Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ode to Recovery

I would just like to take a few minutes to let you all know about my favourite part about hard training...The rest and recovery days!  There is nothing like training hard all week, both at work and in the gym and then coming home to relax, get a few extra hours of sleep and a few more nutrient packed meals.  These are the days that you usually start to see the fruits of your labour, you body has a chance to rebuild, soreness starts to go away as your body begins to recharge for the next hard week of training.

Here are a few ways to make these rest days as productive as possible:

1) Do some light cardio.  By light, I mean very light, like going for a nice slow bike ride around the neighbourhood or walk with the dog.  Just enough to get the blood and nutrients flowing to help speed recovery and ease soreness without further breaking down the muscles any further.  Although if you are really sore it may be very tough to get moving but this is the best thing for you to do.

2) Some light stretching. This speaks for itself and some yoga would be perfect!  Perhaps go to that class that your girlfriend has been bugging you to go to for the last 10 months.

3)Get a massage.  If you get these regularly from a loved than you are in luck.  But if you have the extra cash or an excellent health plan; then having a therapeutic massage or some muscle therapy will do so much for any stress from the last week. Muscle soreness or any bad feelings at all that you have will be a thing of the past.  A bit of an exaggeration, but not really.


[This very gentle massage picture found here]

I recently received one of these as a birthday present and I must say: I do not think that I could have felt any better.  I could not wait to get back out and train because all sorts of little aches and pains that I had all over my body had been viciously worked out [although some parts were very sore from my very powerful masseuse! In a good way.]

4) Eat well. This doesn't mean that you have to forgo all of your favourite foods. Just make sure that you are getting enough nutrition and you can still enjoy some of the very tasty treats that tend to appear at BBQ's and other weekend functions, just don't go overboard.  Eat the good stuff first!

5) Don't party too hard. Get some sleep otherwise all the hard work you put in during the week is going to go down the drain.

Easy tips, the more of these you are able to add as part of your active recovery the more productive your workouts are going to be week in and week out. 

How do you like to relax after a hard week's training?

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