REST! It Does A Body Good

Have you ever wondered what rest and recovery have to do with your fitness and wellness journey? How on earth can the time that you’re not working out be as important as the workout itself?

Well, rest assured, it’s more than just not doing physical work, you are actually becoming stronger! 

Although you aren’t doing physical work during that period, your body is repairing itself and getting ready for the next time you exercise. The repair process is the strengthening process.

It helps to know a little bit about that fantastic system our body has called the Muscular System. There are 3 types of muscle in the body. Cardiac (heart); Smooth (walls of internal organs); and Skeletal, which are the muscles that move the body, arms and legs. This last is the one we’ll be discussing.

When you lift weights, your muscles contract. The muscles can both shorten and lengthen. So when you are doing your sets of pushups, squats, etc., your muscles are working to meet the demands you are placing on them. You’re depleting your glycogen stores (muscle energy) and the muscles become fatigued. The muscle, while you’re lifting weights, is getting small tears.  These tears simulate the body’s repair response.

The recovery process (repair response) starts when you are done working out. Your glycogen stores get replaced and the tears are repaired. Time is necessary for the repair process as your body is rebuilding the muscle STRONGER than it was previously. Rest is essential to these improvements.

So what happens if I don’t rest?

Best case scenario is that your performance decreases. Have you ever had the experience of working out a ton, and just not getting anywhere?  A lack of rest could be the cause. You’ll also feel more fatigued when working out. The exercise will be, and feel, more difficult. Worst case is that you will get injured. If the body doesn’t have time to repair, then the tears just get worse and worse.

This is the reason that Booty Camp is set up to have you work out different muscle groups on each day; to give the muscles time to rest. Break Weeks are a great time to rest (and get stronger) as well.

So enjoy your time off, and know that it’s making you stronger and healthier!!


Recipe for Recovery

As you start to work the body in all new ways we also need to assist the body recover.  It is our bodies ability to adapt to change which indicates our fitness level.  As we make strides in our fitness we should become experts at providing the best environment possible for adaptations to take place swiftly and with ease.  Here are my best strategies that I incorporate on a regular basis.

1.  Epsom salt baths – 2 cups salt in your bath, soak for 20 minutes.  Also showers ending with cold water are helpful.  AND ICE ice ice…. ice is healing… so use liberally and often!
2.  Take vitamin C and Cal/Mag.. take these at bedtime to help speed recovery and boost your immune system… and bonus: they also help with sleep!
3.  Drink lots of water.  Hint: If you want to gently prime your body for fat burning add fresh lemon juice or 100% cranberry juice to your water to give your liver a little help.
4.  Walk or do some light movement to work out the lactic acid.
5.  Take a yoga class on the weekend or stretch at home.
6.  Get a massage.  Make massage is a monthly practice.  Not in the budget?… What can you shift?
7.  Eat whole foods, greens, and get your protein!

8. SLEEP.  So very important.  Its hard to get into the early morning groove so we can wind up depleted towards the end of the week.  Maybe an afternoon nap or turning off social media and trying to get an earlier start on our zzz time.

Do ALL of these on a regular basis, incorporate recovery strategy into your life and your body will thank you and you will be ready for more and anything else life throws at you!  Pay attention to recovery and you will have less illness overall.  As you tax your body like you never have before, it will need extra assistance.  Give it what it needs.. its the only body you have.. and it is a wonder.. it will take you places you never have been and back if you support it fully!