When it comes to finding the right formula for fitness success, the exercise-recover-repeat pattern is the way to go. Though most fitness enthusiasts get the training ends right, the recovery gets overlooked most of the time. Most exercisers skip recovery out of the belief that unless theyâ€™re gutting out sub 2.30 marathons or training for the Olympics, recovery is trivial. Wrong!
Evidence shows that skipping on proper recovery has dire consequences on your training performance and overall fitness and health levels. Opting for this inefficient training strategy can leave you more susceptible to pains, aches, infections, burnout and even injury and disappointment with your exercise resolution.
Therefore, if youâ€™re looking to implement the best recovery strategies for improving performance and steering clear of trouble, read on to find out what works and how implement it.
Taking ample rest between every workout is the surest way to guarantee maximum recovery. Though exercise puts enormous stress on the body, triggering physiological adaptations, itâ€™s during the rest period that these positive adaptations actually take place. Therefore, if your body does not get enough rest, you wonâ€™t reap the benefits of all your hard efforts.
Good sleep is key to recovery. And here is why. During sleep, the human body releases a hormone known as â€˜the growth hormoneâ€™ (HGH)â€”which stimulates muscle growth and repairâ€” thus speeding up recovery and adaptation. According to researchers at Bangor University in Wales, even one nightâ€™s sleep deprivation can have negative effects on workout performance.
As a result, make sure to build sufficient rest into your daily training schedule. Aim to increase the qualityâ€”not just the quantityâ€”of your sleep, especially after a hard training session or when being sleep deprived. Shoot for at least eight hours of high quality and interrupted sleep during the night. In addition, make sure to space out hard workout days with off days. During your recovery day, you could choose to cross-train or just go out for a meditative walk.
Rest is just one piece of the puzzle. To speed recovery, you need to back up your plan with the right diet. Itâ€™s evident that what you eat and drink does affect your performance in all areas of life, still, the right nutrition approach is vital for faster and optimal recovery. The sooner you provide your body with the right nutrients following a workout sessionâ€”during whatâ€™s known as the recovery windowâ€” the better youâ€™ll able to replenish your energy tanks, flush out metabolic by-products and repair tissue damage.
So how a post-run menu should look like? For starters, you need to ingest the right carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores, and lean protein to repair damaged muscle tissue. Research shows that taking the two components together delivers better recovery results. Shoot forÂ 1 g of carbohydrate for every 2-pound of your body weight and your ratio of protein to carbohydrate should be 1:3, meaning 30 g of protein to 90 g of carbohydrates. Do your math!
Nevertheless, most exercisers are not that hungry after a workout sessionâ€”this is especially true after a long run which can suppress appetite for hours afterwards. In such cases, you could opt for liquid replenishments. Researchers at The Northumbria University found that ingesting a milk-based drink following a workout session has better recovery effects compared with just drinking water or traditional carbohydrate-based sport drinks.
Here you have it! If you really want to grow as an athlete, you need to put the same effort and mental focus on recovery as you do with the training side. Otherwise, youâ€™re setting the stage for failure by inviting more performance plateaus, injuries, and painful burnouts. Therefore, make sure to put into practice these recovery principles and watch your performance soar as a result.
About the author
David DACK is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness.
If you want more free tips from David DACK, then go to Â http://runnersblueprint.com/weightlossrunning.html and for a limited time you can download his 35-Pages “Weight Loss By Running” eBookÂ for FREE.