I get many questions from clients about rest, recovery, and stretching after exercise. How much rest do I need? Do I really need to stretch? Both are vital components in your fitness regimen. Let’s take a look at rest first.
Your body needs time to repair and recover. Especially when it comes to extreme workouts like P90X and Insanity. Sometimes a rest day is the best thing you can do for your body. When you workout, you create microscopic tears in your muscles. When you are resting, your body will begin to repair these tears utilizing proteins and amino acids that you are hopefully providing with a recovery drink after your workouts. This is what will lead to building lean muscle.
Rest doesn’t just include days off from training. It also includes sleep! The body does most of it’s repair work when you are sleeping. So be sure to give yourself a minimum of six hours. Eight is the optimum number but just not a reality for some.
Stretching is also key and should be implemented into your workout routine. There are many benefits to stretching no matter what age or fitness level.
Here’s a few:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Enhanced muscular coordination
- Increased circulation of blood to various parts of the body
- Increased energy from the increase in circulation
Stretching doesn’t requite a huge time commitment. Simple stretch techniques can be done while watching TV or before bed. If you are weight training you can stretch between sets as you don’t increase your gym time.
Daily stretching should be done even if you aren’t working out on a regular basis. It can lengthen your muscles and increase range of motion thus preventing injury and making daily activities easier. Also a post-workout stretch can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
Implement these two important components into your daily routines to get the maximum benefit out of not only your workouts but also more importantly your body!