“Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.” – author and international speaker Colin Wright.
One way to take care of your body is to remember to rest after a workout. Sadly, recovery after exercise is often overlooked.
But there are plenty of reasons why this is so important. Investing in comfortable footwear, staying hydrated, and having the right equipment are all known essentials. But, rest is also something that should be a part of any workout schedule.
You don’t build muscles during a workout. You build them afterward.
As your body repairs muscles and tissue during rest from a workout, they heal and grow stronger. Recovery time should be dependent on the intensity of the workout session.
High-intensity training will cause more stress on your muscles, which could lead to sore or damaged muscles. This type of workout should be followed by a longer recovery time. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends training major muscle groups two or three days per week and leaving at least 48 hours for recovery between each training session. The American Council agrees, saying that muscle recovery usually takes 48-72 hours, depending on the type of training done and the intensity of that training.
Rest = more sleep.
Not only is sleep vital to your health, but it also helps with muscle growth and tissue repairs. According to the National Sleep Foundation, during REM sleep, your muscles relax, which can help relieve tension and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain. The foundation suggests a sleep schedule of 7-9 hours a night – or more for a competitive athlete – the help the muscle-healing process post-workout.
Not only can sleeping heal your body, in turn, allowing you to have a better workout in the future, but regular exercise can also lead toward a better night’s sleep. This tells us that sleep and exercise go hand in hand.
You can do other fun activities, or get a massage.
Low-intensity cardio allows your body to rest from intense workouts. There are so many things you can do to fill your time while you recharge your batteries. Go for a bike ride, try paddleboarding, even take a walk around your local park. They all count as low-intensity activities that you can do during your resting day.
Switch them up and you’ll never get bored! And bonus: Massages are beneficial during your recovery stage. They can boost metabolism, and help with relieving muscle soreness, releasing lactic acid buildup which causes “knots” in your body.
Your body needs it!
Rest is so important after a workout. Not only will it prevent sore muscles and reduce overuse injuries, but it also manages fatigue, irritability, and even depression.
Recovery techniques should be tailored to every individual, says the ACSM. “It’s important to remember, even if you aren’t feeling soreness after a workout, recovery is still important to prevent injuries and replenish what is lost after an exercise session.”
This article is a guest post authored by Clarissa Rivera of Taos Footwear.