Did you know that there is a difference between resting and recovering? The two are critical components for any workout plan to be successful. The essential elements of rest and recovery are actually quite simple to implement and will make your entire fitness journey more satisfying and complete.
Rest: This is the time spent not training and the amount of sleep you get during that time. Pretty easy, see? Sounds easy enough, but let’s talk more about how you should spend this time as it is critical in assuring your body’s getting exactly what it needs when you’re not working out.
Recovery: This is how you strategize techniques and actions to get the full reach of repairing your body while you’re not working out. Recovery includes chemical and hormonal balance, muscle repair, nervous system repair, even your mental state.
If your goal here is to have a healthy lifestyle then balancing your fitness, diet, and extra curriculars are always top of mind, but R&R can not be forgotten.
So how do you make sure to maximize rest and recovery? Check it out!
Something I think everyone can raise their hands to - SLEEP! Though everyone has their own specific individual needs, for most active people, I recommend a sweet 6-8 for you active people.. Things that can help you get it in are sleeping with no artificial lighting and with fresh and cooler air. Try cracking the window open during the night.
Tying back to my blog about How You Can Drink More Water - HYDRATION! By keeping yourself hydrated, you literally are making your body happier. You may notice lower stress levels (more happiness), improved skin conditions, and fluid movements from those sore muscles you tore up during workouts.
Tying back to my Nutrition Fad Diet blog post, NUTRITION is just as essential as every part of rest and recovery. Your body needs protein to grow and repair those muscles. By eating foods that you know are good for you (less toxins, less alcohol, less sugar…you get the gist!), you are giving your body a better chance at having a smoother recovery - You can’t complain about that!
STRETCHING: This may sound like a tough one because sore muscles can be unpleasant. Sore muscles don’t want to move, MAKE THEM! Dynamic stretching (motion stretching) is the key. Remember - The more you use those sore muscles over the next 48 hours the faster you’ll recover. A light jog works wonders for releasing lactic acid a.k.a the sore stuff. Make sure that you keep it fresh by rotating the different stretches you practice every so often - This will ensure that you hit every muscle area.
Lastly - TREAT YO SELF! Starting a serious workout program is a great excuse to book yourself a few massages for the month. Make sure to apply heat or ice compressions to any injuries or aching muscles. This is a great way to treat your body right when it needs that extra TLC (tender love and care). Better to handle minor pains now, than to have them stop you from reaching those gainz! All athletes that compete at a professional level know that an ice bath after a workout is THE BEST way to recover. Mind you, ice baths are for the strong… which means everyone!
What other ways have you aided yourself in rest and recovery? Everyone is different, so there is no wrong answer!