the muscles get used up, which can leave you feeling light headed. You’re also losing electrolytes through sweat, causing a drop in blood pressure which can bring on dizziness. ‘Hydration varies from person to person, so make sure you know what you body needs, and if you’re sweating, drink to replace the water you’ve lost. Furthermore, when you exercise, blood rushes to muscles and lungs, reducing blood flow to the digestive system. This can cause nausea and stomach pain,’ explains Lee Oakley. Here we show you the best ways to beat unwanted symptoms and make sure you feel your best.


It can be tempting to push through the pain barrier when you’re working out, and whilst getting out of breath during a HIIT class or feeling the burn when you’re lifting weights is pretty much part and parcel of a workout, be aware of pushing your body too far. If you’re overdoing it, you’ll probably get exercise symptoms like cramps, dizziness and physical sickness. 

These are all clues that your body is telling you to stop and rest, so don’t ignore the signs.


Good nutrition is the cornerstone of any fitness routine, as eating well helps aid your recovery by fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs to repair muscle – and macronutrients should be top on your list of postworkout priorities. Carbs are needed for glycogen synthesis and protein is needed for muscle repair. Fats are also needed for hormone production, as an energy source as well as for inflammation reduction. Those doing regular and high-intensity training should get at least 20 per cent of their calories from fat.. Try to eat within 45 minutes of your workout. A peanut butter and banana protein smoothie or an omelette with avocado on wholemeal toast are great options to nourish your body.


Looking after yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity to avoid fitness burnout. Allocating 15 minutes after your gym workout to relax in the sauna, or having a warm bath, can help boost blood flow and muscle relaxation, whilst getting enough sleep will allow your cells to repair and renew properly.

Don’t forget to stretch after a fitness session – it’s as important as the workout itself. Stretching after your workout and on rest days will help to reduce stiffness and help with DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness). Child’s pose, kneesto-chest stretch and forward bends aid joint flexibility and keep you mobile.


Recovery doesn’t have to mean lying on the sofa all day. Gentle movement known as active recovery can also aid circulation, muscle recovery and energy levels in between workouts, but you should ensure to listen to your body so that you don’t overdo it. Active recovery can be used during a workout, for example in a HIIT class you could take a light jog in between the highenergy movements. It can also be used immediately after a workout, like stretching in a cool down. Lastly, active recovery can be used on a rest day – exercises like swimming or tai chi are useful as they’re gentle on the body.