Recovery Tactics

Exercise Recovery
Optimizing your recovery may have several implications.
When discussing an individuals recovery behaviors, we may look at their sleep routines and patterns, post-exercise recovery, and modalities to manage stress.
In terms of prioritizing recovery, sleep plays a crucial role.
If an individual is not sleeping well, this may lead to stress, which in turn may cause a lack of adherence in their nutrition habits, and decrease in performance whether during training or daily life. Over time, this may lead to serious complications on their overall health. Sleep quality and quantity are both important. When talking over sleep quality, developing habits such as going to bed at the same time every day, avoiding direct light at least 2 hours before bedtime, and limiting caffeine intake to at least 8 hours before a designated bedtime may boost your overall sleep quality.
The use of data devices or wearables that track sleep data, may also be advantageous to those looking to enhance their recovery. These wearables can serve as a confirmation bias to the application of these behaviors. Usually, 8-10 hours of sleep daily may be recommended, where going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is habitual.
Post-exercise recovery may also play a pivotal role when considering regeneration. Loading up on healthy carbohydrates and proteins after a work-out may be ideal for those looking to recover and rebuild muscle tissue. Post-exercise meals that contain these will be preferred. Carbohydrate drinks and protein shakes are also something that may be considered post-exercise. Ensuring a proper water intake daily, especially during and post-exercise is endorsed. 3-4 L daily for men and 2-3 L daily for women is usually what I would recommend. The addition of electrolytes to water to replace salts lost in sweat, is something you may also think about.
Including a cool-down phase as part of your exercise regimen is key. Static and dynamic stretching post-workout is something I would definitely implement. Stretches where all kinetic chain checkpoints are being targeted, is how I would look over it. The Foot and Ankle, The Knees, The Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex, The Shoulders, and the Head/Cervical Spine are the areas you want to ensure you are including in part of your cool-down. This may help improve or prevent any altered length-tension relationships one may have or develop in their muscles, and decrease the sense of physical stress on the body. It may also minimize risk of injury, if performed correctly over a period of time.
Lastly, on days that one is not exercising, low intensity walks or activities may promote what is known as active recovery. This entails returning to a state of homeostasis. On active recovery days, it is recommended that you aim to monitor your heart rate, ideally keeping it between 30-60% of your maximum heart rate. Low intensity swimming, cycling, as well as static/dynamic stretching are other ideas one may perform. Active recovery may also decrease stress levels.
In conclusion, an individual’s recovery is definitely something to be accounted for throughout their health journey. Not only can healthy recovery tactics accelerate progression, but also minimize risk of injury and increase longevity. This means that if you are planning on living a health-driven lifestyle for the next 30 years, recovery is certainly something to prioritize! From optimizing your sleeping patterns, to post-exercise cool-down, as well as including active recovery, one may reap the benefits of living an overall health-driven lifestyle!

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