Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Recovery is that it allows you to gain maximal results from your training. However, recovery does not just mean taking a day off from your work outs but also “lifestyle recovery” such as getting enough sleep, nutrition, mediation and the right post-exercise fueling.
We are born into a society that is mostly sedentary so it masks a high degree of our own sedentary patterns. We have the modern day conveniences of cars, gas-powered or out-sourced yard work, computers, desk jobs etc.
We go to the gym for the quick work out and then spend the rest of the day sitting in front of a screen or in the car (hello that’s me!).
Or you might be the opposite and are training for a triathlon in-between working your 10 hours job and taking care of the kids. Your type A personality is not allowing for adequate recovery.
Wherever you fall onto this spectrum, it is important to take a step back and recognize your patterns.
If you don’t yet have an exercise routine here is your challenge:
Take a deep breath…this is not about hitting the gym :)
1. Commit to 15 min of sweat-inducing movement 6 out of 7 days per week. This could be anything from doing yard work, walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator at work, get off the bus a stop early, going for a hike out in nature, taking your dog for a walk uphill, grab a cup of coffee and go for a walk with a friend, take a dancing class, dance in front of
the mirror when nobody can see you…you get the idea.
2. Another option is the HIIT ( high intensity interval training) work out. You can do any activity here but the rules are that you have to engage in 90% effort for 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of 60% effort. Do this for
15 min 6 out of 7 days per week. Research shows that longer is not always better. Interval work outs burn more calories and stimulate more muscle growth than steady-state cardio. Ideally you would exercise in the morning because it follows our own natural cortisol rhythm. However if mornings are too difficult, you can fit your movement in anytime.
If you already have a work out routine I want to challenge you to try something different and consider recovery time. If you always do high intensity work outs, maybe try Pilates, yoga or a weight lifting class instead. If you have never tried QiGong, maybe this is the time to do it? Always wanted to join a hip hop dance jam-go for it now! If you have always worked out every day of the week then now may be the time to give yourself permission to take a day off and recover.
The harder you train, the harder you have to recover. The greatest benefit of
recovery is that it allows you to gain maximal results from your training. However, recovery does not just mean taking a day off from your work outs but also “lifestyle recovery” such as getting enough sleep, nutrition, mediation and the right post-exercise fueling.
There are four pillars to physical performance: endurance training, recovery, nutrition and functional strength. It is important to place equal emphasis on all four of these pillars.
Enough said! Now go move!
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Author: Elke Cooke, MD