Importance of Rest And Recovering While After An Exercise Program

When it comes to increasing muscles and endurance, rest and recovery are just as important as exercise. While rest should be a good thing, many people end up feeling guilty about resting their body, especially after intense exercise. They feel like they need to keep the momentum going, but the truth is they may be doing more damage than good and receiving less benefits for their effort.

What Happens To Your Muscles During Exercise?

When you exercise your muscles, tiny tears form from the strain. Scientists say that the tears along with inflammation that occurs is what causes the soreness you feel. These tears do heal, and the repairing process is responsible for making the muscles stronger and bigger. So, when you are sore, this means that your muscles are going through a change, and that change typically lasts for up to two days.

Why Do You Not Feel Sore Until A Day After Exercise?

Many people experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after going through an intense workout, especially people who haven’t exercised for a while. You may not feel the soreness until anywhere from to 1-2 days after exercise, and you may be sore for up to a week or longer. After recovering for a good amount of time, continued soreness does not necessarily mean you should stop exercising. It simply means that your body needs to get used to the exercise, and the more you do it, the less likely you are to feel the effects of the exercise.

Rest And Recovering

So why is it so important to take time to rest? After your body goes through the stress and strain of exercise, it needs to repair any muscles that have torn and adapt to the new demands that you are requiring from it.

“A given muscle will not fully recover until 7-14 days have elapsed after a hard workout. However, you can resume your workouts after 48 hours of rest.” – Livestrong

You do not instantly become stronger from an exercise. You become stronger from doing an exercise that puts strain on the body and allowing your body to adjust to it. The more you do the exercise, the stronger your muscles get and the better your cardiovascular endurance gets, and that is where fitness goals start to become a reality.

If you do not adequately recover between workout sessions, you will not increase in strength and you will not be able to increase your intensity during workouts because your body will not be able to handle it. In other words, if you want to improve, you need to rest and recover.

How To Recover

Get your sleep. When you are sleeping, your body is able to repair itself and help you face the physical and mental demands of exercising again. Not all sleep is the same though. You need to have a dark, quiet room in order to get your most restful and healing sleep.

“Hitting the sack is the real secret to muscular size, strength, and efficient recovery.” – Men’s Fitness

Nutrition is also very important. You need to give your body the nutrients it needs to repair. After working out you can use up a lot of your body’s glycogen and break down your muscle cells. Most trainers will recommend having a protein drink or meal after working out to help repair muscle. However, having some protein and carbs after a workout can help you raise your insulin and slow down the protein breakdown, which speeds up muscle growth. If you have a nutrition plan with your workout, follow it because it is meant to give you the results you are looking for.

You also sweat out water when you exercise, so make sure to get enough water intake afterwards. Complete restoration of the fluids in your body is an important part of the recovery process. Exercise performance in the future will be affected if the water balance in the body is not achieved.

Lastly, participating in active recovery can help get the blood flowing to the muscles and reduce the muscle pain. Active recovery includes a light jog or swimming.