Recover: return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength


Fatiguing workout after fatiguing workout can result in injury and delay the desired results.  Over training can also be stated as under recovery. Recovery differs from rest. Rest is being inactive. Spending Sunday watching football in the recliner with chili nachos and soda may be resting your muscles but it is a far cry from recovering. This is not to say you don't deserve nachos and football. No need to live in perpetual isolation with green tea, chicken and broccoli as your only friends. Behaving well 90-95% of the time still gets you an A. However, recovery requires being proactive. Recovery is also the result of chemical and hormonal changes in the body. Periodic, or better yet scheduled, down time can actually enhance your performance. So a rest day could, and maybe should, be better treated as a recovery day.

Daily habits for good recovery include:

Hydrate, with water. Adequate hydration to aide all processes in the body.
Proper nutrition is necessary for growth and health.
Sleep, an inactive nervous system, relaxed postural muscles and suspended consciousness.

Scheduled habits for recovery can include:

Massage Therapy:  Passively, the kind where you lay on the table, clam up and alter your state of consciousness, breath and receive (maybe drool a little).
Self Myofascial Release, Foam Rolling, achieving some of the benefits of massage therapy, doing it yourself.
Stretching:  Active Isolated Stretching, gentle rhythmic stretching targeted to specific muscles or muscle groups.  Static Stretching or openers, not recommended pre-workout, better for post workout on recovery day.
Cold and heat:  Steam room, sauna, tubby, Epsom salt soak, paraffin wax, cold plunge, ice pack
Recovery workouts, or just having fun, which is to say, activities that leave you feeling energized. Moving with the intention of feeling better. Forget about punishing yourself for the cupcake you ate or the extra beers over the weekend. Focus on your breathing.
Yoga, a mellow yoga class
Leisurely walk, swim or bike ride

The hormonal shift
Becoming parasympathetic rebuilding and recovering happens in the body when a specific hormone, norepinephrine, is released from the adrenal glands and the body remains in this state for a period of time. Achieving this is often times compromised by our lifestyle. Balancing sleep, diet, work, exercise, kids, schedules, family, friends, marriage, bills, parents, school, grades, recreations etc, etc. If we're not careful this all ads up to coffee, more coffee, less sleep, more food, sleep aides, even more coffee and a whole lot of stress. Then possibly not even being about to use this stress as a means to effective exercise because the body is exhausted. But it can't relax either. If this is relatable and all too familiar then consider your options right here at your own club.

Nobody joins the gym with the hopes of feeling horrible and needing an Osteopath.  Don't let the current over use of fitness hyperbole fool you. There's no need for SUPER, MAXIMUM, EXTREME, ULTIMATE, HARDCORE, DIEHARD, INTENSITY day after day after day.

Heather Hart

Learn more about Heather


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