Your Workout: Rest & Recover
It’s the time of year when many of us are trying out a new exercise program, getting back on track after the holidays, or cranking our training up a notch to meet new goals. Time and time again we see people who are so motivated and push so hard to meet specific goals but don’t give themselves time to recover. One of the most important aspects of any exercise program, whether you’re training for an Ironman or trying to shed a few pounds, is rest.
Not allowing your body to recover properly can lead to injury and stall your fitness program. Everybody – and every body – is different. Fitness level, past injuries, the type and intensity of your training, and many other variables factor into how and what your body needs to recover after exercise. Being in-tune with and listening to your body is probably your most valuable tool when it comes to giving your body (and mind) the rest it needs. But if you’re wondering what you can do to aid in the recovery process, we’ve got a few tips that can help you get through the rest period and back to crushing your goals.
We can’t say it enough and you can’t drink it enough. Water is crucial to your overall wellness, but it is especially important as your body recovers from a demanding workout. Do yourself a favor, start your morning with a tall glass of h2O, and aim to drink at least a gallon throughout the day. Your muscles, your mind, and your metabolism will thank you!
Fueling your body with the right foods at the right times isn’t only key to weight-loss, but it helps your body in the recovery process. Choose your food wisely and eat at the right times to help restore your body’s energy supply. Not sure what to eat, and when? 9Round members get nutrition advice, and more, in the online Member Portal.
This may seem a bit obvious, but we’re not just talking about ‘rest’ – we’re talking about sleep. Try going to bed early after a tough training session, or squeeze in a cat-nap. Sleep is one of the most important and effective ways to aid your body in recovering, physically and mentally.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to purchase that monthly massage club membership, you’re welcome! If that’s not in the budget, enlist the help of your partner or - probably more realistically - a foam roller. Massage helps loosen up muscles, increases oxygen and blood flow into muscles, and helps remove lactic acid buildup (which is what makes muscles sore.)
As someone who is cold all the time, I really can’t imagine anything more unappealing. However, an ice bath can be very effective in recovery. Icy cold water constricts blood vessels, pushing them away from muscle tissue. As the body warms again, the vessels open up and blood flows back to the muscles, accompanied by oxygen, helping your body to recover.
Whatever stage of your fitness journey you are in, be sure that you are making time for recovery. Sustaining a workout routine and reaching your goals is much more enjoyable when you avoid injury and take time out to rest your mind and body.
* Consult your physician before submerging yourself in a sub-zero tub full of ice.