The Importance of Proper Workout Recovery - Fort Lee Physical Therapy - Fort Lee, NJ
Hyun J. (June) Park,  PT, DPT, CIDN

Hyun J. (June) Park, PT, DPT, CIDN

Dr Hyun Park graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is certified in dry needling by the Integrative Dry Needling Institute and a member of the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association).

The Importance of Proper Workout Recovery

Living an active lifestyle is part of living a healthy life, but making sure you are taking care of your body while being active is just an important.

Living an active lifestyle is part of living a healthy life, but making sure you are taking care of your body while being active is just an important. That being said we thought it would be interesting for us to share some tips on how to properly recover from a workout.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting to workout, or if exercise has been integrated into your life for a long time – proper recovery is very important. The following tips can help you attain maximum benefit from your workout and reduce the risk of developing an injury.

We are sure you are aware that when you exercise your body undergoes stress, and the tissues in your body need this stress in order to improve function and performance. Interestingly enough when you exercise your muscles actually undergo “micro-trauma”, which is due to the demand of the activity you are performing.

Basically, the reason that proper recovery is important is because it’s your chance for your muscles (and tissues) build themselves back up stronger than before. This trauma/recovery is actually the link between short-term benefit and long-term (lasting) benefits.


Stretching is an important part of recovery, but it rarely receives the time or attention it deserves. The purpose of stretching is to maintain the flexibility of tissues that are tight or stiff from an activity or prolonged position.

Here are three important stretching methods to consider:

  • Static/Isolated Stretching: Static, or isolated stretching is when you hold a stretch position for a long period (recommended timing at least 30 seconds).
  • Dynamic stretching: Dynamic stretching is using movement to combine muscle groups.
  • Foam Rolling: Foam rolling is a type of self-mobilization and massage.

A general rule for stretching is to use dynamic stretching before exercise, static stretching after exercise, and foam rolling throughout (especially in problem areas). By using various stretching strategies you will be able to maintain and improve your overall mobility.

Refuelling (Hydration and Nutrition)

Proper fuelling before exercise is important, but nutrition for recovery is often overlooked. It is important to remember that our bodies rely on a well-balanced diet that includes the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Refuelling after a workout with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats will help your body get the most benefit from your activity.

That being said it’s no secret that water is absolutely essential to overall health. Proper hydration is key to replace the fluids that you loose during your activity. Water also helps regulate your temperature, maintain healthy joints, and eliminates waste that builds up in your system during activity. A good habit to form is making sure that you keep a bottle of water handy at all times – stash one in your purse, gym bag, car, at work, and somewhere in your room (if you wake up thirsty). You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good you’ll feel if you start to really dedicate yourself to drinking 8-10 bottles a day.


Listen to Your Body

With a doubt – the only person who knows how your body feels after a workout is YOU. Listen to your body and react appropriately. This includes recognizing the signs of fatigue, pain, soreness, and start to increase recovery time between workouts. Part of listening to your body will also mean pushing working harder when you feel good. Another important thing to remember is not to be a victim of peer pressure when you are at the gym. Trusting yourself and what your body can handle is imperative to keeping healthy.

If you are starting a new exercise program do not be afraid to ask your physical therapist about how your body can give you feedback after you exercise, and how you should respond to that information.


Although we often take sleep for granted, it is your body’s prime opportunity to recover from physical activity.

When your body is resting the repair of your muscular, cardiovascular, skeletal, and immune systems is happening. The recommended amount of sleep for teens is 9-10 hours a day, and 7-8 hours a day for adults.

Some ways that you can the most out of your sleep is to strive for consistent bedtimes, avoid watching TV and using electronic devices before bed, and always sleep in a comfortable environment. It is very possible that you will notice that you sleep better on days that you exercise, and will definitely notice more effective workout if you are giving your body the right amount of rest.

We hope you found this post useful, but if there are other questions that you need answered please feel free to get in touch with us – we are here to help. One way to contact us is through this form, or call us at 201-585-7300.

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