Rest & Recovery

Rest & Recovery

October 30, 2022 8:48 am

“Life is a balance between rest and movement.”

– Rajneesh

We know that moving our body is essential for both our mental and physical health however when do our workouts become a cause of inflammation instead of being beneficial. In this article, we explore the impacts of over exerting the body and the dangers of ignoring rest & recovery.

Pre & Post Workout

Before jumping into a workout, it is vital to warm up and prepared, to prevent injuries. The body is not designed to go from 0-100 straight out of the gate, so beginning with a warm up is the most beneficial way to get maximum effects from a workout. Maybe a warm up looks like a walk or a simple stretch. A favourite to warm up body, is by jumping on a rebounder or practising somatic shaking out the entire body. Without warming and activating the muscles prior, you’ll feel a lot of stiffness, tightness and resistance in the muscles and joints, which will impact on performance. Cooling down is equally as important to make sure the body temperature cools down gradually and your breath rate lowers, post movement. Mobility and flexibility are also areas that need time spent on them, to help the body come back to homeostasis and come back into a parasympathetic ’rest and digest’ state to decrease any inflammation from training.

Rest Days 

When and why it might be time to give yourself a rest day…

What is the root cause of all disease? Inflammation. Researchers now believe that low-grade inflammation is associated with most chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and cancer.

Intense exercise such as HIIT, can be healthy in moderation but too much can accumulate to build up to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked with chronic diseases.

Acute inflammation is a normal response to high-intensity exercise but when prolonged, consistent par take in this type of exercise can cause a sustained response of panic that affects the entire body. Taking regular rest days gives the body an opportunity to reset. Rest days don’t have to be denied of movement but as far as stress that you may experience during a structured workout, the body needs days off from this kind of unnatural stress.

When our bodies our over exerted it tells us through showing us signs, such as…

Symptoms of too much exercise:

  • Being unable to perform at the same level.
  • Needing longer periods of rest.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Being depressed.
  • Having mood swings or irritability.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling sore muscles or heavy limbs.
  • Getting overuse injuries.
  • Feeling bloated.
  • Holding onto excess weight in stomach area.

If your experiencing some of these symptoms, maybe its time to pull it back a little. Try a new form of movement, who knows you may find something you really love. Try taking a yoga class, trying out Pilates, hop in the pool or go for a walk in nature.

Maximising Muscle Repair

Living an overall healthy lifestyle is the most important step you can take to maximise your muscle recovery. You may have heard of many ways to rejuvenate after a workout, however no recovery method can make up for poor nutrition and a lack of rest.

Top Ways To Recover:

  • Nutritional support: Fuelling your muscles with recovery promoting foods to repair and rebuild tissue damage post workout. Protein is essential for muscle repair and carbohydrates as your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. During exercise, your muscles use this glycogen as their primary form of energy.
  • Hydration: Being adequately hydrated is essential for recovery, this is because water flushes toxins out of the body, transports nutrients into the cells and helps regulate body temperature and pH balance. Water also helps with muscle soreness and tension.
  • Supplement support: Magnesium is a great supplement to implement to support recovery. This is because it supports healthy muscle function. It works by blocking calcium uptake. This helps the muscles better relax after contracting during a workout.
  • Sleep: Sleep is underestimated within the recovery world. It truly works it magic by giving the muscles an increase in blood flow, which brings along oxygen and nutrients that that help recover and repair muscles and regenerate cells.
  • Physical therapy: Massage improves recovery and reduces pain by relieving muscle tightness and tension. Muscle tightness and tension is relieved through an increase in tissue elasticity. An increase in tissue elasticity occurs as muscle temperature increases due to an increase in blood flow.
  • Cold water therapy: Cryo or cold exposure helps recovery by again, causing your blood vessels to constrict. This reduces blood flow to the area. For example, an injury you’re applying ice to reduces swelling and inflammation.

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This post was written by Amelia Crossley