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The Importance of Recovery

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We all know that getting rest in between our workouts is important. You were told this from the moment you started.  Starting to move will get you going in the right direction.  However, the repairs and strengthens itself in the time between your workouts, and continual intense training can actually weaken even the strongest athletes.

Rest is a necessity for your muscles to repair. It also helps to maintain balance, between, home, work and accomplishing your goals.

Here are a few ways to add recovery into your weekly training schedule:

Get Plenty of Sleep

Generally speaking, 7-8 hours of sleep is a good place to start.  Then you should add an hour of sleep for every hour of exercise you perform that day.  This seems like a lot right?  To get started try to maintain a consistent routine with the amount of sleep that you do get them build from there over time until you reach your goal.

Track your Training

Planning your training to have active rest days will aid in recovery.  This can mean short-term recovery  (Long slow bike ride or run) or Longer-Recovery planning (1-2 week vacation in the middle of the year).  Neither of these scenarios mean you do nothing, but it simply means scale back the intensity and work on the things you need to work on as an individual.  If you keep track of the days you work through intense pieces then you can mix in the easy stuff as necessary for your lifestyle.

Eat Good High-Quality Foods

This is the hardest part right?  What that looks like for a single individual may differ but to keep it as simple as possible to start.

  • Stop Ingesting Sugar!
  • Shop the perimeter of the store, choosing the highest quality foods that are within your budget
  • Eat when you are hungry to support energy levels, for any upcoming activity and to recovery from previous activity within a 2-4 hour window.
  • Stop eating when you feel fed, not full.  You should always feel light even after eating but not full. This helps to not bog down your digestive system and increase metabolism over time.
  • Drink plenty of water, use supplements as necessary depending on your lifestyle after you have a solid hold on your food intake and nutrition habits.

Understand these 2-3 areas and work to improve your recovery and you will be well on your way to the results you are looking for.  Track your progress, pay attention to how you body feels and fuel it for the work you are asking it to do.