You plan your workouts, but do you plan your recovery? We’ve heard a common theme of “no pain, no gain,” and that may skew our perception of the necessity of recovery. Some individuals
may also have the mindset that if they aren’t sore after workouts, they didn’t work hard enough. There’s also the belief that we need to work through pain, or being extremely tired from a busy work day. That is not the case.
Recovery is integral to reaching your health and fitness goals. It’s important to highlight that recovery is more than what some may believe to be as solely stretching. Just like the saying, “you can’t out train a bad diet,” I’m here to tell you, it’s much harder to reach your fitness goals
without all-around recovery.
In addition to stretching techniques, recovery includes a balanced workout program to avoid overtraining, sleep, and nutrition to name a few. These all play a factor with your performance in the gym and the other 23 hours of the day.
When it comes to your post-workout routine, here are a few options for you to incorporate:
• Cardio cool down for about 5-10 minutes
• Static stretching
• SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) with a foam roller to help speed up your recovery byworking the tissue.
Outside of your workout program, you should also place importance with your sleep and
nutrition. Without enough sleep and proper fuel, your body is working harder to keep you functioning at its highest level. Moreover, some days, all your body needs is to literally be at rest. Taking the time to stop and recover will get us back up and running faster than draining
ourselves. If we can make the time to charge our phones every day, we can take the time to charge up ourselves. Just like a car that requires gasoline because it can’t run on an empty tank–neither can you.
It’s admirable to push ourselves to break past limits, but we must look at our overall wellness.
For example, I have clients who ask if it’s acceptable to do two workouts in a day. My first
question back is, “are you willing to eat and recover for the amount of stress you want to put on
your body?” If your answer is NO, that’s okay. You have a better chance of success by setting
up a practical routine for your lifestyle that you can implement and maintain. By having a
consistent sleep, nutrition, workout, and recovery routine you’re creating a lifestyle, and not a
quick fad diet and exercise plan.
Plain and simple–recovery is key to reaching your health and fitness goals.
By Maricris Lapaix, NASM Certified Personal Trainer