It has been a little crazy around here since my husband and I finally are getting settled into the new house we moved into.
AND let’s not forget that its BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! And whether you have kids or not, it’s a great time to take your BODY back to school! For one more week I am offering 10% off my Online Personal Training Programs, which allows you to GET SMART AND SAVE!
But back to the move. With all the stress that comes with moving PLUS trying to fit in workouts, I was finding that my body was having a harder time recovering from my workout sessions.
So that gave me the topic for my most recent blog post………..
In todays busy fast pace world, we definitely put more emphasis on fitting in as many workouts as we can, and then we neglect the importance of recovery. This is also one of the most underutilized strategies to improve performance during our workout sessions. In addition, being a healthy happy active person will give you more time and energy to give to others, thus improving overall quality of life.
We have different systems in our body that need recovery including the hormonal, neurological, and structural systems. Muscles recover the quickest, as they get direct blood flow. Tendons, ligaments, and bones receive indirect blood flow and then can take longer to recover ( and also makes them more susceptible to over training stress).
It’s no longer just getting REST in between workouts. There is a big difference between REST and RECOVERY.
Rest is the combination of actual rest and not training. Easy enough right?
Recovery is the actions and methods you use to maximize your body’s repair.
The recovery strategies are listed below.
If you want to recover like a superhuman, take contrast showers. The concept is simple and efficient (because you take showers every day right?) You ‘contrast’ from hot to cold as you are taking a shower. This practice is believed to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), reducing the amount of lactate in the blood and inflammation. The contraction and dilatation of the blood vessels with hot and cold water will also help the body get rid of toxins. Keep the ratio 3:1 for hot and cold water. For example if you showered with cold water for around 30 seconds, switch to hot water for 90 seconds. No need to get it perfect, just guestimate.
This is the most important time to recover. Adequate amounts of sleep help provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscle recovery. And not just 7-8 hours of sleep, but the QUALITY of sleep is important to. Shut off all electronics an hour before bed to help shut down the brain for the evening. Having a routine of going to bed and waking up the same time each day will help with sleep quality too. Better sleep quality equals better recovery.
Trust me when I say, you cant go balls to the walls every day with your workouts. Backing off the gas pedal some days with your workouts allows the tissues in your body to recover, Performing light intensity cardio like walking or biking is beneficial for regulating heart rate recovery, decreasing stress factors, and improve recovery.
Adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat are needed for maximal recovery. Consuming an ample amount of protein provides amino acids that help repair muscle tissue and organs that were stressed during your workouts. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, especially during intense workouts, and they limit the rate of muscle breakdown. Fat is also a source of energy for the body, and develop various hormones needed for fitness gains. Maintaining a balanced intake of all three will speed up recovery. Check out my previous blog post on How to Make Eating Healthy Simple for some simple guidelines.
Performing mobility exercises and stretching are a MUST. Training at high intensities and duration over time stiffens up the body. Try performing mobility exercises before and after your workouts. This helps keep the joints opened up and prevents stiffness, which decreases the quality of your movement when you workout. Stretching before bed will also help, and it can help calm your mind and body as well for better sleep. Be sure to change up the stretches you do. If you need some example mobility exercises, check out one of my Dynamic Warm Up Videos.
This is probably the best bang for your buck strategy. During your workouts, your muscle tissues are being broken down. This can lead to built up muscle adhesions that decrease the range of motion and quality of movement in your joints. With that, muscle imbalances can occur which can further lead to injury. You can use SMR with foam rollers, trigger point balls, lacrosse balls and other tools to roll out those adhesions and improve blood flow to the muscle for recovery. Check out my Total Body Foam Rolling Video for a short tutorial.
Focus on and implement 2-3 of these recover strategies each week. No need to be perfectionist, but try implementing some strategies that you haven’t tried before
Help others learn how to recover from their workouts by sharing this blog post below!