RECOVERY & REST The Key To Your Workout Success
Your recovery is very important. For one, your recovery period is the time the body makes all of the gains you worked so hard for in your workout (weight-loos, muscle activation, strength adaptation). Additionally how quickly and how efficiently you recover is consistent with your physical fitness level; the healthier and fitter you get the faster your recovery should be. If you do not fully recover before your next training session you can miss out on the gains and full benefits of the next session, potentially going into over training mode (overtraining will slow your progress and can, over time lead to injury and a lack of weight loss/ muscle development).
Especially if you have not trained in a long time, the day after a good workout your body can feel stiff and sore. But despite your urge to want to rest, GET UP! and move. Movement will aid recovery by getting the blood flowing to your sore muscles. Believe it or not, the more you move the less sore you will feel. Going for a walk, light hike, playing a light sport, going for a bike ride or just moving your joints around is perfect!
When you want to make changes in your body, you must adopt a healthy and progressive training routine, like the one I provide in the the KB Body program. If you are not consistent your body will not make the necessary adaptations and every time after you workout the body will have a hard time recovering. In fitness consistency is key, so pick a program schedule that works for you and go for it. Remember, for every half-hour or hour you devote to your body, it will be given triple back in energy, stress relief and mental clarity.
Top athletes know that the best way to recover and come back stronger is by adding anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich foods to your diet. Did you know that there are foods that naturally help you fight
inflammation in the muscles? below is an your crash course in post- training meals.
My favorite recovery foods include:
Sports Science Research Studies: Immediately after your toughest training sessions grab a bottle of organic tart-cherry juice and- drink up. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents found in cherries have recently been shown to help aid recovery in muscles damaged after training. In some studies tart-cherry extract facilitated recovery better then Aspirin, helping muscles significantly reduce inflammation in time for the next days training session.
If you are training for weight-loss make sure to portion control the juice.
You can mix tart-cherry juice with water
Do not buy regular concentrated cherry-juice, this must be a ‘no sugar added, organic version’.
Recovery Meals Do’s & Don’ts
The ideal recovery dinner should have a healthy serving of Omega 3 rich food which are one of the best anti-inflammatory agents you can find. Pick grilled salmon post training and get a much needed dose of both Omegas and the protein to help rebuild strong muscles. Add a half of a backed potato with the meal and get your dose of energy restoring carbohydrates, which are essential to recovery and performance. Lastly try to include a salad, in which you can add key recovery ingredients like raw baby spinach, red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and a little canola oil. Each one of these are at the top of the rehabilitation food chain. The vegetables and canola oil have all been linked to reducing inflammation and aiding a faster recovery. If you are not a fish person, fear not, Omega 3 rich foods are not only in the seafood isles of your grocery store. Every dairy isle now carries Omega 3 fortified eggs. Mix the eggs with chopped red bell peepers, onions, turkey breast, spinach and tomatoes and be ready to hit the training floor the next day in optimal shape. As an added bonus look for Cabot’s brand 50% reduced fat Omega-3 cheddar cheese and melt it in for flavor and nutrition.
On your hardest training days stay away from read meat, which is associated with inflammation, instead aim for fish, plenty of which (like tuna or halibut) can be cooked to resemble a nice steak. If the sea is not your thing, stick to white meats, poultry and omega 3 rich eggs. From the produce isle: bell peeper, onions, spinach and tomatoes, are some of the best foods to help restore muscles. In a more general observation of nutritional studies, most fruits and vegetables, especially the colorful ones, have been shown to fight inflammation. On the other hand, diets high in sugar, refined flour and fried foods increase inflammation, so stay out of the candy isle.
Remember, poor quality food will keep the muscles sore and your training and progress will suffer. The increase in inflammation will also inhibit the body from making the much-needed physiological repairs and gains you so painstakingly worked for on the training floor.