Take time for Recovery!
We can’t go hard all the time, even if we want to! Without breaks or periods of rest the body doesn’t repair itself and can’t get stronger. The recovery phase is where our bodies and our minds adapt to the stress placed on them.
It’s hard though! Once we get into a rhythm with our workouts who wants to stop? After all it took awhile to get started in the first place. Sometime we fear recovery. Perhaps it’s the fear of having to start again, fear of losing fitness, fear that we haven’t done enough. This fear takes over and we lose focus on the fact that rest and recovery is part of training and part of improving. Just like the mind and body needs sleep daily to reset our circuits and take care of clean-up and repair, our bodies need regular periods of low/no intensity, low/no volume and sometimes day’s or weeks off to fully recover.
While there is no one sized fits all approach, generally speaking most people can benefit from:
Enhanced Recovery Techniques:
Various techniques exist for enhancing / improving or attempting to improve recovery in addition to pure rest. These include but are not limited to: hot and cold baths, compression garments, massage and other manual modalities, nutrition strategies, supplementation, topical creams and stretching. While some techniques show more success than others in terms of enhancing recovery a key to note is that we might not always want to enhance or accelerate recovery in order to improve performance. Strenuous workouts breakdown the body and it is through the repair process that the body improves and adapts to this stress. If we continually super-compenstate this process with outside assistance (things other than balance nutrition, hydration and rest) the body doesn’t learn to adapt in the same manner and can potentially lead to a decrease in performance.
Things to consider: