Rest and recovery is just as important for your fitness performance as your workout.
If you don’t give your body plenty of time to recover in between your workouts, you risk overtraining syndrome., characterized by persistent fatigue, mood disturbances, and decreased athletic performance.
With regular training, your body recovers from the acute fatigue in a few days.
Functional overreaching and non-functional overreaching require longer term recovery with days to weeks to months before progressing to overtraining syndrome, resulting from inadequate rest and recovery while in a state of overreaching.
Many adopt a “no pain no gain” and “push through” mentality – but implementing that practice in your training increases your risk of overtraining and therefore risk of injury. If you want to train tomorrow or next week, take care of yourself today.
Here are a few ways you can recover well and get better results from your workouts.
improve your sleep
Duration and quality of sleep are both important for optimal productivity during the day as well as tissue and function recovery.
If you aim for an earlier bed time, but always seem to be a few hours late, try setting a “bed time” alarm. This alarm will break you out of a binge watching or a work marathon, telling you that it’s time to get ready for bed.
If you have trouble falling asleep, get rid of blue-light in the hour before bed. Don’t check your emails as you’re getting ready, and don’t check your screen once you’re in bed.
Other strategies include natural relaxation solutions such guided meditation recordings, white noise, or hemp spray and essential oils, whose scents can relax your mind and body.
eat your nutrients
Just like sleep is important for your body to repair and recover, providing your body with the right nutrients is also key. Opt for nutrient-dense foods on your rest day to power up for your next workout.
Whether your muscles are feeling tight or you just can’t sit still, active recovery exercises may be the answer. Stretching, with a gentle warm-up, as well as foam rolling and stretching straps are effective ways to make sure you retain your range of motion for your next training session.
An easy yoga class is a great option.
Happy rest day!
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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