Recovery After Exercise

We are all know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to a high level performance, but many still feel over train and feel guilty when we are taking a day off. Rest is physically important so that muscle can repair, rebuild and restrengthen. In worst cast scenario, having too few rest can lead to over training syndrome.

 Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.

If you’re just starting out in exercise, it’s important that you build into it slowly to allow you’re body to adapt to the demands of sport. Maybe try exercising on two consecutive days, but have a rest on the third day. If you just keep going, without any rest, your body will soon start to fatigue and you’ll find it difficult to complete any exercise sessions. 

If you have just started physical activity or performed a new exercise for the first time, you might be feeling a little sore or stiff but don’t start doubting all those promises of feeling better for exercising just yet. In most cases this is a reaction from your body as it tries to adapt to the new experience. Starting exercise or performing a new movement pattern can result in:
• Severe muscle soreness
• Muscle stiffness
• Decreases in strength
• Decreases in skill levels

For those who are more experienced exercisers and are maybe training for an event, rest and recovery is also vitally important.

Plan your training carefully, include rest days where you let you’re body recover from the stress and begin to adapt to the training. Try thinking ahead to the race/event date, plan different sessions for each week. Maybe do a couple of weeks of more intensive and hard sessions, but follow that with an ‘easy week’ where you’re body can adapt to all the hard training you’ve been doing .

There are things you can do to help you recover after exercise :

1. Sleep is one of the most important forms of rest and provides time for the body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of training.
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (8hours per night is a good guideline)
• Ensure your sleep is good quality, make sure the room is dark, quiet and peaceful.
Passive resting such as reading and listening to music are great ways for the body to relax, both physically and mentally.

2. Cool-down routines are important. If you cease exercise immediately, without cooling down, blood lactate buildup in the muscle tissue won’t be flushed away as efficiently, resulting in muscle soreness and swelling. Cooling down after exercise gives your muscles time to buffer the lactic acid, and it keeps the blood flowing through your capillaries, which reduces lactic acid buildup.

3. Rehydrate yourself after exercising.
Post-workout dehydration causes several unwanted conditions:
  • Waste products will remain in your muscle tissue, increasing your post-workout muscle soreness
  • Thicker blood stresses your cardiovascular system
  • Dehydration significantly reduces mental and physical performance
  • Nutrients, especially the serum amino acid needed for protein synthesis, will not be delivered to your muscle tissue as efficiently
Your recovery from exercise is dependent upon re hydrating yourself after working out. This is the most important step you can take. If you neglect re hydration, your recovery will stall completely.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Good points. For me, warming up before workouts usually makes recoveries much easier. Post-workout stretching also helps. In order to increase the intensity of my trainings I am taking dietary supplement Navy Seal Formula manufactured by MGNutritionals. My strength increases steadily and I am gaining muscles more quickly.