We talk about working out and getting fit all the time, but many seem to overlook recovery as one of the essentials for a healthy mind, body and soul. Yes all three! 85% of the heyas who voted on our instagram poll agreed that recovery is not limited to physical needs.
Recovery defined in a dictionary "it is a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength". Does this sound familiar? Exercise has various benefits, it helps us maintain good health, build strength, stamina, endurance as well as reduce stress and enhance mental health. Both exercise and recovery are multi-dimensional, and their benefits go beyond physical gains. According to the Institute of Motion; there are 4 domains of human performance where recovery must be considered and optimized - Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Social. The optimum recovery plan or experience is one that enhances more than one domain if not all four. Let's take a simple example, you go for a massage which relaxes your muscles, aids with better blood circulation which then leads to an uplifted state of mind - you've got physical and emotional covered.
There are two main sources of daily recovery; sleep and nutrition...both equally important. Our muscles recover and rebuild overnight while we get some Zzzs and nothing beats quality food to nourish our bodies and create new tissue and cells. Maintain a system where you go to sleep at the same time every night, same goes for your meals and snacks...consistency is key!
Recovery can be passive or active. Passive recovery means stillness and inactivity. By contrast, active recovery means being active in a way that promotes recovery rather than intensity (American Council on Exercise). So which is which? We've got you covered as always!
A day of rest - COMPLETE REST!
Complimentary therapies (acupuncture, cupping...etc.)
Elevating legs on a wall
Flexibility and Stretching
Myofascial release (foam rolling)
The takeaway: You need to work on your recovery just like you do on your fitness. As we always say, no two people are the same, so pick what works for you depending on your type of workout and your needs - both physically and mentally.
What are your favorite methods of recovery? Share with us in the comments.