- What is recovery after exercise? And why is it important to allow the body top recover after exercise?
Exercise is an important part of everyone’s healthy day to day lives, but recovery… that is just as important too! Allowing your body to recover is vital to minimise the risk of injury and to perform well the next time that you exercise regardless of the intensity that you train at. There are many effortless ways that you can help within the recovery process.
- What are the benefits of allowing your body to recover after exercise?
Allowing your body to recover from exercise will aid in:
- Tissue repair
- Function restoration
- Muscle recovery – Fibroblast cells repair tears in muscle tissue helping the tissue to heal and grow resulting in strength.
- Replenishment of glycogen – This is used up to fuel exercise so by resting your body can replenish these energy stores before exercising again.
- Psychological recovery (contemplation, relaxation and rejuvenation)
- Healthy sleep – Constant exercise can cause over production of energy boosting hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, resting allows your hormones to return to a normal state.
- Are you wondering how to know when you need a rest day to recover?
- Constant feeling of sore muscles – muscles haven’t yet recovered from previous workouts.
- Similar but different, pain – a sign of overuse injury in muscles or joints would be having a constant pain.
- Fatigue – let your body if at all you start to feel exhausted.
- Emotions – your emotions can really swing low when you are physically burnt out due to the imbalance of hormones such as serotonin and cortisol. You may become irritable, cranky or have many mood swings!
- Sleeping – As mentioned before, exercising without allowing recovery can hinder your sleeping quality, by over producing cortisol and adrenaline.
- Hindrance of performance – Exercising may feel more difficult to usual.
- Key elements of rest and recovery
Making time for these methods will increase your output ability, decreases recovery time, and lower your risk of injury.
- 1 – Sleep: Suitable amounts of sleep help to provide not only recovery of muscles but also helps to provide mental health and a balance of hormones. The recommended amount of sleep that one should have is between 7-10 hours sleep. Some interesting facts to help you get better sleep are that the sleep quality before midnight (12) is much better and more effective than those after. Sleeping in the most natural of settings, not having lights or televisions on while sleeping and waking up with the sun provides a better quality of sleep, also sleeping in cool fresh airs too!
- 2 – Hydration: Drinking enough water is vital to health, energy, recovery and performance. You should be aware of hydration levels around and during exercise as well as during day to day life including recovery periods. Water is the best way for you to hydrate, on average an individual should drink between 3-4 litres of water per day at the least!
- 3 – Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet away from foods that contain toxins is effective to remain healthy and increase your performance. Finding the foods that your body processes well is also a good start, such as dairy and wheat, everyone processes these differently and finding foods that your body deals with well is better for yourself.
- 4 – Stretching: To enable yourself to move well and remain pain free flexibility is key! You should include dynamic stretching in your warmups before exercising and static stretching for after your workouts.
- 5 – Heat, Ice and compression: this may be a little more time consuming than other elements, however these are methods that you should take advantage of! It’s better to put time in to using heat, ice and compression rather than being forced to take time away from exercise completely due to injury or burnouts.
Performance To Summit offer online and face to face full FUNctional fitness sessions so come and get active with us! Oh, and before we forget… don’t worry about the recovery process, we can take you through that too! Our tailored Health & Wellbeing Workshops will provide you with information regarding recovery post exercise and be given more information on different methods to speed up or better the process.
Some sources used to gather additional information to broaden the knowledge for this blog:
Author: Performance To Summit Team – Dave Pickles & Fay Burrows