Optimise Your Recovery
No matter how hard
you train, whether you are an elite athlete, club sportsman or simply
someone concerned about general health and fitness, you will not gain the
optimal benefit from your training without adequate recovery.
Adequate recovery processes serve several functions. In the short term
they speed up the transportation of by products produced during exercise
out of your muscles and into your bloodstream where they can be
transported to the kidneys, liver or lungs for processing. They return
your heart rate and blood pressure back towards normal and keep you
sweating slightly so your body can get itself back to a temperature suited
to normal activities. In the medium to long term a well planned
recovery programme will ensure replenishment of glycogen stores,
appropriate levels of protein for muscle repair and development as well as
sufficient rest prior to subsequent intensive training.
Full recovery from exercise can take up to 48 hours depending on the
intensity of your exercise session, your current level of fitness and
adaptation to training, your post exercise nutrition and various other
factors. However, the first hour following intensive exercise can be
said to be the most important time in ensuring you recovery fully and more
Below are a few tips
to ensure that you recover adequately from your exercise sessions and optimise your
adaptation to training.
First and foremost, you do need to warm down at the conclusion of your
exercise session. If you run, walk for five minutes at the end of
your run. If you work out with resistance equipment, spend a
couple of minutes recovering on an exercise bike or rower. If you swim, float and paddle for a
minutes. Make sure you follow your main training phase with low
level activity. This will help to reduce your heart rate, remove by
products, reduce your blood pressure and generally assist in starting your
bodies return to normal levels.
2. Ensure adequate nutrition
Adequate nutrition is vital to recovery. Adequate nutrition includes
eating correctly both prior to and after bouts of exercise.
The pre workout meal is
crucial in terms of having the required energy to
fuel your workouts. Approximately 2 hours before exercise, a meal
comprising slow release carbohydrates, plus some protein should be
consumed. This is to ensure you fully saturate your muscle glycogen
During the first hour post exercise you need to take on board some form of
carbohydrates to start replenishing the loss of glycogen stores you have
incurred during the preceding workout. If your appetite is reduced
following your workout try juices, fruit or a sports drink initially,
until your palate can handle a more comprehensive carbohydrate and protein
Sports nutrition books recommend consuming at least 50-100 grams (200-400
calories) of carbohydrate within two hours after hard exercise. If you
aren't sure how much carbohydrate is in foods, simply choose higher
carbohydrate foods and eat until you are full.
protein may also be needed post exercise in order to promote muscle
adaptation during recovery from exercise.
3. Ensure adequate rest.
Firstly, you need to ensure that you gain enough rest between exercise
bouts. If you are consistently feeling run down and out of energy
with your training, or even during the day ... the first port of call may
be to identify how much rest you are getting with your training.
This not only includes the amount of time between workouts, but also the
regularity of rest days, as well as ensuring adequate sleep to allow your
body to recuperate.
Without adequate rest,
you’ll be more susceptible to getting sick and will definitely not
maximize your muscular and cardiovascular conditioning.
Plan your workouts
workouts goes hand in hand with ensuring adequate rest. Be aware of
the duration and intensity of your workouts. Always ensure that you
factor in days that include lighter workouts to enable your body time to
recover from more intensive sessions. A hard day followed by an easy
day is a good rule of thumb to adhere to. Of course, the fitter or
more highly adapted to training you are
the better your body will be able to handle a more intense workout.
Although research on the benefits of stretching is somewhat
inconclusive, generally it is viewed that stretching is beneficial as a
post exercise recovery tool. Not only does it aid in the flexibility
of your muscles, it reduces the likelihood of injury during subsequent
exercise as well as aiding in the transportation of lactic acid and other
waste products from your muscles post exercise.
Do You Need A Personal Trainer?
Are you struggling for the results that you would like with your training?
Personal trainers aren't for everyone, but a trainer provides certain
benefits that you can't find when working out on your own. Here are some
reasons a personal trainer may be right for you.
One of the main reasons people benefit from a personal trainer is that
they struggle with the motivation required to adhere to a consistent exercise program.
Quality personal trainers can provide structure and accountability,
and help you develop a long term change to your lifestyle.
A trainer will design a programme that is tailored to your individual
needs and requirements. A quality trainer will provide a more
in depth programme and will make you aware of the benefits of completing
each aspect of your programme.
Personal Trainers help you focus on results and stop wasting your time
doing inefficient workouts. A personal trainer has a plan and
will help you get maximum results in minimum time.
Improve technical skills
If you play a particular sport, the right personal trainer will help you
improve your skill by showing you new training techniques specific to
your sport. The Trainer will incorporate skills training into your
program so you improve not only your strength and endurance, but your
agility and mental focus as well.
You are new to exercise
If you are an absolute beginner, a personal trainer is the ultimate
fitness coach. A good trainer will introduce you to a very simple,
effective routine and build efficiently so before you know it, you have
the confidence and knowledge to decide what is right for you.
Break through plateaus
Ok, you are already in pretty decent shape, but you've been there for
years. If you are stuck in the same routine and want to break out of a
rut, a personal trainer is the perfect solution. A trainer will jump
start, not only your motivation, but your routine as well.
A personal trainer watches your form, monitors your vitals and can
provide objective feedback about your limits and strengths. Most of us
tend to ignore some of the subtle signals our body provides. We either
push through pain or give up too soon. Because a personal trainer can
watch what you are doing while you are doing it, they can help push you
or slow you down as necessary.
There is a good reason that the number one reason people hire personal
trainers is to lose weight and get into shape -- it works. If you made a
resolution to lose the fat and build muscle, a trainer can keep you
on track and help you realize that goal.
To find a personal trainer in your area search for one using our
function. Simply select personal trainer and the area that you are
If you are a personal trainer in NZ and your details are not listed in our
PT section click here