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Recover Like You’re 20 Again

It is imperative that our body be able to rest and repair itself between training sessions in order to truly get stronger from exercise. When we take part in any demanding physical activity, the exercise-induced stress placed on our bodies produces tissue damage, causes the depletion of our energy stores and a loss of fluids- all necessary factors that must happen in order to reap the benefits of exercise. In order to cement those strength and conditioning gains, rest and recovery in between training sessions is a non-negotiable. 

Unfortunately, as we age, recovery from exercise begins to take longer as our muscles, joints and tendons simply aren't as resilient as they once were. Recovery isn’t as easy to attain as it was back in your 20s. Luckily, with a little extra effort and attention to your post-workout recovery habits you can get back to recovering like you're 20 again!

We like to think about recovery as a number of different techniques: post-training recovery (that which helps your muscles physically recover from workouts), post-workout refueling of the body and adequate sleep, plus restorative activities (movement you incorporate on your off-days from training that isn’t overly stressful on the body). Here we will look into a few of these elements of recovery and how they all fit together.

Post-Training Recovery
Post-training recovery are the “cool-down” activities that you perform directly after your workout or in the hours afterwards that assist in turning off the fight or flight response that exercise induces in the body. These things help to jumpstart the recovery process. There are a multitude of post-training recovery options but a few of our favorites are:

- Self-Myofascial Release
Self‐myofascial release (SMR) is a type of self-massaging technique. Foam rolling is one example of SMR that can begin the transition into a more restful state after your workout. Studies of self-myofascial release have revealed that it can improve range of motion as well as decrease muscle soreness and fatigue post-workout.

- Mobility Exercises / Static Stretching
Some simple mobility or flexibility exercises along with some light stretching will also help improve your range of motion and may help you feel more relaxed and mobile after a workout.

Supplementation 
While supplements cannot replace the importance of rest and refueling with the right post-workout foods, they do have their place in a well-rounded recovery regimen. Especially quality supplements like my new line, Essentials By Amoila. Supplements can be used to support the recovery process and reduce joint tenderness and swelling after tough workouts. 

Adequate Sleep
Easily one of the most underrated aspects of recovery is getting an adequate amount of restful, restorative sleep each night. Sleep is an important part not only of the recovery process but a key factor of your overall health as well- it is your body’s literal reset button. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on the hormones that are needed to reduce inflammation in the body as well as the ones that aid in muscle repair and growth. For most people, getting 7-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night is optimal. 

Restorative Activities
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is all about including restorative activities. Restorative activities are the things you do on your non-workout days that still allow you to include movement into your days. Things like taking your dog for a walk, a stroll around the block during your lunch break, playing with your kids at the park, a rejuvenating yoga session, a bike ride, or any low-intensity physical activity counts. Restorative activity can also be a good substitute for a high-intensity session when you’re under a lot of stress, haven’t been getting enough sleep, or are still really sore from a previous workout. 

Recovery might not be as easy to come by as it was in your 20s, but by making some simple, purposeful additions to your recovery habits including proper nutrition, relaxing and de-stressing restorative activities, sleep and post-workout supplements you can be back in the gym quicker than ever.

Okay, which one of these recovery elements have you been incorporating or WANT TO incorporate? Remember, recovery is EVERYTHING when it comes to seeing your hard work pay off. Recover like a champ, so you can look and feel like one!

Head on over to my Instagram and leave a comment anywhere telling me so, and share this article with a friend that may benefit from it!

Keep steady, enjoy the journey and love yourself harder,
Amoila

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