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Friday, May 23, 2014

Rest + Recovery = A Winning Performance

We all do our best to eat healthy foods and feel the best we can while incorporating workouts into our daily routines. Here are some tips from a high level athlete.

By Tania Archer
Health&Fitness Enthusiast . Speaker . Idea Catalyst

An essential component of any workout is ensuring your body gains the benefit of a proper Rest & Recovery routine.

Your after exercise recovery plan has a huge impact on your athletic performance and your training endurance. A proper exercise recovery plan is critical to muscle and tissue repair as well as strength building. Muscles need at least 1 to 2 days to repair and rebuild, which is why weight lifting or resistance training right after an intense workout session or intense sports practice is not ideal, as it will simply breakdown tissue instead of building muscle.

It is strongly recommended to alternate workout days with a staggered weight or resistance training routine, always making sure not to work the same muscle groups 2 days in a row.

So what do you do after your workout to speed exercise recovery?

The TOP 10 commonly recommended methods to get your recovery routine on track are-

1.) Replace Fluids: You should be replacing fluids during exercise in addition to filling up after exercise as water supports every metabolic function of the body including transferring nutrients to where we need it the most.

2.) Eat Healthy: You need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissue, get stronger and be in tip top shape for your next challenge. It is encouraged to eat within 60 minutes of a workout including proteins and complex carbohydrates in to your meal to aid tissue restore and strengthening. A great after workout beverage is CHOCOLATE MILK because it tastes great and it is high in protein in addition to containing 16 essential nutrients.

3.) Cool Down: After any exercise session, continue to move around at a very low speed and intensity for 5 to 10 minutes to help with the purging of lactic acid from your muscles; this can aid with reducing muscle stiffness. A good warm up and cool down is helpful for multiple workouts or competitions in one day.

4.) Active Recovery: To help muscle repair and refuel faster, easy and gentle movements helps nutrient transportation in the body, in addition to waste purging.

5.) Over-training: Excessive exercise, lack of rest and maximized daily training will drastically harm your workout gains and limit your natural recovery efforts. Having a well balanced practice schedule that incorporates a consistent nutrition plan are two simple ways to ensure faster recovery.

6.) Rest: Your body speaks in volumes. There will be periods that your body just won't respond to the simplest of workouts. Pushing a body in this state usually results in injury. In this case, injured or not, take 2-3 days of low to no activity to allow your body to repair itself at a natural pace.

7.) Quality Sleep: When we sleep our body produces Growth Hormone GH, which is responsible for our tissue growth and repair. GH is fuelled by nutrients produced by our balanced daily meals and snacks, which is why a balanced daily diet consisting of the 5 basic food groups is necessary for consistent athletic performance, improvement and fitness results.

8.) Massages: Massages are great for improving circulation and can aid with recovery by encouraging lactic acid removal from tissue and blood movement through injury points.

9.) Ice Bath: The warming and rapid cooling of muscles repeatedly is said to constrict and dilate blood vessels helping to flush waste products of athletic performance, like lactic acid, from the tissue.

10.) Stretching: After your warm-up, during your workout and after exercise gentle stretch your muscles to improve flexibility and aid your body's recovery.

By building a proper Rest & Recovery Routine in to your regular workout or exercise plan you are giving your body the advantage of performance improvement.

In order to ensure your consistent growth as an athlete or fitness enthusiast it is essential you listen to your body when it is tired (plateau) and just do nothing. Always proceed with caution when starting a new workout regime by seeking the advice of a certified coach or physician before strenuous activity.

Tania Archer
Twitter @taniaarcher

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