Are you training hard this winter and starting
to see the benefits of those hours logged and
Or are you starting to feel drained, sore, and
unmotivated to continue?
Either way, a better recovery plan may be in
order to maximize your results or get you
back on track.
"I took a rest day last week" you tell me.
But what did that actually look like? Rest is
not the same as recovery, and we must
separate the two to get the most from both.
What is rest or a "rest day"?
Rest is simply absence of effort, movement,
or exertion. This can be on the couch, in the
sauna, napping, or sleeping. No matter how
hard or easy we are training at a given time,
rest is necessary for our bodies to continue
Rest starts with getting 7-9 hours of sleep
every night. This ensures our bodies are
able to heal from the days activities and
recharge for the next day. It's critical to
optimal performance for any athlete, and
success at life in general.
A "rest day" for some athletes may also
include a full day spent away from the gym
or any activity that requires them to exert
themselves. This is needed at times during a
strenuous training regimen to fully recharge.
However, rest is only one part of true
Is recovery when I'm not sore anymore?
In the sports and fitness world, trainers build
exercise programs around training periods
and recovery periods in a cyclical pattern.
The recovery period is complete when your
body can meet or exceed it's previous
performance in a particular activity.
The recovery process is the restorative steps
taken to regain this state of normal health,
balance, and vitality that performance
requires. In fact, every time your body
successfully bounces back with an
appropriate level of recovery you establish a
new "ceiling" of performance capabilities.
That's what we want from our training, right?
We actually aren't improving our fitness
during our training sessions. We are making
improvements in our bodies when we are
recovering from that training. After each
stressful workout we must repair damaged
tissues, replenishing nutrient stores and
remove waste products.
We can't just "rest" and expect our bodies
to fix themselves. That's really just waiting
around for the soreness and pain to set in.
Recovery refers to the techniques and
actions taken to maximize your body's ability
Recovery techniques can include:
- Myofascial release or foam rolling
- Stress management
- Manual Therapy
- Dry Needling
- Modalities (heat, ice, compression)
The goal of each recovery technique is to
relieve soreness, improve flexibility, and
optimize movement patterns so you can train
more often and at a better quality.
How much recovery do I need?
We all know that if we want to perform our
best we must train hard and push ourselves
to our limit. The key is to learn that limit for
our individual bodies. At that "limit" we must
reserve time and mental space to nurture our
bodies and allow recovery.
For most people, one day a week (or even
every other) is all that is needed for an
actual "rest day". This is dependent on your
commitment to getting adequate rest each
night to allow repairs to take place.
Several other days during the week you need
to fit self care and recovery into your
schedule. That includes both post
workout recovery techniques and recovery
days when you move your body but keep
activity less stressful.
How does recovery aid our training?
With recovery we are able to increase our
performance, decrease future recovery time,
and lower our risk of injury. It's what we are
all aiming for! Unfortunately, many of us miss
the mark because we don't want to dedicate
the time to these little things that can matter
Don't ignore the cries of your body for rest
and recovery until it becomes too late. At that
point you will be forced to take unnecessary
time off due to injury or burnout.
Our goal at Peak Potential Physiotherapy &
Wellness is to guide you in recovery while you
continue to train. We have both recovery
and performance packages that can
incorporate manual therapy, dry needling,
and Astym to maximize results.
Inquire today about these game changing
programs on our website. . . .