Give Yourself a Break!
We live in a stressful world filled with long work days, pollution, smoke, traffic, line-ups and never-ending technological demands. During any of these stressors your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases and your palms start to sweat. If you keep piling on the stress, eventually something has got to give, something will breakdown. Exercise offers up so many positive benefits, including the ability to turn back time on the aging process, but it is another stressor. You need to listen to your body and give yourself a break when you truly need it. Over-training is not healthy, exercise recovery is crucial.
4 Exercise Recovery Techniques
Spend time each week stretching to improve your mobility and balance, to help prevent injuries and to calm your mind. Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds, as the brain holds us back from really getting into the stretch until after 10 seconds.
Try switching your stretch poses around to dig into your muscles a little deeper. For example, see what it feels like when you flip your palms face up in the Child’s Pose. Play around with stretches, have fun and be creative during this stage of your workout.
There are so many benefits to foam rolling. I recently learned a way to get even deeper into your muscles while foam rolling. Rather than just roll up & down and from side to side across the muscle, try moving the limb of the body part your foam rolling.
For example, if you’re foam rolling your calf, move your ankle around while doing it. You’ll get much deeper into the muscle, thereby giving you even more myofascial release.
Feel how energized you get after breathing through a few deep belly breaths. Breathing helps kick us into recovery mode pretty quickly because every call in our body needs oxygen. Muscle can’t be built without it.
When we sweat, we lose valuable bodily fluids. In fact, ~20% of sweat is made up of blood. We also lose a lot of sodium and a little potassium. You can’t build muscle until you’re hydrated, so you really want to drink before, during and after a workout.
A great way to see if you’re drinking enough water while exercising is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. If you’re lighter afterwards, you didn’t drink enough water during your workout. If you’re one pound lighter, you need to drink at least three to four cups of water within an hour of your workout. By adding salt into the water, you’ll help the water to get into your cells faster.
To Sum it up…Exercise Recovery is Crucial to Your Health
The world we live in is a stressful one. Although exercise offers so many benefits, it is still another stressor. Give yourself a break when you need it; over-training is not healthy. Some great exercise recovery techniques are stretching, foam rolling, belly breathing and hydration strategies. I’d love to hear how you recover after a great workout. Please share your comments below.