We constantly say throughout the class “take what your body needs today!”- and what do we mean by that? What we mean by that is to take class at your own pace! If something feels off today, don’t do it! Take the modification. If everything feels amazing today- take the challenges! It’s important to remember this is YOUR workout and you need to take it with how your body feels today. Building from that, it’s important to let your body recover. Working our body too much can lead to over worked muscles which can lead to an injury. So, how do we recover? When do we need to allow our body to recover? How much do we need? What can we do to help our muscles recover? Keep reading below for the importance in recovery and how you can aid in your body’s recovery.
FIRST QUESTION: WHAT IS RECOVERY?
According to Merriam-Webster, recovery is the act, process, or an instance of recovering. Well, that doesn’t really help us now does it. Recovery is defined as the process of overcoming a shortcoming. In laymen terms, recovery is a day designed for you to do some type of rest so your body can recover. Why is that important in True40? Recovery allows for improved performance in future workouts, and it allows for time for your body to heal itself properly in preparation for the next training load. AND it also decreases the risk of potential injury which is another big thing. All of these benefits build and allow for you to continue reaching towards your goals and continuing to kill them!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TAKING A REST DAY?
Exercising causes muscle tissue to break down, when the muscles are given adequate recovery time the body can heal these issues. Which will prevent further injury and replenish the body’s energy store. Too little rest and too few recovery days can lead to overtraining of your muscles. Once you get to this point, it’s difficult to recover. We want to prevent this overtraining, so we never get our body to that point! Taking a day off also helps you promote relaxation in your daily living. That day off gives not only your body but also your mind a break. We are all about balance here at True40 and this balance includes balancing our workouts with adequate amount of rest!
WHEN DO WE NEED TO ALLOW OUR BODY TO RECOVER?
Everybody’s body is different, and everybody will need a rest day on a different day. Rest days depend on the type of workout you’re doing and the intensity of the workout you’re doing. The important thing here is being able to recognize when you need a rest day. What are signs to watch for your body needing a rest day? If you are feeling agitated, moody, have a hard time sleeping, lose your appetite or feel stressed, you probably need a rest day. Another common sign is musculoskeletal aches. If you had a really hard work out the previous day and you’re sore, don’t consider these musculoskeletal pains. Soreness is normal with exercise, make sure you can differentiate between actual pain and soreness! Also, being emotional overwhelmed or stressed is another reason to take a rest day. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Make sure to take rest days for your mental health as often as you do for your physical health!
HOW MUCH TIME DO WE NEED TO TAKE TO LET OUR BODIES RECOVER?
Like I said above, everybody is different. Depending on your workouts and how your body is reacting, depends on how much time you need to take off! Make sure you are listening to your body and giving it all the time, it needs to recover.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT TO HELP MY BODY RECOVER?
When trying to let your body recover, it’s important to fuel your body with foods that allow it to recover! Make sure you have protein in your rest day meals to help your muscles repair and grow. It’s also important to have carbohydrates in your recovery meals to help restore used glycogen. Another important thing is fluids!! Staying hydrated is just as (if not more) important than taking rest days! Giving your body an adequate number of fluids will help keep it renewed so it is able to recover quicker.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ON REST DAYS TO HELP MY BODY RECOVER?
There are two types of recovery: passive recovery and active recovery. These are the two main types of recovery used when referring to a rest day. Passive recovery involves taking the day completely off for exercising. Active recovery is when you engage in low-intensity exercise, placing minimal stress on the body. Maybe you go for a walk with your dog, take a couple minutes to sit on the ground and stretch or take a yoga class! These are all perfect examples of active recovery. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest not only on rest days but also throughout the week. Inadequate sleep can lead to hormonal changes (mainly those related to stress) and delayed muscle recovery. Don’t have a yoga studio nearby (or don’t want to pay for a yoga class)?? YouTube has a couple of great Yoga exerts for you to use as you please!
Another thing we really love to help with our recovery: stretching and rolling out! Using a foam roller, rolling out your muscles that are tender is extremely helpful in muscle recovery! This will also possibly help with your flexibility.
In summary, whether you’re only taking a couple of classes each week, taking a class each day, or exercising like a maniac, your body needs regular rest! Regular rest is needed for muscle repair, preventing fatigue, and improving your overall performance! Letting your body rest if the best thing you can do for your fitness journey. Make sure you are listening to your body, so you are able to reach your fitness goals