The Importance Of Proper Recovery After A Workout
Posted on May 04 2019
All of us do workouts with our own set of goals and expectations. Some workout for muscle gains, while others work out for the mental health benefits. Well, whatever is your fitness goal, one thing is true that all of us care about the health benefits of workout and in our quest to achieve quick results of fitness, we tend to ignore on the most vital element-recovery.
We often get to read and hear about the health benefits of workout and side-effects of inactivity, but seldom do we hear about the importance of recovery, maybe that’s the reason why we ignore it.
So, is post-workout recovery an important thing to consider? But how does it help? Isn’t the hard workout that yields us good results? Read the article further get the answer to many more such doubts and to know how recovery can be the most important part of your exercise.
The Reason You’re Not Finding Better Workout Results
In spite of working out regularly, certain gymgoers complain about not finding impressive results. They relate this to be a cause of insufficient volume of workout. But it won't take long for them to realize that overtraining doesn’t yield good results either.
There’s a misconception in people that a workout must be so hard that you should feel significant soreness for several days.
Appropriate training creates a sense of muscle soreness, but this shouldn’t last for several days. If this happens, then you are doing a poorly designed workout.
Did you know? Over-training can lead to decreased performance, slower healing, reduced physical performance, elevated B.P, decrease in immunity, disturbed sleep and so on.
Recovery Of Your Muscles Is As Important As Working Out
Most of the fitness enthusiasts make this common mistake. They are obsessive about high-intensity training all the time. Little do they realize that training hard results in significant soreness for several days. You may not be aware that most successful athletes and bodybuilders train 4 days a week, sometimes 5, while they spare the other 2 days of the week as a rest/recovery period.
How Does Recovery Help Your Muscles?
Basically, recovery is the time period that happens after the end of one workout and before the start of the next one.
A recovery includes time for stillness, both physical and mental, participation in activities that provide mental and physical rejuvenation.
The reality of workout/exercise is that you don’t make progress when you work out, you make progress when you recover from the workout. This may sound strange to you until you understand how it works.
While it is true that a great and a strong body is built by intense workouts and weight lifting, your muscles need a certain amount of rest in order to strengthen and grow.
Your workouts cause certain changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown, reduction in energy stores (glycogen), mineral and water loss. Recovery is important to replenish these energy stores and to restore damaged tissues.
Hence, recovery is the time you give your muscles to help them reconstruct.
How To Decide On The Amount of Recovery Needed?
Recovery is a variable that depends on factors like the intensity level of your workout, the total volume of your weekly training, injuries, illness, your age and so on. So, you can decide on the number of rest days by taking into account your fitness level, intensity, frequency, duration of your workout. Moreover, your body gives feedback like muscle soreness, impaired physical performance as an indication that you need a break.
Your Rest/Recovery Days Enhance & Compliment Your Intense Workouts
First and foremost, a rest/recovery time shouldn’t be characterized as being sedentary. Recovery is helpful for both body and mind but it shouldn’t last an entire day.
Rest or recovery helps you to remove the challenge of hard exercise. By planning your rest/recovery period wisely, you can achieve better muscle building and stronger muscles.
Each day of the week should contain a decent amount of movement. Your rest/recovery period need to include light workouts. The difference is that your activities are less demanding and generally performed at a lower level of intensity. The recovery hours are actually meant for growth and repair of your muscles. During the recovery period, you build more muscles, replenish glycogen stores more easily and let your nervous system get back to an optimal working state. Recovery/rest day will not only help you grow faster, but it’ll also improve your performance on the day you get back to the gym.
A good amount of rest will allow you to perform at a higher level and do more volume, both of which will make the sessions more effective. Your nervous, immune and hormonal systems get back to a situation conducive to growth and performance.
5 Potential Benefits Of Recovery Time
1. Allows you to build more muscles.
2. Prevents overtraining
3. Reduces the risk of injury
4. Fuels your future workouts
5. Aids in better sleep
Incorporate Designated Rest days In Your Regular Routine
Always remember, your sole purpose in training must be to get good results. Don’t train to feel good about yourself. Working 7 days a week for an hour doing simple workout may not be beneficial for faster gains. Instead, try working out for 40minutes 5 days a week but increase the intensity of your workout. The point is to work as hard as you can in a shorter amount of time by giving an appropriate amount of recovery time for your muscles.
Below are some ideas on how you can design your workout for better gains.
1. If your training includes heavy and light workouts in a proper sequence, you may not need many rest and recovery days.
2. If you workout for 5 days a week and you are working on both strength and cardiovascular fitness, try 3 days of strength training, 2 days of cardio and 2 days of active rest.
3. If you’re doing a combined cardio/weight routine, your aim should be to maximize both the modalities and avoid overtraining.
For example, you can do cardio on all the days of the week, complemented with a 3 day/week weight regimen targeting all major muscles of the body. On the days you do both, you may have to reduce your cardio time or intensity so that you have some energy left for your weight training.
In the end, the quality of your training is more important than quantity…
After all, good training is evaluated by getting good results and good results are not achieved by improper and insufficient recovery…
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