The Power of Rest and Recovery

The Power of Rest and RecoveryKeeping up with a regular, consistent workout program can be one of the most rewarding things you do for your health, especially when you are working your body hard. With every workout, your body adapts a little more efficiently to heavy loads, endurance activities, and stress levels, but adequate rest and recovery is necessary in order to continously achieve gains and improve your fitness.

Rest and recovery… if you have ever taken the time to consider what involves proper rest and recovery, you will find that it isn’t simply lying down and resting.  In fact, this is a contrary idea, as rest and recovery should entail many factors including nutrition, sleep (not vegging around all day), and hydration, among others.  With proper recovery, you are more likely to go into a workout day-in and day-out with a renewed sense of power and focus.  Listed below are some key points to consider with rest and recovery so that you can continue to meet your goals and health improvements on a regular basis.

Rest and Recovery to Help Reach your Fitness Goals

  • Nutrition.  Your nutrition is important for you for more reasons than your body weight.  The food you take in is used as energy for your working muscles and you need sufficient energy for your working cells to recover and repair worked muscles.  In addition, certain foods are toxins when we ingest them, which is why processed foods and alcohol are two no-no’s following a workout.  One of the best solutions for a recovery eating plan is to create a clean eating meal plan for the week.  This way, you are not as likely to indulge in alcohol and fast food.
  • Hydration.  Yes water is important for health, but do you know why?  First, it flushes out toxins in your blood.  Did you just complete endurance activity?  Guess how all that lactic acid is eliminated from your blood?  Without water, that lactic acid will linger in your body and cause you to be constantly fatigued.  It was once thought that lactic acid caused soreness, but this is far from the truth.  If you are looking to keep your energy levels up, drink (sip) on water throughout the day to keep hydrated and to flush out toxins.
  • Sleep.  It is cliché to say you need to rest, but a little more concrete guideance is needed.  Sufficient rest is what you need rather than sleeping the way you may normally sleep.  The truth is your body’s immune response (which ties into recovery) is dependent on sleep.  Ever wonder why you get a cold after a time period when you were awake all day long (24 hours)?  The body needs about 8-9 hours of good restful sleep in order to regenerate into its usual self.  If you wake multiple times throughout the night, this is not adequate.  Your body needs quality REM sleep to repair and rejuvenate all of the body’s working cells.  Keep notes on how your sleep patterns are or consider a Fitbit to track your sleep activity.
  • Rest.  Resting between workouts is something everyone should do.  The term resting; however, means to wait a particular time period before your next workout with the same muscle groups.  You should wait at least 48 hours before working the same muscle groups and try to coordinate it where one day is leg and cardio day and the next arm day.  With this scheduling, you can get the most from your time and effort and your gains will continue to flourish.
  • Stretching.  Gentle range of motion and stretching techniques will not relieve sore muscles, but it will help keep them in good balance.  When your muscles are in good balance, your performance is directly benefited.  Consider stretching all your major muscle groups at least four times per week after your workout to help keep your muscles in a great balance.
  • Myofascial Release. This is a painful, but wonderful remedy for your muscles.  With each muscle contraction, your muscles develop a reaction in the fascia that cause hardening, which feels like a “knot” under your skin.  This is where foam rolling comes into play.  Consider a foam rolling plan after every workout and if you are a runner, make sure to focus mostly on your thighs, legs, and lower back areas.  If you are unsure about foam rolling, consider a relaxing Swedish massage to release the fascia areas.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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