6 EXERCISE RECOVERY TIPS
There’s one aspect of training that I feel never gets enough attention and that’s recovery. Recovery is rarely thought of or asked about within all the questions that come up about fitness and exercise. Another name I like to use for recovery is Balance.
The balance is between breaking down your muscles during exercise or activity and the time, energy and methods employed to ensure your tissue heals.
Far too often, we focus on doing more, more, more, because we know we are sitting a lot otherwise. Where is the balance in between running, or more, more, more and sitting? Let’s talk about this for a minute because it’s actually very important.
Here are some ideas that when implemented should give you some immediate positive feedback. All of these topics will be discussed in detail later but feel free to reach out to me with your immediate thoughts and questions.
Recovery Methods and Ideas
Here are your recovery methods for improving the balance in your physical, mental, and spiritual life.
#1 Improve Your Sleep
Most of us are not sleeping enough or getting to bed soon enough. Studies show that most Americans admit to needing or wanting more sleep. Eight hours used to be the standard but studies show that it varies between 7-9 hours of solid sleep. So, do you believe that you get enough?
Just as important as the 7-9 hours is the time that it starts. Going to sleep at midnight and waking at 7:30 is not as good for you as is going to sleep at 10:30 and waking at 5:30. Why? We evolved with a diurnal pattern that taught us to go to sleep when it became dark and wake up with the morning sunlight.
In this day and age, everyone is too busy which is why we are sleep deprived. If nothing else convinces you, realize this. Being sleep deprived can ruin all of your hard work to reach or maintain your fitness goals. It causes insulin resistance (glucose intolerance) and raises cortisol levels; in other words - you’ll get fat.
Take a hot shower before bed. Instead of lying down and feeling all the tightness in your body start talking to you, let some hot (personal tolerance to water temperature is needed) water hit your neck, shoulders, back and hips to loosen you up first.
#2 Manage your stress
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is a significant problem of our times and affects both physical as well as the mental health of people. The WHO states, stress, especially that relating to work, is the second most frequent health problem, impacting one third of employed people in the European Union.
Two books to give you some deep insight: Andrew Bernstein’s book, The Myth of Stress will put stress in a new light and Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers to understand all the ways stress affects us.
Some methods to manage stress are, diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, mindfulness journaling, counseling, activity and exercise.
Use all of the other techniques mentioned in this article as additional stress reducers. Make it a high priority to reduce stress and you will see that your body will thank you.
#3 Recharge Yourself
When was the last time you enjoyed something so intensely that you were energized? I have included here a list of ideas to help you get started, but make your own list. We are all so different in what we enjoy.
Some ideas from my point of view:
Laughter; it’s the best medicine after all. See a funny movie or listen to comedy shows on YouTube or Pandora/Spotify.
The Beach for either the sun, water or both. Especially if it’s with friends. This ties in with nature.
Nature, get outside and really deep outside. Go out into nature and away from houses and cities. A Japanese study on highly stressed business men found that 1 exposure to the forest each week reduced cortisol levels and kept them reduced for over 1 week.
This time outside might be for quiet retrospective thoughts or it might be your low intensity walks and hikes.
Hobbies; what are the things that you always say you want to get back to doing for yourself? These are interests that we can use to either escape our hectic lives or at least spend some time on to slow down and allow us to think with calmer perspective.
#4 Take Epsom Salt Baths
This works in several ways. First, Epsom Salt is full of magnesium, one of the two most important minerals needed in the body (zinc is the other). Studies find a large portion of people are deficient in magnesium and zinc.
Second, Epsom salt baths go along with both improving your sleep and recharging yourself. I have a separate article just on this topic.
Lastly, Epsom Salt Baths work to detoxify the body, so a long soak is going to do better than a short one. Note of caution: very hot water and long periods may not be safe together.
#5 Perform Light Static Stretching
I’m a proponent for Resistance Stretching to get you results for flexibility and mobility but bedtime is not likely the time when you have the energy for that method. Further, it’s more likely to wake you up then lull you to sleep. Likewise foam rolling isn’t going to put you to sleep either.
Light intensity stretching with very slow movements into and out of different positions is a nice way to calm the mind and remove a little of the day’s tension. Be sure to have the lights low, no TV or phones and focus on exhaling.
Pair this with a hot shower and it will have a synergistic effect.
#6 Perform Resistance Stretching (not at bedtime)
This is the single best method for loosening tension in muscles and fascia. Pre workout, you should be working on your trouble areas. Post workout stretch the muscle used in that work out.
This will absolutely reduce how many aches you feel going to sleep and how tight you are each morning. I have an article on this and teach small group and private classes for this.
Further, you can have a Resistance Table session wherein I perform the stretching movement while you simply resist. This is the single most effective way to do Resistance Stretching.
After a good session everyone feels much better and is happier about something in or gone from their body.
What are you waiting for?
Improving recovery, finding more balance, managing your stress are all an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you have questions about how I might be able to help you, call me to schedule a free consultation now.
Call me, Your Corrective Exercise Specialist of Temecula today to be Stress & Pain Free today at 951-901-8348.
Tags: 6 exercise recovery tips, exercise recovery, training recovery, life balance, health, sleep deprived, reduce stress, stress reductions, epsom salt baths, stretching, fitness coach, personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist