While there are many forms of recovery out there and a lot of tools being pushed out by fitness influencers and fitness companies, I wanted to take some time today and cut all of the crap out and get to the facts, what works and what does not and where someone who is new to health and fitness should start.
When you start your fitness journey, you will be sore more often than not whether you are doing cardio, lifting weights, or something else entirely. With that will need to come some time to where your muscles can recover and get back to where they are at and then also improve in strength and endurance, but how does this process work?
Think of starting your fitness journey as you starting school or a new job. Once you start, there may not be a lot about the subject or the job that you know, so you have to spend time learning it. As you learn, the work gets hard at first and can be frustrating to complete but finally you are able to learn it and continue to move up in classes or up in positions at your job.
With fitness, you start off with a base knowledge and a base movement pattern and strength. As you start to work out and progress, you will get sore and you will get frustrated. With that will also come more knowledge that you are gaining, more weight being lifted, more time on the cardio, and then from there you start to get stronger and feel better so you push yourself more. Pretty soon, you are lifting double what you started with with ease and you are going longer on the treadmill than you ever have before! Everyone starts somewhere and has to work hard to get to where they want to be.
Just like school and jobs have downtime to relax and recuperate in the form of hobbies or family life, fitness has recovery. A time to where you are able to rejuvenate your body and get it repaired, relaxed, and ready for the next workout. This is where the tools come into play. The list below is the things that I would start with if I were to do it all again and focus on in terms of recovery:
-MAYBE Foam Rolling
That’s it. There is no special tool that will help to make you sleep better, feel better, or even look better. Nutrition is also crucial, but for the health and fitness sake I have included it into the working out journey as it usually is paired with exercise. You may see people promoting supplements, drinks, juice cleanses, or other forms of “recovery” that will never beat good ole fashioned water and sleep.
Sleep is the time to where your body is fully relaxed. During this time, your body goes through processes that not only allow for your body to function optimally, but to also heal and repair you as you sleep. Top that with water and your body turns into a well oiled machine.
Water is just as important in this conversation as your body is made up of 70% water. Why would your body not need it then if that is the main thing it is comprised of? Not only does it help aid in digestion and transport through the body, it also helps with brain function and the ability to think critically. So, if you ever run into the issue to where you feel your brain is not working optimally, then be sure to drink some water!
People can offer you whatever they want and try to sell you their products, making you think that there is a special pill or substance that you can take to help you recover 100% and some promise it faster than normal. This is where the sales person mentality comes in, they want to be able to sell you the product they are promoting only so that they can aid themselves in making money. On the grand scheme of things, they do not care about the individual and this is where we differ from them. For the individual, the two most important things for them for recovery happen to be free, and the one that is not is foam rolling and the only reason I would promote that is because I know my body and I know it works for me.
Focus your efforts on getting in your sleep and making sure that you also drink plenty of water. Not only will this help you feel better during the day, but will help you stay at your best in the gym so that you can continue to crush your workouts and reach your goals!