Though being a fitness enthusiast, leg days were always a nightmare for me, and though my mates call me an exuberant kind, leg days used to bring out something totally unseen in me. A day filled with the most tiring and straining workouts – I used to skip leg days many times making silly excuses.
But I have seen many fitness maniacs who love running after leg day. Totally unbelievable for me at first, I used to convince myself that they are just straining their legs beyond the required. Gradually, I started wondering if such an intense workout was necessary for the legs, and I was astounded at what I found.
Why Are Leg Days So Hard?
Legs – the thighs, calf, hamstring and the glutes – form the largest of muscles in the body. As a result, the leg workouts consume tons of calories, i.e. they burn a lot of fat. Moreover, to see visible results for lower body exercises, you have to engage in intense workout sessions.
Whether it be overhead squats, power clean, reverse lunge or calf raises, the heavier the weights, greater the effects.
Sore muscles after a leg day is not an uncommon sight. This is because of the accumulation of lactic acid in muscles resulting from deficient supply of oxygen, which makes running after leg day quite unimaginable.
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How To Prevent Leg Day Damages?
Well, the damages and soreness caused to the muscles can be prevented to a great extent with a well-planned workout session. And if you can reduce the damages and inflammations, you may after all not have to skip running after leg day. Here are some tips to beat the blues on and after an intense leg day workout:
- Never miss a warm up session: Warm up session is as important as the actual workout session. Most of the inflammations caused to the muscles are due to poor warm up.
- Do stretching: Stretching exercises are essential in avoiding damages to muscles. It improves blood circulation, flexibility and removes stiffness. It also relieves post-workout aches and pains. It can be done both during the warm up session as well as after the main workout.
- Choose the weights wisely: Don’t overstress to achieve results. Make sure that the weight is not heavier than what your muscles can handle. It’s true that an intense session gives better results. But a ruptured ligament is just not worth it.
- Take breaks: After each session, take enough breaks to relax your muscles.
How To Recover From Leg Day?
As you know, leg days are so hard that it takes at least a day to recover from the soreness. An extra-intense workout could result in muscle stress that could make this recovery period even longer. Following this simple routine can aid in getting you quicker to recovery:
- Get enough sleep: Your body needs rest. Studies have proved that getting adequate sleep can help you recover from soreness faster.
- Drink enough water: Dehydration slows down the metabolism of the body and adds to the soreness of the leg day. Make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated, especially on the leg day.
- Eat protein rich food: So much of the hard work and time spent would be wasted if you do not consume enough food. To help your muscles grow better, add more protein to your diet. Lean meat, eggs, soy, nuts, cheese are all good sources of healthy protein.
- Get a massage: A good massage could help you recover from the soreness of muscles. It can reduce stiffness caused to the muscles during intense workouts.
- Anti-inflammatory: If it gets excruciatingly painful, it is recommended to consult a doctor and get an anti-inflammatory prescription. Spices like turmeric and ginger are natural anti-inflammatory agents and may be used as home remedies.
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Running After Leg Day – Whether To Skip Or Not?
Okay, nobody compelled you to run after leg day. But apart from their gym workout, some people have a routine of running a few miles every day. And if you are such a person, here is what I would recommend:
Working the same muscles for two consecutive days is a BIG NO. But if you still wish to run, then you need to keep two things in mind:
- Make sure that your actual leg day workout is light and not too intense. There should be no room for inflammations, and the calorie consumption should be minimum.
- Do not add additional laps on the leg day to your daily ones. It helps in keeping the stress in check.
Well, that’s how you can overcome your worries regarding running after leg day. The legs are just as important as any other body part. Proper care and attention are always required for better health and strength of the legs. So, schedule your workout to get the optimum results out of it.