Rest and Recovery After Exercise

 

I find that many of my clients tend to overtrain and not give their bodies the well deserved rest it needs. Rest and recovery are key in helping to keep your body strong and fit. Resting also helps to prevent overtraining injuries from occurring. Believe it or not, rest and recovery is just as important as exercising.

In order to increase your fitness level, make improvements in your favorite sport, or just to be healthy, your body must be exposed to stresses such as strength training and cardio conditioning. Once stress is applied, your body then needs time to adapt to the stresses. This is when recovery time takes place to help your body grow and develop properly, without injury.

If you are just beginning an exercise program, it’s very important to start off slow. Your body needs to adapt to the exercise you have started and the stress overload on your body. Taking a day off from training every other day will help keep your energy levels high and body feeling strong. Without rest, your body will begin to fatigue easily, motivation may slip, increased risk of injury may occur, which leads to the possibility of dropping out of your program.

Muscle soreness and stiffness is very common when exercising, for beginners and more advanced fitness enthusiasts. When muscles are sore, it is most important to rest that muscle group until the pain is gone without an anti-inflammatory. Don’t let muscle soreness get you down. Your body will need time to recover, thus making you stronger with proper rest. I always tell my clients that if the body hurts, then you should not train. Training sore muscles does nothing good for you. It only slows down your body’s growing process and increases risk of injuries.

I’m providing to you the most important rules of rest and recovery. The following recommendations will help you to cope with your sore muscles and may help expedite your recovery process.

You must get adequate sleep.

Sleep is most important in your rest and recovery period. Your body goes through a healing and growing process during this time. Eight hours of sleep is what is recommended for good quality rest.  For the best sleeping conditions, make sure the room is dark, cool, and quiet. To ensure you are getting the best sleep you can, do not exercise, drink alcohol, watch television, or eat right before going to bed.

Proper nutrition and hydration are keys to recovery after training.

In order to stay hydrated, you must replenish lost fluids and electrolytes after training. So drink water and consume the proper foods to replenish diminished energy stores. It is most important to consume the proper carbohydrates and proteins, the macronutrients, and vitamins and minerals, the micronutrients, within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. This will ensure proper growth and development of the muscle tissue you’ve broken down.

Stretching will help to keep muscles loose but will not prevent muscle soreness.

Stretching immediately after exercise, such as resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning, is very important. Stretching will keep tight muscles loose and flexible which may help to prevent injuries. However, stretching will not prevent muscle soreness. Muscle soreness primarily comes from the break down of muscle fibers or micro-tears in the muscle itself.

Massages are a favorite of many of my clients.

A good massage has several benefits. Massages help to increase blood to your muscles which enhances oxygen and nutrient delivery for faster recovery. Massages also help to rid the muscle of lactic acid, a chemical biproduct that forms in the muscle during exercise. Lactic acid is what causes the burning sensation you may feel when training with weights or doing isolation abdominal movements. Additionally, the warming and stretching of muscles during a massage may increase flexibility and can remove knots and help adhesions to feel better. Research shows that massages also improve one’s mood, reduce fatigue, and increase relaxation. Overall, massages are great for your physical and mental well-being.  Locally, we recommend Spa Mariana for Sports Massage and a variety of other treatments.

So take time and get your rest. Your body will feel stronger and perform better!

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