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Many of us feel guilty when we take a ‘day off’ from exercise, but getting enough rest is just as important as getting enough exercise when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals.

The thing is, our body repairs and gets stronger in that time between workouts so taking enough time to recover gets us closer to our goals.  If you’re constantly training and your goal isn’t getting any closer, maybe it’s time to take a rest.

When we rest, the muscles repair, rebuild and strengthen, we gather our energy and it makes our next workout more effective. Exercise breaks down muscle tissue and depletes energy stores.  Rest allows energy to be replenished and muscle tissue to be repaired.

Recovery and rest doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and eating junk food, there’s things we can do to help our recovery process and give our bodies what we need.

Good quality sleep

Our bodies heal when we sleep.  Physical recovery occurs between 10pm and 2am and psychological recovery happens between 2am and 6am and you need to be asleep for this to happen.  If you’re feeling achy, sore and fatigued, consider getting to sleep by 10pm.

Nourishing food

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Our bodies are literally made up of the stuff we eat.  If you want to be strong, fit and healthy, choose good quality proteins and healthy fats, lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables and limit your intake of processed foods and alcohol.

It’s not about making foods ‘off limits’ but rather being mindful of the choices we make and asking if the food we’re choosing in that moment is serving us in the way we want. Sometimes that is about having that celebratory glass or wine or that burger with fries with friends but if you’re doing these things every day and not getting the results you want in terms of your health, it’s time to have another look at your approach.

 

Drink water

Water makes up almost 85% of your brain, 80% of your blood and 70% of your lean muscle.

Water keeps all our bodily functions going, helps flush waste from our tissue, regulates body temperature, aids digestion and nutrient absorption and helps with circulation.

Lack of water is usually the biggest cause of daytime fatigue and a 2% decrease in body water can cause fuzzy short-term memory and difficulty focusing.

Try to have filtered water where you can and make sure you move throughout the day to help transport the water into your cells and tissue.

Movement or breathing exercises

Rest or recovery day does not mean no exercise – do something you enjoy, stretch or mobilise, do a yoga class or go for a relaxing walk.

Breathing exercises or meditation increases the relaxation and healing responses in your body and is perfect for a recovery day.

If you’re not seeing results from your exercise, you’re tired all the time and you need some help formulating a new approach, get in touch.