Why You Should Resolve To Recover Better
If you are an athlete, you know that recovery is an essential part of performing at a high-level. This essential step in getting better often seems like a simple task, but many of us have trouble taking a day off when you could be out training. This perception that a “recovery day” is an “off day” isn’t telling the whole story. While training as long and as frequently as possible sounds like the best way to get better at what you do, it can actually hurt your ability to stay healthy and perform at your best.
That is why placing importance on recovery is an essential part of the TB12 lifestyle. When you put as much focus and energy on rest and recovery as you do your training, your performance will reflect it. But recovery isn’t just resting; it is a multifaceted and active process that starts before your workout even begins.
Prepare with Pliability
This is where muscle pliability comes in. By doing pre-workout muscle pliability work, you’re signaling to your body that it’s time to start moving. This provides better blood circulation and oxygenation to your muscles. Without that sufficient circulation and oxygenation, your muscles would not receive essential nutrients in your blood that help strengthen and restore muscle fibers. This process prepares your muscles to undergo the stress and strain you are about to put them through by relaxing them, breaking up any knots, and giving your joints full range of motion.
All of this helps you reduce the risk of injury and speeds up your ability to recover post-workout. Once your training or competition end, post-workout muscle pliability will begin to reduce inflammation, or lactic acid buildup in your muscles which will alleviate tightens and soreness, keeping you ready to go.
In order to recover properly, you must refuel properly too. The foods you eat, both before and after your workout, play a significant role in recovery. Eating a balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats will provide the nutrients your body needs to promote proper muscle growth and repair. You can also focus on foods with anti-inflammatory properties like green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale), nuts (almonds and walnuts), and fatty fish (salmon and tuna).
Water also significantly improves your body’s recovery process — from helping digest necessary nutrients from your diet to helping your body function more efficiently. If you are not replenishing your body with water, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration decreases your body’s blood volume, making your heart work harder to supply blood throughout your body. This decrease in blood flow can cause muscle tightening, physical fatigue, and even mental fatigue. Rehydrating with electrolyte-enriched water replenishes the liquids and nutrients that your body loses when you sweat so that your body can get back to functioning at its peak.
While recovery is an active process and not a passive one, it’s important to acknowledge the significance of rest as it’s a fundamental aspect of proper recovery. When your body is asleep, it goes through several processes that strengthen and repair muscle tissues throughout your body. In addition to losing out on muscle tissue repair, lacking quality sleep can cause increased stress levels which can make you mentally vulnerable to lose your drive and focus on your goals. This is why getting enough sleep is a pivotal aspect in maintaining your physical and mental performance over the long haul.
Recovery isn’t easy — especially if you think to yourself that “Every time I rest, my competition is training.” But recovery is part of your training. Just like your workouts, it takes time and effort to rest your body properly, and doing so has significant physical and cognitive benefits. So whenever you are thinking about your training regime, remember to the take time to recover.