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Understanding the Different Elements of Rest and Recovery

Fitness man holding a bottle of fresh water on black background

Recovering and resting after a workout is essential to making sure that your training program goes off without a hitch. Many people aren’t actually aware that there is a crucial difference between recovery and rest, and even more don’t understand how to properly implement them both.

Defined generally as a combination of relaxation and sleep in the time that is spent not training, rest is the easiest concept to implement and understand. Recovery, on the other hand, refers to actions that are specifically taken to maximize the way your body repairs itself. These actions can include proper nutrition, hydration, stretching, stress management and more.

Resting: SleepEclipse Home

The time that you spend asleep is the best opportunity that your body has to recover from the stress and strain of the day. Not only do adequate levels of sleep help to ensure that your mental health remains strong, they also improve muscular recovery and hormonal balance. You need to get enough sleep every day, and each person has different needs according to their workout, lifestyles, and even their genetic makeup.

To extract more out of your time asleep, try to make sure that you settle into the most natural setting possible, with no, or minimal artificial lights around you. If possible, wake up with the sun, and make sure that your body has access to fresh air and cooler temperatures for a better quality of sleep. Studies have shown that in some cases, the hours that you sleep before twelve at night can be more effective than those after.

Recovery: Hydration

Recovery Hydration

Making sure that you get enough water in your system is a crucial part of looking after your health during work outs and exercise regimes. Water improves your performance, recovery, energy, and well-being. Many athletes are very attentive to the levels of hydration that can be achieved throughout and during training sessions. With enough water, your body is more capable of absorbing nutrients, dealing with stress, and more.

One of the simplest ways to learn more about your hydration levels is to look at the color of the water you pass when you urinate. If it’s pale yellow or clear, then you are well hydrated. The darker your urine is, the less hydrated you could be, indicating that you need to get more water into your system.

Recovery: Nutrition

Recovery Nutrition

The foods that you eat before and after a workout have the capacity to assist in healing your body, or making you feel worse. Processed foods and alcohol contain toxins that are extremely harmful to your body, often, eating balanced meals in moderation is the best way to increase your performance levels and remain as healthy as possible.

One thing that is worth remembering is that wheat and dairy can be processed differently by different people, so you will need to learn about how these products affect you. Some people can process these foods without any side-effects whatsoever, whereas others have very severe reactions.

Often, the food options that we are presented with in today’s society go far beyond simply fueling the body, so picking the right items is not always as simple as it might same. We go to social events regularly that provide foods and snacks, and going out to dinner can be complicated when it comes to picking the right meal. If you’re looking to get more out of your workout, or reduce your overall body weight, the best thing that you can do is look for balance, so that you can function normally, and achieve the results that you want at the same time.

Recovery: Stretching

Recovery Stretching

We’ve all had those moments where we wake up first thing in a moment, and we just know we need to stretch out all of our muscles before we can jump into action. You need a certain degree of flexibility in your body to ensure that you can move well and remain free from pain during day to day activities. Ensuring that dynamic stretching is included in your workouts, and your recovery phases after exercising, can be incredibly beneficial to your regimen.

There are a number of different stretching exercises that you can do, but the first thing you need to work out is which areas of your body suffer from the most tightness. Don’t get caught up repeating the same stretches that you’ve always done if they are not specifically right for you.

If you don’t know which variations to consider, try looking up new routines and trying different things. Remember, if anything starts to feel painful or uncomfortable, this may be an indication that you should see a doctor, or try something else.

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About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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