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The Importance of Muscle Recovery

17 May 2024

Muscle Recovery for Strength and Wellness

When it comes to exercise, we all know that it's essential for our mental wellbeing and physical health. Whatever form it takes for you, we all have our ways of staying fit, healthy, and enjoying the strength our body can have. We can plan out a perfect week in the gym or sessions on the court; but how often are we planning and paying attention to our rest days?

Muscle recovery is becoming more of the conversation in the exercise space, and coaches, physios, and doctors have long known the importance of muscle recovery in muscle recovery and strength, individual energy and wellness, and overall well-being. Let's take a deeper look into the role of muscle recovery and the benefits you can enjoy by working the right amount of rest days to your week.

What is Muscle Recovery?

Every time you exercise, you create microscopic damage to your muscle tissues. In the rest period, your body has an opportunity to start to heal this damage, allowing muscles to grow back stronger - making muscle recovery essential to increased fitness and sustained progress over time. Making time for muscle recovery by resting and taking scheduled time away from your exercise program is an important part of maintaining health and wellness.

Taking a day to rest not only allows you to recover from sore muscles but also allows for the right amount of sleep - crucial in muscle recovery and strength development - and avoids exercise fatigue, keeping you fresh and ready for your next session.

Alongside making time for rest, what other habits should you be practicing for optimum muscle recovery and body wellness? Let's take a look.

Top Habits for Muscle Recovery

Post-Workout Cool Down

After an active workout, cooling down the body with gentle stretches and movement allows the body to stabilize blood and oxygen circulation, and help mitigate later muscle injuries or strains. Even a short stretching period is better than nothing and can help the body recover more quickly.

Hydrate

It's vital to drink plenty of water, both during and after your workout, to ensure you're staying hydrated. Drinking two to three liters for those who exercise heavily is a good goal for most; water helps remove waste products from the muscles as well as replenish hydration in the body - perfect for muscle recovery.

Eat Well

Eating an ample amount of protein is key to muscle recovery. During exercise, as we discussed above, the muscle proteins are initially damaged - taking protein helps build new protein in the body, repairing and strengthening our muscles. It also helps us feel satiated for longer, keeping energy levels regular and wellness-supported.

Keep A Schedule

Whilst our schedules can chop and change, aiming to keep to a routine with rest days and muscle recovery practice is just as important as your gym or training schedule. Knowing how and when you'll be resting can help take the stress out of recovery practice, and also ease your body into the habit of resting if this is something new to you.

Whether on your phone, work calendar, or a notebook, keep track of your fitness and recovery schedule and you can see what works best for you.

Recover Well To Live Better

Making time for rest and muscle recovery is often overlooked, especially when we're passionate about our sport or gym routine. But scheduling rest days and taking care of our bodies as well as pushing hard is essential. As we've explored, allowing time for muscle recovery, with ample hydration, nutrition, rest, and stretching, is needed to ensure you're making the most of your fitness regime and thriving for years to come.

If you're unsure where to start with taking rest days for muscle recovery, the general recommendation is up to three days a week, as needed. Ideally, alternate your days between workout days to allow for optimal rest. It's also important to check in with how our body feels: would I benefit from a rest day today, or do I feel comfortable and energized enough to tackle a workout?

Listen to your body and embrace the opportunity to nurture your mind and body, knowing that small daily habits can add up to great success over time. Overall health and wellness truly thrive with holistic effort, when you focus on activity and rest, as well as nutrition. Make today your start to getting ahead with muscle recovery.