In a world where time is a precious commodity, and you always struggle to fit your exercise into your hectic schedule, it’s very easy to forget one of the essential ingredients to fitness success – recovery.
Irrespective of your age or the nature of exercise you performed, be it a jog, aerobic exercises or lifting weights, recovering properly is essential. Unfortunately, most of us are aware of the fact that getting sufficient rest after a workout is crucial to high-level performance, but we still go ahead to over train and feel guilty when we take a day off.
The body strengthens itself and repairs the worn out tissues during the period between workouts, and training with no recovery will weaken you in no time. Many people, particularly athletes often approach me and ask me; how is perspiration related to recovery after exercise? Well, I’ve conducted my research, and I’m here to answer that.
How is Perspiration Related to Recovery after Exercise?
During exercise, the human body responds in different ways so as to satisfy the body’s demand for oxygen and energy. This results in a rapid heartbeat and an increased breathing rate so as to deliver oxygen required for perspiration to take place and as a result, a lot of water and ions are lost from the body through sweating.
So the question is; how is perspiration related to recovery after exercise? The answer may surprise you, but the truth is that the water and ions lost through the perspiration process must be replaced during the recovery period so that the body can replenish the stored energy and fluids.
What Actually Happens During Recovery
Incorporating recovery time into your training program is essential since it’s the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect happens. Besides, recovery also helps the body to repair damaged tissues and replenish energy stores.
Physical training and aerobic exercises trigger several changes in the body including depletion of muscle stores, muscle tissue breakdown, and fluid loss. Recovery time not only allows the stores to be replenished but also facilitates tissue repair.
Without enough time to repair and replenish, the body continues to breakdown from intensive exercise. The symptoms of overtraining tend to manifest themselves due to lack of recovery time, and they include depression, general malaise, decreased sports performance, increased risk of injury, and staleness.
Short-Term Recovery vs. Long-Term Recovery
It’s important to bear in mind that there are two types of recovery. There’s short-term (immediate) recovery from a specific intense workout session or even and there’s long-term recovery that should be incorporated into a year-round exercise routine. Both categories of recovery are essential for optimal sports performance.
At times also referred to as active recovery, this process takes place in the hours immediately after performing intense training. Active recovery mostly involves engaging in some low-intensity exercises after training during the cool-down stage (immediately after a workout) or the days following the exercise training.
One important aspect of recovery immediately after intense training mostly has to do with replenishing fluids lost and energy stores depleted during a workout session and optimizing protein synthesis – the process of increasing the protein level of the muscle cells, mitigating muscle breakdown, and increasing the muscle size by taking the right post-exercise meals.
This short-term recovery is also the period for soft tissue repair and excretion of chemicals that build up due to rapid cell activity during exercise. Enjoying quality sleep is also a critical aspect of active recovery. Ensure that you get enough sleep, particularly if you’re engaging in hard training.
Long-term recovery techniques are the recovery methods that are integrated into a seasoned training program. A majority of well-designed schedules will have a few days or weeks for recovery incorporated in an annual training plan.
It’s also the same reason why coaches and athletes alter their training programs throughout the year, modify workout types, add cross training, and make changes in distance, time and intensity, among other variables.
What Should You Eat After Exercise?
A majority of individuals who overlook the importance of after workout recovery lack sufficient energy for the next day. Proper nutrition is the most commonly ignored, but must essential recovery tool. Muscles that are properly fueled will not only recover quickly but also be more resistant to stress.
Here are some guidelines to follow if you want to accelerate your recovery results:
- Always target protein-rich foods, such as protein shake, lean meat, a boiled egg or yogurt since they help the body muscles start the recovery process almost immediately.
- Do not cut out the carbs if you’re committed to a good performance because they fuel your performance and provide energy for high cardiovascular efforts. For the best results, go for whole grains instead of processed carbohydrates.
- Take plenty of water before the training, during the training, and after training, because a proper hydration results in an efficiently functioning body. Water is the most recommended hydrator, but sports drinks are equally beneficial.
If you’re not sure about your hydration level, check the color of your urine and if it’s yellow, then you need to take plenty of water. Clear urine is an indicator of a well-hydrated body.
It is a good recovery that takes an athlete to a higher level of body fitness, and it’s important to note that the greater the exercise effort and training intensity, the greater the need for recovery. Besides, the right post-workout diet is essential and here’s what you should do:
- Take protein-rich foods
- Eat lots of whole grains
- Drink plenty of water.
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