Dane Bartz, MS, CSCS,*D, PPSC, and student in the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences (PhD) program in the Human and Sport Performance track, explains that there’s more to working out than just showing up at the gym to lift some weights and run on the treadmill. It’s important to learn how to integrate efficient and effective recovery protocols while you train at the gym to improve your overall fitness. This includes managing stress, having a training plan, breathing, your diet, and getting the proper amount of rest.
Manage Stress During Recovery
When you’re stressed, your body uses energy to combat that stress so you might be able to give 100 percent effort one day but the next day your body might be running off about 75 percent. So when planning fitness, you should modify your routine based on how you feel. For example, if you’re going heavy on a weight routine and you’re not feeling well, you might instead do a long run or something that is lower intensity.
Create a Plan for Recovery
Have a plan in place for training so you know what you’re going to do. Decide on a goal that will push you to keep going and achieve what you want. Include in your plan a post-training protocol that will help your recovery. Exercise stimulates the muscles causing them to shorten up so calm your tissues down with a massage using self-care tools such as a foam roller or other similar tools. Additionally, the post-training protocol can include stretching and breathing techniques to improve recovery following a training session.
Breathe, Eat Well, and Sleep
Good breathing helps with fitness recovery. Close your eyes, put on calming music, and breathe for about two to five minutes. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You should feel your chest and belly rise simultaneously to produce efficient breathing technique.
After stretching and breathing, help your body recover by eating some healthy whole foods. A well-balanced diet will help maximize your fitness efforts. Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water. Many people don’t drink enough water. Also, make sure to get enough sleep to ensure overall wellness and recovery.
Listen to the full RMUpload podcast episode here.