How to make the Most of Your Workout Recovery Day
Everything in excess is bad for us and the rule applies to the healthy activities we do. This means that even exercise which is proven to help our overall health can be dangerous if it’s being overdone.
Here is what every gym-goers should understand, we are only wasting all our effort if we don’t get the proper amount of post-recovery workout.
During a workout, we break muscle and induce stress in muscle tissues. Depending on the workout, this break down process can last up to 24 hours. Without a proper recovery period, we are risking ourselves to a plateau, muscle fatigue, or worse can result to chronic release of stress hormones.
Taking rest days shouldn’t be something gym-goers and body builders should fear. Recovery days are essential to keep the body in its best condition to lose weight and build lean muscles faster. Here is a quick guideline on how to spend post-workout recovery time without feeling guilty.
Get some good sleep
If a person lacks sleep, chances are they become irritable and stressed. Now imagine the same sleep deprivation to a person who is going to the gym every day for hours? They might turn Hulk on us the moment they get annoyed.
Studies show that a person who trains regularly but lacks, sleep can experience decrease in training tolerance but increase the perception of being fatigued. These two can have a negative impact on a person’s productivity in the gym and can pose health risks.
Sleeping is the best way that the body can recover from an intense workout. It helps us rebuild stronger muscles and will regulate hormones for improved health. So never skip sleep or you’ll have to deal with the consequences.
Just add (more) water
When we exercise, we sweat a lot and it won’t instantly stop the moment we stop exercising. A person who works out knows how important water is. Hydrating before and after a workout can promote the synthesis of glycogen in the body. Not drinking enough water can delay the body’s recovery process.
According to The Institute of Medicine, a 3.7-liter water a day should be the minimum intake of a man who works out, while a 2.7-liter is required for a woman.
A lot of gym goers feel guilty of taking a day off from the gym. They tend to overthink and over calculate the calories they should’ve been burning and the muscles they should’ve been building if they weren’t taking a rest. They may be lounging on the sofa but an actively worried mind is not helping the body recover at all. Those worries will lead them to engage in low impact workouts or only a few sets of squats or jumping jacks.
It’s important to note that resting doesn’t mean being unproductive. Meal prepping is a best way to spend a rest day from the gym. Preparing meals for the upcoming week can reduce our chances of unhealthy eating and giving in to our cravings. Not only are we resting, but also doing something that can positively impact our health and supplement the intense workouts.
Hot n cold
Robbie Davis is a fitness advisor who specializes in developing devices to help athletes become more productive and fit. According to him, heat and cold can be very beneficial to the body especially when it has been subjected to physical activities.
A cold therapy, also known as Cryotherapy is best for treating swells, muscle pain and spasms. Giving attention to these discomforts will speed up the muscle’s time to recover. On the other side of the coin, heat therapy can increase the blood flow and can relieve sores. Though these two therapies have a fancy ring to them, these are actually two very achievable therapies. How? Take hot and cold baths after work out and experience their therapeutic benefits.
Just because we are on a rest day doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be unhealthy even just for a day. According to experts, consuming alcoholic drinks can slow down the recovery process of the body. This effect has been linked to the alcohol suppressing the protein synthesis of the muscle during recovery period. Even if we supplement our body with protein, the effect of alcohol couldn’t be countered. So better stick to healthier alternatives of spending time with friends without booze.
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