Rest and recovery days are just as crucial as the workout itself. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild, and strengthen. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise and may lead to overtraining syndrome or injury, which can be difficult to recover from. Here are three easy ways to prevent overtraining and stay on the path toward your goals.
- Be aware of warning signs. Overtraining occurs when the individual performs more training than his or her body can recover from. The most common causes of overtraining are rapid increases in frequency, intensity, or duration of training sessions, or a combination of these without taking the necessary recovery time. Some warning signs and symptoms are: fatigue, pain in muscles and joints, sudden drop in performance, insomnia, headaches, decreased immunity, decrease in intensity, moodiness, depression, decreased appetite, increased incidence of injuries, and compulsive need to exercise.
- Rehydrate. Drinking lots of water after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery, because water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body. Another important way to help recover is eating properly. After exercise you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, and get stronger.
- Build time for stretching & rest into your training schedule. After your workout, stretching and myofascial release are also helpful so don’t forget to take time to stretch or foam roll after a workout. Ice baths may also be recommended. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. While sleeping your body produces growth hormone which assists in tissue growth and repairs. Therefore, resting, sleeping properly, fueling and taking care of your muscles is essential for recovery. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling fully recovered, take additional time off to avoid injury.
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