Incorporating recovery into your fitness routine.
By Ryan Nail
Your body is like a credit and debit card. Every time you put in a workout, that’s a debit, and now your body is in the negative. Every time you do a recovery practice, that is a credit, and your body’s balance is now zero. The goal is to continually keep a zero balance or you risk overtraining, which can lead to serious injuries. Recovery is important no matter the work volume. Respect recovery. The better recovery practices that you can implement into your training and life will not only prevent injuries, they will also allow you to increase your workout load, which will magnify your results and allow you to surpass your goals.
As a recovery practice for myself, I recently went to Wanderlust Yoga to take their heated yoga class with lightweights called YoStrong. It was a different aspect of fitness than I’m used to, so it created a great sweat session, and I was able to stretch out my legs and core, which was much needed. The instructor was amazing, and she never made me feel out of place. She helped to correct my form so that I got the most out of the YoStrong class, which really helped me recover from my hard workout from the day before. Not only was it good for my body, but having the opportunity to just take a deep breath and still my mind from my busy day was peaceful.
This is just one form of recovery. Some other recovery practices are to take hot and cold showers immediately after your workout. Turn the shower on to super cold for one minute, and then to hot for the next minute, and alternate for a total of 10 minutes. This practice acts as a blood pump throughout your body. It circulates the blood to create a state of homeostasis, which helps your body heal and recover quicker, but it also brings your core temperature down to normal. Foam rolling is an obvious method of recovery, and it is super necessary.
Ice baths are another way to help get soreness under control and keep inflammation down in the joints and the body. You only want to get in an ice bath for 15 minutes tops, and you want to do it later on in the day, not immediately after your workout. Another recovery, especially if you are having trouble with hydration, is to get an IV to help you recover after a hard run or workout. This is becoming a popular way to combat dehydration and get a fast recovery. I do this at the Downtown Doctor, and it has helped me with my workouts big time.
Finally, a basic recovery walk later in the day helps with circulation through the body, not to mention it’s therapeutic. These simple recovery practices will change your life, and since you only have one body, you must take care of it. Remember this simple rule: If you don’t have the guts to do the recovery, don’t do the workout. Workout + recovery = training.
Ryan Nail is the owner of CoreFit Training. For more information, visit traincorefit.com.
Photo by Ben Newman.