Recovery The Right Way
It may sound odd to you that rest can be done wrong. But it really really can and it happens all the time. Proper recovery, especially for athletes wanting to maximize their training, is absolutely critical. In fact, if you want to increase your training volume you have to increase your rest (aka recovery) for that increase in activity to be productive. Are you with me so far? It’s time to realize that recovery is equally as important as your training. A good program includes both training AND recovery.
What Recovery Isn’t
Recovery is not a license to drink ALL the beer and eat ALL the pizza you want. Nor is recovery your pass to stay on the couch for an entire afternoon binge watching Netflix. Laying around and eating poorly will result in two things: continued tissue inflammation and GI distress. Both of these will leave you ill prepared to meet your next training session fully prepared. And over the long term it will stunt your ability to progress athletically. You need to move.
What Recovery Is
Find a slow paced activity that you enjoy and gets you moving.
- riding a bike
- light yard work
Try and ensure that the activity keeps you firmly in the oxidative state (fat burning). Nothing too intense. Move with proper mechanics and find time to move through the full range of motion for your arms, legs, and trunk. Work out all the kinks you felt when you woke up. Never finish a recovery day without feeling better than when you woke up. Never finish a day of training without doing something to ease your aches and pains.
The Benefits of Active Recovery
Active recovery improves the healing process after stressing your body to adapt. That’s what active recovery does for you. The recovery movement speeds the transfer of waste products from your soft tissues as your circulatory system delivers the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to those same tissues. So take time off the couch or from in front of the computer at work and move. Move just enough to recover and ensure you’re making the most of that hard work you’ve already put in to your athletic journey.
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