If you like most fitness enthusiasts, you probably push yourself hard in the gym and love feeling the burn of a tough workout.
But what happens when all that intensity takes its toll? If you're not taking steps to recover properly, you could be doing more harm than good.
In this quick guide, we'll tell you more about what truly matters in the context of recovery so you can focus on the right things and feel your best day in and day out.
Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Recovery?
As any athlete knows, the key to success is in recovery. That's why, after a long day of training, it's important to take some time to rest and recuperate.
But what exactly is recovery? And what are the best ways to ensure that your body is able to recover effectively?
Recovery is the process of rebuilding and repairing following strenuous activity. It helps to restore energy levels, repair muscles, and remove wastes and toxins from the body.
By taking the time to focus on recovery, you can ensure that your body is able to handle the demands of training... and progress further!
And that means you'll be one step closer to achieving your fitness goals.
What Matters For Recovery?
Okay, so what does recovery actually entail? Resting may be the first thing that comes to mind, but there's a bit more to it than that.
There are, in fact, a few key things that matter for recovery from physical activity.
These are namely,
4. Stress Management
Let's take a look at each one individually.
What do you think is the most essential element for recovery? Is it rest? hydration? a good 8-hour shut-eye?
While all of these are important, the one thing that is absolutely essential for recovery is food.
That's right, without proper nutrition, your body will not be able to repair itself properly after vigorous exercise.
Just as a car needs the right fuel to run properly, your body needs the right nutrients to recover from strenuous activity.
Perhaps the most important nutrient in our diets is protein.
Because protein is essential for the body and builds up most tissues, enzymes, and hormones, you have to find quality sources of it and include them in your eating habits regularly.
The general recommendations are to get 0.8-1g of protein per lb of bodyweight, mainly from animal food.
However, you can just build a habit of getting in 3 high-protein meals per day, without counting calories.
This is a good start!
It's no secret that water is essential for our survival. We need it to stay hydrated, power our cells, and flush out toxins.
But did you know that water is also crucial for recovery? When you work out, your muscles are damaged, and their energy sources are drained.
Not to mention, many important minerals/electrolytes leave the body with your sweat.
For them, to repair and grow stronger, they need water. Water helps to deliver nutrients to the muscles, and it also helps to remove waste products that can build up as byproducts of your vigorous activity.
Besides, water is essential for any other process in the body.
If you're looking to speed up your recovery time, make sure you're staying hydrated.
And again, there's no need to count every sip of water - just make it a habit to always have a bottle of fresh mineral/spring water with you... and sip from it regularly!
Sleep is an essential part of our daily lives, yet we often don't get enough of it.
A good night's sleep is crucial for our bodies to recover from the day's activities, especially from training activities.
When we sleep, our bodies are better able to repair damaged cells and tissues, and we also consolidate our memories from the day.
This means that getting a good night's sleep is essential for proper recovery from.
Without adequate sleep, our bodies will not be able to recover properly, and we may start to feel the effects of fatigue.
If you find yourself feeling tired during the day, make sure to get some extra sleep at night (at least 6-7 hours of sleep, total.)
And if needed, take a power nap every now and then!
When the body is stressed, it releases hormones that can hinder the recovery process in a multitude of ways.
In addition, stress can also lead to poor sleep quality and loss of appetite, which can further impair the body's ability to recover.
The most important factor when it comes to stress management is to stay aware of yourself.
Respond, rather than react and always observe yourself and how certain push your buttons.
Last but not least, recovering from workouts to workouts is a lot about giving the body enough time.
Generally, speaking, intense, resistance-training-based workouts would require you to give the body 48-96 hours of rest before training the same muscle groups again.
Pair that time window with good food, hydration, and sleep, and you will achieve successful adaptations (gains!)
To Wrap It Up
So how do you optimize your recovery? What are some key things to keep in mind?
We’ve outlined the basics for you, but if you want more specific information or advice tailored to your own needs, be sure to consult with us!
The better you recover, the sooner you can hit the gym again and start seeing results!