Often times when one is working hard towards a specific fitness goal, it can be easy to get wrapped up in what goes on at the gym and forget that a lot of the progress happens outside of that.
Giving your body a break is just as important as putting it through its paces in the weight section, maybe even more so if you want to avoid serious injuries. Rest days have a rightful place in everyone’s training routine.
Making sure you’re drinking enough is important every day, however it’s especially key to training recovery so maybe make an extra effort to refill your water bottle on rest days.
Research has shown that restoring fluids after exercise is vital for restoring electrolytes that you lose through sweat, and many experts recommend including sodium and potassium in rehydration drinks.
It’s common sense that the fuel you put into your body has a direct effect on how well your body can perform. Not only do you need plenty of protein to supply your muscles with exactly what they need to grow and repair after a tough session, but it’s important that you add some good carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and buck wheat are good additions.
Carbohydrates are key for recovery as they help to restore muscle glycogen stores that are depleted during exercise, helping to restore normal muscle function. 1,3
Many studies have shown that the most effective post recoveries boosted by having a health and balance diet,
Staying topped up on your essential vitamins and minerals can also be helpful to keep you feeling your best from session to session, as vitamin C for example helps to support the immune system especially after intense exercise. Plus, nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium all play an important role in normal muscle function. Ensure you stock up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, a good multi vitamin supplement would also be a good addition.
Sometimes the best thing for your progress in the gym is to give yourself a complete break and yes, that absolutely includes not moving from the sofa.
Switching off and taking a step back from all the reps and sets will help to give you mind a rest too, which is arguably just as important as giving your body a break. If you find your routine is becoming stale and repetitive, or that you’re finding it harder and harder to motivate yourself to go to the gym in the first place, then time away may be just the thing to hit refresh.
Allow yourself the room to unwind and remember that training is something that should be enjoyed rather than just another chore to get through. Once you return after some time off, I can guarantee you that you will roaring to go and and get the best out of your workout.
This blog is updated by Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainers, as well as other guest bloggers.