Today I wanted to discuss recovery when it comes to all the pressure that we put on our bodies to transform. So many of us spend the majority of our time focusing on our training plans that we forget the most important element in working towards this healthy lifestyle, recovery.
Giving our bodies time to recover is key in becoming faster, stronger, better and even lose those pesky lbs you've been focused on for weeks, months and even years.
Here I share my top five go-to tricks for recovering from all the work I put in day after day.
- Sleep - This is the top thing that you can do for your body. During sleep you aren't just getting the rest you need to think clearly and function, but you're giving your body the adequate time to truly heal from the strain you put on it during your exercise routines. Torn muscles have time to heal and become stronger. If you like intense exercises, sleep will help to ensure that you have the energy to actually keep up with your next workout and not "gas out".
Check out the video at the bottom of this post by PictureFit that gives you some additional great information on the importance of sleep with building muscle!
- Drink Lots of Water - This is probably something that feels like common sense, but so many people don't drink enough water on a daily basis then throw in some exercise, and the need to increase that water intake, and it's definitely not happening. Rule of thumb (from the American College of Sports Medicine) is for every 30 minutes of exercise you should increase your water intake by at least 12oz. When you start calculating that, it can get very overwhelming...but so worth it! The more water you drink
- Listen to Your Body - This is something I have to constantly remind my husband and myself about on a weekly basis. If your body is telling you that it needs rest, then stop pushing yourself and give yourself the rest. You don't have to completely not workout, you can lessen your weights or just stick to light cardio...but pushing your body when it's screaming at your to stop is only going to hurt you in the long run. If you push yourself when you need to rest you will eventually hit a point where you have to take several rest days and that will really throw a wrench in your overall goals.
- Stretch - I know there have been some recent studies that say stretching actually isn't something that NEEDS to happen. I will be honest and tell you that I was very excited to hear this when I wasn't really big into stretching...but now I've changed my mind and think it is very beneficial. Trust me, stretching is NOT my favorite thing...I really don't like doing it, but the way I feel after I'm done and then the next day is very worth it. I do believe that stretching helps to alleviate soreness from a workout and the added benefit is that you get to work on your range of motion!
- Epsom Salt Baths - This is probably my absolute favorite and one that I go to when I'm having a really bad DOMS experience. (DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). The first real experience I had with this was when I had really killed it during this specific workout that called for you to do as many reps as possible (AMRAP) in a 20 second time frame for 6 rounds of calf raises. I went all out and was feeling AMAZING until 2 days after and I could barely walk....literally. It took me a good 5 minutes just to stand up from bed and it lasted for DAYS. I had really over done it. Someone saw me waddling across a parking lot and asked me what was wrong, I explained what happened and she suggested I take a hot Epsom salt bath and the rest was history. It worked WONDERS!!! If you're ever having a sore day I highly suggest trying this out for yourself.
Now it's your turn...what are your go-to recovery strategies after a killer workout or an intense week of training?