Get the most from your workout and recharge like a pro after a nerve-busting workout.
Photos: Supplied/ adidas/ Instagram @karliekloss
Most of us know by now that you can’t burn the candle on both ends and expect results, and that what happens after a workout is just as crucial – sometimes, more so – than what happens during. Recovery is a non-negotiable part of any fitness regimen, and this is what four top personal trainers suggest you do to make sure you’re in the best shape to improve your strength, fitness, mobility and endurance… whenever that may be.
Catch those zzzs
Adequate sleep is essential. When you sleep, your body releases growth hormones which are helping your muscles rebuild and reshape your physique. Inadequate sleep means you could be missing out on this vital part of any successful fitness program. If you feel you are doing everything right but still can’t shift that last few kilos. Take a look at your sleep patterns… the ideal is bed by 10pm and rising at 6am – but work out something that’s realistic for you.
– Tegan Haining Personal trainer, creator & author of “The 7 Day Quickie”
Don’t skip stretching
Whether you are a professional athlete or someone who doesn’t train much at all, I think taking the time out to stretch your body on a regular basis can really benefit your body with your recovery, and also help enhance your performance.
Keep in mind the majority of us will spend most of our day chained to a desk which can lead to all sorts of problems – tight hip flexors, stiff neck, hunched shoulders and varicose veins to name a few. Or, on the other end of the spectrum if you are someone who does a fair amount of resistance training or running you may find that your muscles can often feel tight, sore and full of lactic acid build up.
Whichever category you fall under, add yoga or a stretching regime into your day. This can help you get results and assist with recovery, enhancing your performance, improve your flexibility & mobility and preventing injury.
– Ben Lucas, Owner of Flow Athletic, PT and former NRL Player for the Sharks
Swim after an intense workout
After a hard outdoor session I more often than not go and jump in the ocean for a bit of a swim to recover and use the cool water to help soothe my muscles. It doesn’t act quite like an ice bath but it does definitely have a similar effect… and is far more enjoyable to do. I don’t just sit in the water either; I make sure I am still moving around and actively using the resistance of the water to help soothe my muscles. The coolness of the water also helps to increases your circulation, bring down your heart rate, and reduce the lactic acid build up, which in turn reduces soreness and stiffness after my training session.
– Lauren Hannaford– PT, former elite gymnast and founder of FHIT by Lauren Hannaford
Invest in rest
Your body needs the rest to make changes. You won’t get stronger during a workout; it becomes stronger once your body recovers from a workout. Not only do you need to get adequate sleep at night (ideally 8 hours) but take a rest day or two throughout the week to give your body the time to heal itself from the inflammation and muscle damage from training. Keep moving but eat well and rehydrate on your rest days to fuel your body properly so you can make the most of your time training.
Also, don’t overdo it! Less is more. If you can hit a couple great workouts with an A+ effort, you will benefit more from it than if you’re killing yourself twice a day every day with a half-assed effort just to burn the calories. Focus on your goals and understand how each session is getting you closer to achieving them. When your body doesn’t feel great, there’s no harm in subbing in an active recovery day.
– Victoria Burdon, personal trainer at 98 Riley Street
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Fitness | body+soul