The Essentials of Recovery
All of us get sore and physically tired at some point along our fitness journeys, especially if you just started working out or changed your normal routine. Soreness is part of the process, but prolonged soreness can deter us from continuing to work out or give us a negative view of exercise. Here are some quick and easy ways to help you recover more quickly.
If you are like most gym-goers one of your main goals is to lose weight. When you begin exercising, you need to make sure you are eating a healthy and well-rounded diet. Don’t Starve Yourself!!! As you begin to exercise different chemical processes will begin to rev up inside your body. If you starve yourself, you will slow these processes and make your body hold on to every calorie you consume. Without adequate calorie intake your body will not be able to make the necessary repairs before your next training session. Also remember to drink plenty of water. Water helps speed up the recovery process and forces the byproducts of exercise out of the muscles.
Rest involves two different components: sleep and time off from training. Your body does most of its rebuilding while you are in REM sleep. In order to fully recover from strenuous exercise it’s important that you get enough sleep each night. Taking days off from training is also very important. If we continue to train the same muscles groups day after day without adequate rest we never allow them to grow. Give yourself about 48 hours in between heavy days in the gym or long runs.
Soft Tissue Work (Stretching and Foam Rolling)
Soft tissue work can be a lifesaver when you are sore. Take a day to warm-up with some easy cardio and then get to work on your recovery with stretching and foam rolling. Static stretching can help you lengthen out those tight muscles and increase your flexibility. If you aren’t familiar with foam rolling, you will come to love it. Foam rolling is a great way to loosen up bound fascia and help clear out those unwanted byproducts of exercise. So when you are really sore, take that extra day to work on yourself and recover.
Photo: Team Traveller
- Gym Rat or Not, Don’t Forget to Do This at the Gym (fitsugar.com)
- Me and My Foam Roller (spherefit.wordpress.com)