Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
There are many ways to take care of your health. Using clean energy, like a solar panel system, or regular exercise will help to get your health on track. When you exercise, your body is often put under extreme stress. Certain activities, like high-intensity cardio exercises or weight lifting, are more prone than others to cause this state.
That doesn't make them bad for you. On the contrary, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It just means you need to give your body a chance to rest and recover after each session. Keep reading to learn why muscle recovery matters and what you can do to encourage it.
Why Muscle Recovery Is Important
An all-out mentality may work in some areas of life, but your body needs time to recover between workouts. A lack of proper rest periods can cause everything from minor inconveniences to major injuries. Despite surface appearances, your body is working hard to ensure you have enough power to get through those tough workouts ahead.
How To Know When You Aren't Getting Enough Recovery Time
Your body will try to alert you to insufficient recovery periods. These are some of the most common early warning signs that you are overdoing workouts without allowing enough time for full recovery between them.
- Excessive soreness: In order to build muscle, you must break down the existing tissue. As your body repairs each microtear and rip, it builds it back bigger and better. That process can cause pain and discomfort known as delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS isn't bad in and of itself, but it is a sign your body is still repairing from the last workout.
- Chronic and persistent fatigue: This is one of the first signs of sleep deprivation, so, if you notice you are tired all the time, you are probably not getting enough rest. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night, but very active individuals and athletes may need significantly more.
- Irritability: Another symptom of sleep deprivation, irritability can also occur when your body is subjected to chronic physical or psychological stress. If mood swings or a short temper are interfering with your relationships, it may be your body's way of asking for a break. Schedule some downtime to give it a chance to recover.
- Increased injuries: Chances are you exercise to improve your health and body conditioning. However, inadequate recovery time can actually lead to increased injuries since your body isn't able to fully repair after each workout session. Consistently tweaking your back or knees may be a warning sign of more serious injuries on the horizon.
What You Can Do To Bounce Back Faster and Stronger
You can help your body recover faster and more efficiently. Eat a balanced diet full of proteins and complex carbohydrates. Both work to fuel your workouts and provide energy. Protein is especially important since it provides the materials necessary to rebuild your muscles after a tough workout.
Hydration is also important. The human body is roughly half water by volume. When you let those levels get too low, it causes electrolyte imbalances. Low levels of potassium, sodium and other minerals can quickly lead to dizziness, fatigue and confusion. Left unchecked, an electrolyte imbalance can become more serious, possibly causing disruptions in heart function.
Schedule active recovery days. Include activities that allow your body to move safely without causing strain. Walking, hiking, leisurely swimming and low-impact sports can all be good active recovery options.
Establish a nighttime routine that encourages you to get to bed on time. The CDC offers several tips for improving your sleep hygiene.
Understanding what goes on during the recovery process allows you to see early warning signs that you aren't meeting your body's needs. A proper diet, active recovery activities, and adequate sleep and hydration all encourage muscle recovery.
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Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.