Hi everyone! I hope you all had an amazing 4th. I don’t know about you guys, but all I wanted this year was good food and good company…and that is exactly what I got! Before I get into this weeks blog I would like to remind everyone the reason we celebrate the 4th of July; America being founded and our Independence Day. It is such a great thing to be able to say that we, as American’s, live free. I am forever thankful for the brave men and women that fight for our country to keep it that way.
Now for this weeks topic, I will be addressing why recovery is important and why we need to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us! We all know how awful injuries are and how far behind you can get if they occur. Exercise is extremely important, what is just as important is how we care for our bodies after a workout. Lets talk about the main checkpoints of WHY we need to recover:
2.Getting Proper Nutrients After A Workout.
The infamous term “overtraining” is said to be a myth, truth is, its not. It is fact that if you train the same muscle groups everyday they will become overly fatigued(also known as overtraining). Overtraining is described as an imbalance between training and recovery. The body repairs itself in the time between workouts so continuous training can actually weaken you. So this is where “rest days” come into play. If you exercise everyday it is in your bodies best interest to take a rest day. You may feel guilty for taking a day off, but I promise your muscles are thanking you for a little break! (Plus, who doesn’t want to lay up on the couch and binge watch Netflix on Sundays? I know I do). Rest is a physicality that is necessary for your muscles to rebuild and strengthen. Building-in recovery time to your training program is vital because the body has to adapt to the stress of exercise. Muscles being under constant stress is not something that is normal. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise (or any physical work) causes muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of muscle glycogen (energy stores), as well as fluid loss. Recovery time allows things such as these to be replenished and tissue to be repaired. Without the correct amount of time to repair, the body will continue to breakdown these things. Symptoms of overtraining syndrome are staleness, depression, decreased performance, and increase risk of injury-all things we wish to avoid.
So, now that we have worst possible outcome over-with, lets get to the important and more easily inflicted areas we need to target when recovering. FOOD!!! “The best thing since sliced bread”…Except bread is not ideal for a good recovery meal (only if its whole-grain) L. We’re talking carbs, baby! Every diet you look into normally says a big fat no to carbs, but our bodies actually need (some) carbs. There is such thing as ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’. We want the good guys. Carbohydrates should be the body’s main source of energy in a healthy balanced diet. Carbs are a very highly debated topic in the weight loss world. Popular diets such as the “Atkins diet”, call for strictly NO carbs. I want you guys to know that not all carbs are the same; it is the quantity and quality in our diet that is important. Carbs are broken down into glucose before being absorbed into the bloodstream, from there the glucose enters cells with the help of insulin. Your body uses glucose for energy; fueling all of your activities. Cutting carbohydrates from your diet could put you at increased risk of a deficiency in certain nutrients, leading to health problems, unless you can make up for the shortfall with healthy substitutes. Instead we should limit the bad carbs (sugary foods) and include healthier carbs (whole grains, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, etc.). Following my recovery topic; over a third of your diet should be made up of starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta and another third should be fruit and veggies. This means that over half of your daily caloric intake should come from starchy foods, fruit and veggies. Conclusively, DO NOT completely cut carbs from your diet. Doing so would only be cutting off a whole food group as some diets recommend and put your health at risk because you are cutting off your body’s main source of energy. You’d be cutting essential nutrients like B vitamins, zinc and iron (very important). It is thought to be more important to replenish the body with carbs rather than proteins. To replenish energy levels after exercising eat the good carbs :)!!
Last but not least we have come to our most important pillar for taking care of our muscles after a workout and that is stretching! I cannot stress enough how vital it is to take the time to stretch. Before you perform any type of vigorous exercise it is preferred to “warm up” before, but not stretch. Studies have shown it is more effective to stretch and place tension on an already warm body. When you warm up your muscles you are furthering your range of motion in your joints. When we exercise, we place tension on our muscles. This is because our muscles are shortening and becoming tighter. To lengthen them again we must rub them out, or stretch after exercise. If a muscle is shortened and we try to place more stress on that tight muscle we are at risk of injury. For example, If you are exercising and place quite a bit of stress on your bicep and that muscles shortens (becomes tight) and you go to do a bicep curl, your bicep will be unable to lengthen. This is why we need to listen to our bodies. If your bicep is cramping up and we don’t take the time to stretch we could risk an injury! If you stretch properly at the proper times it is possible to avoid joint pain, and muscle damage. A few tips for proper stretching are: holding each stretch for 30 seconds, stretching for at least 10-15 minutes post exercise, and avoiding bouncing as it can cause injury. Stretching helps increase your physical fitness, decreases injuries, reduces soreness and reduces stress. Why would you NOT stretch guys?? I don’t think anyone likes the feeling of not being able to squat down to the toilet after leg day because they didn’t stretch their glutes or hammies…c’mon now!
Thanks for reading guys! Have a great rest of the week and be looking for more blog’s soon!
P.S. Here is a photo of me and one of my personal trainer friends, Selena Williams. We are starting up a Fit-Camp at our home gym (Champion Fitness), in Muskogee OK, which we are tremendously excited about! If you live in the area be sure to check it out!