Cycle like a pro with these cycling recovery tips. After an intense road race or mountain cycling experience, your ready to be done. While you were racing to the finish line, you had adrenaline on your side. Now, it’s time to hop off your bike and go rest in a lawn chair. Not so fast. There are several steps you need to go through to properly cool down, restore circulation, and recover for your intense workout. Hopping off your bicycle and heading to a lawn chair can put you at risk of injury and muscle soreness. What should you do instead?

Cool Down

For several minutes after your cycling event is over, you need to slowly cycle. Giving your legs time to cool down. Your blood vessels have been expanded to allow for extra blood to pump through your legs. You needed this extra blood for your vigorous exercise. As a result, you need to give your blood vessels time to relax. If not, the blood will have stayed like pools of water in your leg muscles leading to discomfort and pain.

Keep Moving

Once you’re off your bicycle, you need to keep moving. Otherwise, your muscles will tighten up and leave you feeling stiff and sore. By walking around your muscles will continue to contact. Then, you can slowly work towards sitting down to rest.

Hydration

Keep the water flowing. During an intense ride you deplete your water storage through sweating. You must hydrate. One of your best options is water. However, you can also drink chocolate milk or a power drink to replenish your electrolytes.

Protein

In order to repair your muscles, form the damage of intense cycling, you need to consume protein. Begin with a high-protein snack after your ride. Later, eat a meal with lots of protein such as lean meat, eggs, and nuts. If needed, you can add a protein shake to your meal.

Compression Socks or Massage

Another option after a cycling event is to use compression socks. Compression socks can help reduce muscle soreness, fatigue, and swelling. Again, your let’s will be holding excess blood that needs to return to your heart. Use compression socks or massage to return the blood to your chest.

In Conclusion

In addition to the above, you need to get plenty of rest after a cycling event to repair your body. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep for optimal muscle repair.