The "sweat life" is recommended. You know, where you sweat doing whatever workout you love to do.
But recovery is just as important.
A strength and conditioning coach in my book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness says "it's not necessarily about how hard you train. It is more about how well you recover."
That expert in my book by the way is Dr Adam Storey – the lead strength and conditioning speciality at Emirates Team NZ.
So, if he takes recovery seriously, then us novice athletes should too.
The bottom line is if you recover well, you train well.
But a rest/recovery day doesn't mean you should rest up, put your feet up and do zero activity. The idea is to do something like stretching, mobility work or easy cardio. This helps to get the blood flowing to the muscles and tissues and aids repair and rebuild. A recovery day can give your nervous system a break and allows your energy and your go-get-'em-attitude to return too. It can also save you from "breaking" ie injury prevention. After all, going hard all the time at any fitness pursuit will likely see you end up with a large bill from your physio. So, unless you love large bills from your physio, then consider taking recovery seriously. Here are some ideas.
Stretch Confession: I'm a yoga teacher and so this will always be at the top of my list. Yes, I'm biased. But I also know it works and this is research-backed. Stretching helps to iron out those tight spots so your body feels more in balance. Stretching brings length back to tight muscles. Even if you stretch as much as me… there are always tight spots to work on. Yoga is something I credit a lot for getting me through 25 marathons in six years. I recommend yin yoga particularly (a style of yoga where you hold poses for longer lengths of time and is slow moving). I share a yin yoga tips on my Instagram if you are keen to try them sometime – follow https://www.instagram.com/rachelgrunwell/
Walk Go for a gentle stroll. This option won't cost you a thing. It's also nice to get out into the sunshine, fresh air and see some beautiful sights.
Foam Rolling Some call this by the fancier term: Self myofascial release. It can help with flexibility and breaks down scar tissues. When you first start doing this it can seriously make you squeal and swear. It hurts! But once you know what you are doing and you have done it a few times… then it feels okay. Here is one of my You Tube videos showing you how to use a foam roller that's easy-peasy.
Rachel is a wellness coach, qualified Personal Trainer and yoga teacher, and author of Balance: Food, Health and Happiness
Find her via inspiredhealth.co.nz Instagram