Fitness Recovery 101
When we discuss starting a new fitness plan, one word that surprises most people is ‘recovery’. While pushing yourself daily may sound like the best way to get fit quickly, it can often be the quickest way to injure yourself.
The best way to get fit is to give your body time to recover after each session. So, let’s explore how you can use recovery to supercharge your wellbeing journey.
Recovery for runners can incorporate a range of things. However, here are some basics to get you going.
Fuel yourself for recovery. A healthy, post-run snack with lots of water will help your body start the recovery process. A good tip is to prepare a snack before heading out, this means you’ll be less tempted when you return. Coach Dec recommends something like a plain bagel with peanut butter or almond butter.
Give yourself time to cool down. After a run, you may be tempted to collapse on the couch, check in on Step Up and turn the TV on. However, your body will thank you tomorrow if you use this time to stretch and allow your body to cool down while being active. A simple thing like walking around the room as your body cools down will allow your muscles to process the run without stress.
Sleep is key. After a big run, your body needs time to recover and repair itself. Most research recommends aiming for eight hours, however, Stanford University found that for runners, it is more. Stanford found the additional time sleeping saw improved run times, so next time you set the alarm, give yourself a few more minutes.
Take a day off!
For some people, this might be a problem. Once you get into the swing of being active, it can be hard to stop. However, scheduling time off is as important as scheduling your runs.
Rest days help strengthen bodies. Every time you run or exercise, your body then needs to adapt to become stronger. This is because exercise partially breaks your body down, causing tiny tissue damage – which is how muscle grows.
So the next time you start to get an itch for not running today, spend the time preparing your next Spotify playlist, mapping out your route, or simply enjoy a good book!