Listen up! You should not feel guilty for taking a day off to rest and recover after an intense workout. Your body needs this time to strengthen and repair your strained muscles. According to the American Council of Exercise, recovery is about tissue regeneration and nutrient delivery. Both which make your body stronger.
Without rest and recovery, your body will slowly break down, leading to fatigue or even overtraining syndrome. Overtraining syndrome, or burnout, includes chronic muscle and joint pain, weight loss, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and so on.
Remember rest is as important and vital a part of your exercise plan as comfortable sneakers. Keeping a workout journal can also help you avoid future issues. And it’s easy to start one. Takes notes of your mood, motivation, and energy, as this can alert you to any noticeable changes. If something changes, it may be time to reevaluate your workout plan (and take some extra “rest” days).
There are easy ways to recover.
It’s not that difficult to schedule time into your workout for recovery. It can be as simple as taking a nice cool-down walk after an intense workout. There are two different types of recovery – short-term and long-term – and both are needed in your workout routine.
Short-term recovery happens immediately after a workout. It is the most common form of recovery and involves low-intensity exercises, or cool-down exercises, after an intense workout. This can include walking, jumping jacks, swimming, and even getting a massage. Long-term recovery includes periods of rest built into extended periods of training and allows for elite athletes to get the break they need after continuous activity.
Sleep is essential for our overall health, especially for our bodies and our brains. Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to get the maximum benefits, which includes tissue repair and muscle growth.
Sleep affects everything – from our immune system and appetite to breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. The National Sleep Foundation says inadequate sleep can interfere with your body’s ability to recover after a workout, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep aids with muscle coordination. To reiterate: Sleep is important, especially when it comes to your recovery plan.
And lack of sleep can be a sign of something more serious, such as overtraining syndrome, or depression, diabetes, and other health problems.
Everyone has limits.
Your body can only handle so much before it breaks. And it will burn out if you push yourself too hard without any room for rest. It may cause you to have to take an even longer break because of serious injury or muscle damage. If you want to create the best workout routine for yourself and you don’t know where to start, consult with a personal trainer who has the knowledge and background in balancing exercises and recovery strategies.