Rest and Recovery

You rest after a workout at gym or after exercises. This seems the only logical thing to do right?

However, many people think otherwise. They tend to feel guilty when they take a day off after heavy training. And they tend to continue working out longer and harder with the hope of achieving their desired result faster. Let me tell you that, this is a total misconception. It would backfire and your progress would be hindered.

Exercises or any physical workout will cause changes within our body. These include muscle tissues breakdown, depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) and fluid loss. 

A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild. Working   it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building.

Here's what will happen when you deny your body of a proper rest and recovery period after every muscle building workouts:

1. Detrimental effect on your mental state affecting physical performance

Insufficient rest and recovery will cause a lack of mental focus which in turn would affect your overall performance. Physically, your strength level would drop and you will end up using less weights, doing less sets and reps in your workouts than you would normally be capable of doing. As a result, you fail to acheive the desired progress in the shortest time possible.

2. Compromised hormone levels affecting muscle growth.

Rest and recovery allows our body to replenish depleted energy stores and to repair damaged tissues. It also affects hormones level of testotsterone, insulin, growth hormones and cotisol.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone and in times of stress and insufficent rest, its release is increase causing more muscle breakdown.

Testosterone and growth hormone on the other hand are important hormones in muscle building. Their level in your body would be greatly reduced when you are stressed and tired due to insufficient rest.

The important message here is: Don't ignore or overlook your body needs to rest. It's just as crucial a component as your workouts in muscle building.

 

Here are 5 ways to speed up recovery after your workout:

Rest . Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It's not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.

Try Active Recovery. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.

Eat Properly. After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.

Replace Fluids. You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

  Get Lots of Sleep. While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces growth hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.

 

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