Proper recovery and rest is essential to maintaining health and well being. Here’s why the 4 R’s are important for proper training recovery.
For some reason our culture has decided that rest is a bad thing. Why is that? Our culture is literally one of the most judgmental… I almost chased a rabbit, but I’m back now.
Recovery is absolutely essential to not only your training but to your overall health and well being. Which is where I get the 4 R’s:
I believe they’re as important as your workout. Let’s talk about 4 secrets to help you achieve the four R’s.
Before we get into the secrets, let’s talk about active rest and passive rest. I won’t go into too terribly much detail here but the basic is this:
Active rest means light activity
Passive rest means minimal to no activity
In short, your body needs both to be able to properly recover from your workout.
Now, we can move on to my 4 secrets to effective rest for great health and optimal training results.
The number one secret that I have to proper recovery is that you MUST refuel your body. So what does that look like? Well, as with everything, there is not a one size fits all solution.
Where you are in your journey will depend on how you refuel your body. However, the number one rule to refueling is WATER. You can Google how much of your body is water and there is no shortage of different answers. Let’s just take the average of what we see out there and say that your body is around 60% water. For the math whizzes such as myself, that would be over half. Which means that water is vital. Think you’ve had enough water? Go grab another glass, because you need more!
If you’re further along in your journey and you’re working on ‘cutting’ your muscles (making them more pronounced) you will need a post workout in addition to your good food that refuels those specific muscle fibers. You can find a great mix of post workouts here.
Now, let’s talk about good food. For beginner to intermediate, let’s not get ahead of ourselves with post workouts etc. We will start by learning to refuel our body with good fuel which is always the base for good health. I’m not talking about mac n cheese, even though, I’m a sucker for some good mac n cheese #realtalk. BUT, your body needs real food and the food needs to be colorful! Not food coloring, NATURAL color.
I’ve heard many times “I feel worse after my workout”. I answer the statement with three questions:
- Did you drink enough water
- What did you eat after you worked out?
- How long after your workout was your meal?
My second secret is to stretch your muscles back out!
Growing up, I danced and was super flexible. Guess what? We did a ton of stretching. Somewhere along the way, I decided, I didn’t need to stretch and I was SO wrong. To this day, I am still working on getting my flexibility back.
When you exercise your muscles contract and shorten. You have to lengthen them back out!
Don’t skip your cool down and be sure to stretch on your personal time.
Not sure where to start? Go here, where Jillian Michaels gives some great stretches to get you rolling!
We are going to learn to say a word that we have a tendency not to say, but it is absolutely essential we learn how to say it. In fact, it is said the same way in many languages.
Ready? Say it with me.
That’s it! Learn to say NO!
Here’s what I mean by that; learn to set boundaries for yourself. Learn to say no and protect your rest and recovery time like it is your lifeline.
Our bodies do not need to be so tired every single day that we collapse on our beds at night and don’t remember anything until the next morning. It isn’t healthy, it makes us miserable and let’s face it, it makes those around us miserable because we’re cranky.
Defensive yet because I just said you might be cranky? Well. Case closed then 🙂
Ah, sleep. The beautiful thing that is sleep. I absolutely love waking up in the morning feeling rested. It doesn’t happen often enough and yes, that is my fault! My little guy sleeps through the night and I have a good bed, there’s no reason for me not to go to bed at a decent hour and sleep well.
When I am rested, my run times and work outs are so satisfying. They’re tough, but I perform so much better. When I’ve had my sleep, I’m also a much more pleasant person and let’s be honest… So are you.
Have trouble winding down at night? Here are some tips that I have found help me:
- Go into your room about 30 minutes before time for bed to get into comfier clothes/pajamas or whatever you sleep in
- Only turn on lamps or low lighting.
- Turn on some low key music. You get some free music with Amazon Prime, so give that a go
- Set you alarm and put your phone away. Yes, I know I said it, put it away! Read a book, journal, pray, be alone with your own thoughts. Point is, wind down.
Coming from Mrs. Type A who can’t seem to ever turn her mind off, those four things really help me wind down at night. Do I always follow them perfectly? No, but who’s perfect? It at least gets you rolling in the right direction.
What do you do with all of that information? Well, that’s up to you. I’ve given you my four things that I use on the daily to help keep myself in check and slow down to allow my body to recover.
I know that my family needs me to be in tip top health which includes being rested. It helps me think better, I’m not as irritable, and I’m an overall more pleasant human being.
Don’t forget to take care of you in the midst of taking care of everyone else.
Remember – Rest, Relax, Renew, Recover – it’s as important as your workout.