How do you recover?

Are you recovering the best you can? We all have goals, we all have physical challenges we would like to achieve but can you make it easier to achieve them. I would like to share with you our tips to maximise your recovery to achieve more. My personal favourite is Number 1.

What Happens During Recovery?

Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.

Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise.

1. Chocolate milk

Chug some chocolate milk. The protein it contains will kick-start muscle recovery, and those chocolatey carbs have been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes for the body to get ready for its next challenge. Drinking fat-free chocolate milk led to a higher concentration of glycogen, or muscle fuel, in muscles 30 and 60 minutes after exercise, compared with the sports drink. Replenishing glycogen after exercise helps future performance.

2. Sleep is good

While the exact relationship between sleep and exercise is still unclear, research suggests that sleep deprivation can have a significant negative effect on performance and recovery.

Sleep affects the whole body and all its systems — including the brain, heart, lungs, along with metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. During sleep, the body produces the majority of its growth factors and hormones that aid in daily muscle repair and recovery. Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night allows those growth factors to do their work. So getting extra Zzz’s after a tough workout might do more than you know to speed your body’s recovery.

3. Make the foam roller your friend

Much of the soreness that goes along with exercise occurs when our muscles and fascia — the connective tissue that runs throughout the body — become “knotted.”

Rolling out muscles with foam or semi-rigid rollers can help remove those knots — aka myofascial adhesion's — and prevent muscle imbalances from forming. Performed immediately before and after exercise, it may help decrease feelings of delayed onset muscle soreness while speeding muscle recovery. While not exactly noted for its comfort, the benefits of foam rolling are worth it.

4. Get a massage from SC Sport Centre

Research shows that massage helps reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. Getting a massage helps to loosen up muscles, increase oxygen and blood flow into muscles, remove lactic acid buildup (which is what makes you sore), and deliver nutrients from your body to your muscle.

5. Try compression garments

For many athletes, it’s important to quickly regain the energy (and willpower) to run, jump, or throw once again. Research suggests wearing compression garments can help decrease muscle recovery time, especially strength recovery, between intense bouts of exercise.

Resting is just as important as working out because it's an equal part of the total process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. “Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down. Rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild. Rest days are important because they prevent injury and fatigue. Every time you hit the gym for an intense workout – whether it's a HIIT session on the treadmill or a powerlifting routine in the weights area – you will be creating microscopic tears in your muscles.

The bottom line is, when you work out, you break down the muscle.  It is damaged. When you recover, it gets stronger and thus, you get stronger.  If you do not give your body the time it needs to recover, it will always be in a state of breakdown and you are doing the exact opposite of what it is you are training for.  Therefore, if you are not fully recovered, you cannot fully perform.  If you cannot fully perform you will never get better.

It is something I feel people disregard.  So, next time you think about your fitness plan, remember, recovery days are workout days.  It does not mean you do not do anything.  It means you spend 30 or 40 minutes doing active recovery and mobility exercises so that, tomorrow, you can dominate!

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