What do we REALLY know about recovery?
The Oxford Dictionary defines recovery as:
“a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.”
All these things are so important in our daily lives, and they mean something a little different to each of us. In the paragraphs below, I will take you through the 3 main topics of recovery.
1. Normal State of Health
First of all, you have to think about what health means to you. This does not necessarily mean that you should go on an aggressive diet or start fasting. It is important to create health goals that are achievable. This could be: an appointment with a dietitian to get your diet on track, an appointment with a personal trainer to guide you through an exercise program, a massage to help decrease stress, or simply giving yourself an extra 30 minutes of sleep every night.
2. Normal State of Mind
This can be challenging for anyone. It’s so hard in this day and age to get a piece of mind when your phone is going off every minute or when you are staring at a computer screen for hours without a break to get some fresh air. To recover your mind, it’s important to try and remove all of the stressors crowding your mind for at least one hour every day. Some people do yoga, some meditate, but for me it is my running and my gym time. It’s the time that I intentionally set aside for myself and my form of meditation.
3. Normal State of Strength
This does not mean that you have to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger or the world’s strongest male or female. This can be a fitness goal that you set for yourself that involves strengthening the body. Whether you go see a physiotherapist because you want to train for a swim, or you want to be able to run 5km for the first time, any goal can be adapted to work best for you. The stronger our bodies are through exercise, the better we feel! Plus, exercise decreases the chance of developing certain diseases, depression, and lowers our risk of cancer.
Recovery in Sports
This is the recovery that everyone is so familiar with, however as athletes (anyone who plays a sport) we tend to ignore this crucial part.
When we play a sport or exercise, we apply stress to the body’s tissues. This is how we are able to stimulate growth in our muscles. I bet most of you can really feel a hard workout the next day. That feeling is called DOMs, meaning “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.” This is when the muscles have been worked to their limits and are now in recovery phase which could last 24-72 hours post exercise.
Recovery for athletes can mean you work on a different set of muscles the next day to give your sore, healing muscles a rest. It can mean treating yourself to a massage or going to the beach for a relaxing day in the sun. Whatever recovery you choose, don’t forget that sleep is critical for the body to be able to recover and is one of the hardest things to accomplish in our busy schedules. So make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep if you are an athlete that trains consistently. This will drastically decrease your risk of injury, and can increase your performance.
Want to learn more about my self-care and recovery routines? Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to chat and would love to meet you!