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Recovery: It doesn't have to come in last place.

Why is it that so many of us don’t label recovery as an important part of our weekly fitness program?

By Monique Murray, Personal Trainer at Bundall

We often fail to ask ourselves the essential questions of, have I been getting enough good quality sleep each night? How many cups of caffeine have I had today? Have I set aside ten minutes for a cool down stretch after the group class?

In this article, I will break down the four key elements of recovery that I believe are most crucial for performance. It is important to remember though, you don’t need to hit the target on all four all at once. Take your time, improve a little more every week and see the huge impact it will have on your overall mobility, mental clarity and muscle development.

  1. Sleep: The average human should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep provides our bodies with ample time to recover, switch off and reset for the day ahead. If you are building up a sleep debt or normally struggle to make sleep a priority, it is likely you will experience high cortisol levels (increased stress), reduced growth hormone, increased potential for injury (poor balance and cognitive performance) or increased level of infections (cold and flu). Sufficient sleep should also be made a matter of priority post hard training sessions.
  2. Hydration: It is an important statistic to know that water makes up roughly 65 percent of our bodies. Wow! Yet we all seem to never have time for it? These interesting figures prove that water should be a major part of your day, especially post exercise when most people hop back into the car and forget all about it. As stated in the article written by Absolute Health Performance, “Water is involved in many of our vital bodily process and is essential to maintain blood volume, regulate body temperature and allow muscle contractions to take place.”
  3. Recovery Post Exercise: Also known as the ‘cool down’ period, the recovery set post high intensity training is crucial for replenishing energy stores, fluids and optimising protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is referred to as the process of increasing the protein content of muscle cells, preventing muscle breakdown, and increasing muscle size” (Very Well Fit, 2020). A post workout meal and timing are also factors that need to be taken into consideration. Speak to your trainer today about understanding your macros better and how you can get the most out of your post-workout meal for your body.
  4. Foam rolling and static stretching throughout your week: Foam rolling is a great way to target the muscles and fascia to help you free up unwanted tension, stiffness or soft tissue restrictions in your body. Remember you don’t need to start on the most intense roller you can find. Start with a smooth face and work your way up.

Be kind to yourself and take one day at a time. Hard work doesn’t come easy but building better habits will be worth it in the long run. Good luck and remember, pick one or two of these points and work towards improving yourself a little bit more each week. Your Vision Trainer is always happy to help and share some extra tips and tricks to build your ultimate recovery regime.

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