Friday 23 February 2018

Siobhan Byrne: Post-workout recovery: listen to your body

Sufficient rest time is crucial in order to reach your goals, says our fitness expert

Siobhan Byrne
Siobhan Byrne
Even on rest days a nice walk can be a great way of keeping the body moving without stopping entirely

Siobhan Byrne

Welcome to week six of our eight-week fitness challenge. We are well over the halfway point. If you have got this far you should congratulate yourself.

This week we will be discussing post-workout recovery and the importance of it for your body.

Is recovery really that important?

It's easy to get carried away with training when you are in the zone, especially if you are very focused on getting results. However, allowing your body time to rest and recover is crucial in order for you to reach your desired goals, particularly when strength training.

Correct rest time is important no matter what sport your participate in and not taking this rest time can lead to the body being easily injured, which may leave you not being able to train.

What is recovery?

No matter how fit you are and no matter what type of training you have a passion for, be it running, cycling, swimming, weight training or anything else, your body will need to recover.

You may find you are running your best all week, every day and then you hit a wall and can't even do a 1km run. This has nothing to do with your fitness levels, it's just your body's way of demanding rest.

The same can be said for strength training. If the body has been overworked without the correct amount of rest, you may find even a simple workout to be extremely taxing on the body and it can leave you prone to injury.

Why does the body need to recover?

When you strength train your body breaks down muscle fibres in order to rebuild stronger. Without the proper rest your body will not get the good repair that is needed to rebuild these muscle fibres and you will constantly be training on an unrecovered body, thus never really achieving your true potential. But is it just about rest?

Recovery is all about ensuring that not only does your body have rest days to recover but that it is also getting the correct nutrition in order to allow it to repair.

Allow yourself at least one day per week for the body to recover. This doesn't necessarily mean you don't do anything. Even on rest days a nice walk can be a great way of keeping the body moving without stopping entirely.

It is also important that you listen to your body. If you are feeling physically exhausted or the body is very sore, allow yourself time to recover and let the body repair. Remember that everybody is different.

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