Hey there! Functional Aging Specialist, Lisa Wright from Your Personal Best Training Studio here. I’ve got a fact-filled article for you today about a topic that I think we will hear a lot more about in the future. But first I have a pop quiz for you! Do you know when the magic from your workouts happens? That is, when your body CHANGES as a result of your workout? If you said AFTER, you get a gold star!
That’s right. It’s not DURING your workouts. Your body gets stronger and fitter BETWEEN your workouts. That makes your recovery super important, won’t you agree? And that’s pretty ironic because boosting workout recovery is one of the least-studied aspects of fitness. I think maybe that’s because there’s so much worry that we’re not working out enough, that there’s been less concern we’re doing too much.
But scientists are starting to dive into this topic a lot more now, which is great news. When you work out, especially with weights, you are causing damage to your muscles. When your body repairs that damage, it gets stronger. I have some simple and time-tested recovery tips for you that can help you make the most of your workouts and the time between them!
First, getting enough sleep – especially deep sleep – is important. And it might also be why your body spends more time in the deep sleep phase when you work out regularly. Make sure you schedule in enough time each night to get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep as often as possible If you need help with improving your sleep, whether you need to get MORE of it, or improve the quality of the sleep you DO get, you need to check out my ebook, Supercharge your Sleep. You can get it by following this link to download my FREE eBook as a gift to you https://bit.ly/2YDU7M1
But what else can you do to make the most of your recovery?
Here are some other ideas
My second tip is to eat enough protein because it forms the building blocks of your muscles. I’m not talking about eating big protein-rich meals. Your body can only process so much protein at a time, so it’s better to have smaller amounts throughout the day. The best times are for breakfast, right after your workout, and also a light protein snack a couple of hours before bedtime. Have a protein shake, some nuts, pumpkin seeds, a Greek yogurt parfait with fruit, grass-fed jerky, some organic free-range chicken, mix it up!
Tip 3: Drink enough water! Make sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day to keep your muscles supple and boost your body’s ability to repair itself. (water that you drink DURING your workouts doesn’t count toward this number!) So if you weigh 140 pounds, you’d want to get at least 70 ounces of water a day, and more when you exercise.
Here’s one way to keep track.
Get a 20-ounce water bottle, and put one rubber band around it for how many times you need to fill it up to get your water quota for the day! Again, say you weigh 140 pounds. That means you would have to drink around four bottles, right? So you would put four rubber bands around the water bottle. Every time you finish a bottle, you would take the rubber band off. Pretty cool, right?
Tip 4: Skip the post-workout beer. Research shows that alcohol can get in the way of your body’s ability to recover, plus it can mess with your sleep. Just say, no!
Tip 5: Try foam rolling. Using a foam roller is a form of self-massage, and can help ease knots in your muscles and fascia, which is your body’s connective tissue. Rolling out your body’s biggest muscles, like your glutes and back gives you the most bang for your buck, so I like to focus on those.
Lay on your side on the floor and extend your bottom arm up over your head, and place the roller below your armpit, and roll out those tight muscles! Make sure you keep your core engaged, and you don’t hold your breath!
Tip 6: Get a massage. A massage is a lot less work than foam rolling and a lot more pleasurable. If you can schedule a regular massage, your body will thank you for it! Plus, your massage therapist might be able to tell you if there are any spots on your body that need to spend more time with the foam roller.
Tip 7: This one has to do with taking rest and recovery days. There have been several great studies comparing passive recovery – which is a rest day with very little physical activity – and active recovery. It’s pretty clear that doing light to moderate exercise helps flush out waste from your muscles and can speed up your recovery between sessions. A recovery day doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can mean going for a walk or hike, playing golf, or taking your bicycle out for a spin.
Tip 8: If you’re lifting weights, you should take at least two days off between training the same muscle group. The bigger the muscle group, the more time you need before training it again. So, after doing a lot of leg exercises, you want to take a minimum of 2 days off before working your legs again. Does that make sense?
Tip 9 is probably the most important recovery tip of all.
Listen to your body.
If you’re tired but still want to work out, do something that’s not so taxing on your system, like an easy cardio session or even a walk. If you are feeling wiped out or you need a little break, respect that – but make sure to get back at it tomorrow!
I hope these tips have been helpful! As always I’m here if you have questions. Just leave a comment below or call the studio anytime! 361-857-5087
Talk to you again soon!