Rest and recovery play the most important role in staying injury-free. It is often the most overlooked and neglected training component. Schedule a program recovery into each training session and don’t forget to include it in your monthly and yearly plans. Adequate rest after a hard workout is actually more important than the strength training and conditioning if you want to stay balanced.
You create micro tears in your muscles and other tissues during a quality (hard) day. That’s why they call you “ripped!” A quality strength training effort leaves your body in a fatigued state. You deplete your energy storages. After a hard workout, your body needs ample time to repair the torn muscle to and to refuel. Healthy progress depends on thorough recovery and helps you stay injury free. Follow these six tips to ensure recover.
Space your quality workouts so they incorporate bouts of work with bouts of recovery.
Schedule ample rest time between sets and repetitions.
Here’s an example of a Being Balanced Method Quality Day Program:
Here’s an example of a Being Balanced Method Week Program
Here’s an example of a Being Balanced Method Week Program
It takes 24 to 36 hours to recover from a hard or quality workout. It’s science. In Sally Edwards’ Heart Rate Monitor Training Handbook, she calls it “the 48-hour rule.”, she says “you need to take a 48-hour break before you can train again in this specific activity. The reason is that the specific muscle recovery process requires 48 hours for replenishment.”(5)
Follow a hard day with one to two easy days before you take on another hard workout. Recovery days can include doing a light cardio walk or a non-load-bearing exercise like swimming. Space out your quality days each week. If you feel like you have not gotten enough rest, take an extra day of recovery.
Less is better. Overtraining has no benefit and often leads to injury. Be careful to listen to your body and look for signs of overtraining. Your body will tell you when it’s time to increase your workload.
Note: To avoid injury , add volume and/or intensity every third week. Look at your monthly/yearly program. Quality (hard) weeks add intensity. Increase your load by no more than 10 percent every third to fourth week. To get stronger, you can add more repetitions to increase your load. Or ,you can move even slower through the movement to add intensity. Feel your muscles start to burn. There's no way to really know exactly how many reps you need to do. Listen to your body and learn to be flexible. Your body will tell you when it has had enough, and it is time to take a recovery break. Couple each hard week with two easier weeks. Adding extra strength too quickly will overload your body and cause injury.
Schedule a month or two OFF. Stay in a maintenance mode without increasing your load. It’s similar to taking days off each week. Or better yet, try cross training. You might discover a passion for a new activity.
Try varying your exercise program from workout to workout by engaging in different types of activities, or simply add a new form of exercise to your existing workout routine. Incorporate cross training by alternating between activities like running, cycling and swimming. You can also alternate activities in one training session. For example, treadmill for 10 minutes, elliptical trainer for 10 minutes and stationary bike for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Cross training offers a refreshing physical and mental change. Try something new. Or, as triathlon icon Sally Edwards has been known to ask: “When is the last time you did something for the first time?”
Your body repairs itself as you sleep. Anabolic (muscle-building) hormone concentrations increase during sleep while catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormone concentrations decrease. Disrupted or shortened sleep diminish your recovery. Develop a regular sleeping routine. Go to bed at the same time each night. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Thirty-minute power naps rejuvenate the body.
Dehydration reduces performance potential and delays the recovery process. Exercise and a speedier metabolic rate increase your need for water and electrolytes. It’s best to hydrate throughout the day and especially while you’re working out. Be mindful of water lost from sweating. Remember, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. (Aim for sipping 16 4 oz. serving throughout your day. You’ll find it’s easier than you think!)
Proper nutrition is essential. Eat protein to rebuild muscle tissue and to supply the building blocks for cells, tissues, enzymes and hormone reproduction. Eat carbohydrates to refuel your body’s glycogen storages. Within 20 minutes post-workout, eat a snack high in lean protein to speed up the rebuilding and recovery process. Then, enjoy a well-balanced meal roughly 2 hours after your workout to continue your recovery process.
Balance is easy to achieve and maintain. Understanding the meaning of good posture and the effects on our minds and body is the great awakening. Old habits are hard to break but if you stick with it and listen to your body, you build balance in every workout. Motion is the "lotion" to keep your joints working in full range. Approach strength training as a way to get stronger and gain range of motion. Learn to position every joint in Balanced Body Ready Set Position alignment from head to toe, especially your pelvis and your spine. Be intentional about your posture and focus on technique. By now, you’re beginning to see that how you stand and breathe really matters.
These imbalances are easy to fix. Balanced posture is empowering and has a transformative effect on your body and your confidence. It isn't hard to do. Balance awareness and small mindful changes will make a huge and immediate difference.