Rest and recovery are crucial components of any successful training program. Most often than not people assume that both these essential components are the same. However, while rest is defined as combination of sleep and time not training . Recovery refers to the techniques and actions to maximise your body’s repair. These include hydration, nutrition, stretching, foam rolling, stress management to name a few.
Recovery is multi- faceted and involves more than just muscle repair.
Rest and recovery both are essential for optimum performance, health and overall wellness. Sharing my go to tips here which you can incorporate into your daily routine to maximise your overall health and reduce the risk of injury.
1. Sleep – I can’t emphasise enough on how important is sleep for overall health and wellness. Adequate levels of sleep help to provide mental health, hormonal balance and muscular recovery. You need to get enough sleep between 7-9 hours depending upon your lifestyle, workout, activity etc.
Having a sleep routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time is a surefire way to get optimum result from your workouts.
2. Hydration – Drinking adequate amounts of water is critical to health , energy , recovery and performance. Water helps all our functions – eg: lowers level of stress on the heart , improves skin tone to name a few. Stick to drinking normal water as much as you can. Sports drinks are only needed before, during and after strenuous activities. Stay away from flavorings,additives, artificial sweeteners which are an overload on your system.
3. Nutrition – Eating clean and balanced meals in moderation is proven to be effective to remain healthy and increase performance. Educate yourself on topics like dairy and wheat. Different people process it differently. It is always a good idea to experiment with different types of food as to how they affect you. Meal planning, keeping healthy snacks readily available are a few ways to eating healthy.
4. Stretching – Including dynamic stretching for warm ups and static stretching post- workout reduces the risk of injury. It’s important to self- identify tight areas and work on them. For Eg. attending a yoga class regularly can help increase flexibility to move well and remain pain free.
5. Foam Rolling - Tight muscles and trigger points sometimes needs assistance . Foam rolling on a regular basis helps relieve muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation. It also increases joint range of motion. This also reduces your recovery time while minimizing injuries.
6. Stress Management – There are different ways to manage stress. A regular pranayama or breathing exercise ,meditation, nature walks etc are great ways to reduce stress. Determine what works for you best and stick to that plan. Meditation helps reduce anxiety and stress . Pranayama/ Yogic sleep( yoga nidra)can help with insomnia and other sleep related problems.
These are a few ways to increase your output ability, decrease recovery time and lower risk of injury. Never ignore your body until it becomes too late and you are forced to take unnecessary time off due to injury and worse still a burn out.Hope this helps you on your health and wellness journey:)
Registered Yoga teacher
Certified health coach