Many beginners on the path to good health start their fitness journey with a vow to never stop. And that is what they do!
They exercise throughout the week without giving the body any rest to recover. as a result, they end up feeling sore and tired all the time. At this stage, most give up exercising saying that it is too hard and makes them very tired.
If you are the relentless exerciser then this post is for you!
What is the difference between rest & recovery?
Rest means inactivity. Taking a rest day means you remain largely inactive and not exerting much. Taking recovery day means you are consciously opting to do something to help your body to recover.
Take an example: Rest day would be you sleeping all day to give rest to your muscles allowing them to heal. Recovery day would be doing light stretches to help soothe your sore muscles.
Recovery is defined as returning to a better state, while Rest is defined as inactivity. In other words, having a rest day would mean that you plan on being inactive and not partaking in much physical activity. Taking a recovery day means that you are consciously opting to do something that helps your body recover.
What are the best ways to recover?
Replace Lost Fluids
If you have been following my #40NotOut series then you already know why water is important for overall fitness. We lose a lot of water during exercise and a good way to replace it is by taking a few sips of water in between breaks during exercise.
Water helps in nutrient movement & supports metabolism. Thus, it is important to hydrate even after you finish exercising. It will help you with quick recovery.
Eat Healthy Recovery Foods
About an hour before you exercise, you need to eat a light snack like a banana for a burst of energy. After exercising, you need to refuel your body. Please don’t make the mistake of eating anything that is in front of you.
Choose a healthier alternative. Reach out for high-quality proteins and carbohydrates within 60 minutes post-workout. It will help you to recover, repair faster.
Rest and Relax
Take a time-out! Our body is blessed with the capacity to recover and repair on its own.
Just take rest – its the best way to recover or heal after a tough workout routine. Do nothing – at times, that is the best thing to do.
Stretch It Out
Stretching after a workout is a wonderful way to soothe tired muscles. Stretching is a wonderful way to care for your body. Yoga offers some brilliant stretches & traditional cool-down exercises have some amazing stretches for the whole body.
I sincerely believe that you must master some easy cool-down exercises for better health and faster muscle recovery.
Get a Massage
If you are someone who is at the beginner level then a regular massage will help. However, if you are at a medium level in your health transformation journey, then please ensure that the therapist is trained for massages that are specifically designed for recovery.
And, if you are a sports person then please invest in a sports massage like a deep tissue massage with your sports therapist. It is critical to take a massage that not only suits your body but also contributes to recovery.
Take an Ice Bath
This one can jolt you! An ice pack is fine, but imagine dipping your whole body in ice water or pouring ice-cold water over your body. Well, it is a technique that athletes, therapists and coaches swear by. Research backs the theory that it helps flush out toxins and delays muscle soreness.
Some therapists advise alternating between hot and cold water for better effectiveness. You can alternate between 2 minutes of a hot shower followed by 30 seconds of cold water. This can be repeated for 4 minutes or so interspersed with medium temperature water.
Get a Bit More Sleep
Sleep is not at all overrated. It is the best way to help your body recover. Experts believe that anyone who exercises regularly must sleep for atleast 7 to 8 hours.
The Growth Hormone (GH) is produced while sleeping and it helps in tissue repair and growth.
So, friends, these are a few tips that continue to help me to rest and recover during my on-going health transformation journey. Do share your own tips and let me know your experiences. I would love to read them.
I really hope my post and the #BlogchatterA2Z series on my blogzine inspires you.
Do write in your queries, suggestions and comments. Would love to read and respond.
Dear Reader: You must know that I am not a healthcare expert and nor am I posing to be one through this series. I am sharing my personal experiences and journey. I urge you to speak to your healthcare professional before trying anything in this series.