Rest and recovery are crucial parts of any fitness regime, they are possibly as important as the actual exercise itself! Despite this, too many of us are not letting our bodies recover in the correct way and we are doing ourselves and our fitness goals a disservice.
When you perform excessive amounts of exercise and don’t give your body the proper rest and recovery it needs, you can experience negative side effects such as fatigue, poor sleeping patterns, decreased immunity, mood swings, loss of appetite and decreased performance.
It is not just muscle repair we talk about when we say recovery either; recovery involves the repair of the nervous system, chemical and hormonal balance and mental state too.
So how do you let your body recover properly? Firstly, there is a different between rest and recovery. Rest refers to the act of physically letting your body have a break. You should have at least one day of rest before attempting to work the same muscle groups again. It requires a minimum of 48 hours for a muscle group to recover, with full recovery seen within 72 to 96 hours after the work-out. Rest is an equally important part of any work-out, necessary to built strength, muscle and endurance.
Recovery refers to the techniques and tricks that we can undertake to maximise our body’s repair. These are things such as adequate hydration, nutrition, heat, ice, stretching, posture and compression. Be sure to properly hydrate, get 6-8 hours of sleep each night and be sure to address any aches or injuries properly.