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Exercise Rest and Recovery

Recovery is an essential part of an exercise routine. Without it your muscles will not function to their best ability. This may cause muscle breakdown and even injury. Implementing a proper recovery period the body is able to heal quickly and efficiently from exercise demands.


Strenuous exercise elevates our bodies ability to burn calories. Eating nutrient dense foods is one way to facilitate recovery. During exercise our muscles break down. Which is why it is important to give the body high quality nutrients. Our bodies build muscle mass with the food we put into it.


As we exercise we lose fluids through sweat. Adequate hydration is an important part of optimal health. Replacing the fluids lost in exercise is also a way to aid in your body's ability to recover. Proper hydration and electrolyte consumption are vital for recovery.


There are two types of recovery: Active and Passive. They both have their purposes and aid in the rebuilding phase of a post exercise routine. An active recovery is taking a dynamic part of your recovery process. A passive recovery is allowing the body to recover with ample rest and inactivity. Let's take a deeper look at these two types of recovery.



Active Recovery


Your post exercise recovery routine is just as important as the training session itself. Having a proper recovery period allows the body to heal, rebuild and prepare for the next exercise session. An effective recovery routine will improve mobility and exercise performance.


An active recovery session is typically implemented one to two days after strenuous exercise, as muscle tissue needs 24-48 hours to rebuild. However, active recovery techniques can be used in between sets as well as directly after an exercise session. These types of movements are used to facilitate healing and rebalance homeostasis in your body.


As we exercise our lactic acid builds in our blood stream. Although this is a natural, excess lactic acid can cause muscle aches and disharmony in the body. Lactic acid can be released in several ways. One of which is an active recovery routine. A proper active recovery uses low intensity movement to clear out lactic acid as your body constructs new muscle mass.


Active recovery has many health benefits when implemented correctly. Participating in an active recovery regime will help eliminate toxins, keep muscles mobile, decrease soreness, increase blood flow and reduce lactic acid build up. An active recovery may help you stick to your exercise routine with ease as it helps heal the body from exercise.


There are a variety of ways an active recovery can be accomplished and it may look different for everybody. Stretching, thai chi and yoga are great ways to implement active recovery that improves your body’s mobility. Low level cardio such as walking, swimming OR biking are also ways to implement an active recovery. These techniques help improve blood flow and will increase your body’s ability to recover.


An active recovery can also be done with a variety of modalities that are not necessarily exercise. Myofascial release, or using a foam roller is one form of active recovery that can improve your healing process. Massage can also be a great tool in your belt for a proper recovery after exercise. Ice baths have also been used as a post exercise modality to ease achy muscles and decrease inflammation.



Passive Recovery

During passive recovery the body stays at rest. Inactivity is the most important part of this recovery. Sleep is considered a passive recovery. With adequate amounts of high quality sleep you body is far more capable of recovering. Generally a passive recovery regimen is not implemented unless you are in pain, injured or feeling mental and physical exhaustion.


All in all, recovery is an important part of an exercise routine. Our bodies need time to recover and rebuild after strenuous exercise. Implementing a proper recovery routine can improve your exercise performance, decrease soreness and prepare you body for your next exercise session.


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