Are you giving your body enough time to sufficiently recover in between your workouts? There’s a good chance you might not be. High-intensity workouts mixed with poor recovery can lead to mental burnouts, and even physical injury. Read below to make sure you are properly recovering from your physical activity.

Recovery: The Forgotten Fitness Component

Most experts will tell you that there are three main components of fitness: exercise; nutrition; and recovery. Everyone is aware of the exercise portion; few are aware of proper nutritional guidelines; and even fewer know about adequate recovery.

What Happens to Your Body During a Workout?

• Glucose in the muscles is burned for energy.

• As the muscles burn through this glucose, lactic acid is created as a byproduct.

• Your muscles tear. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal whether you are weightlifting, cycling, or running. These tears are microscopic, and the body heals these micro-tears by replacing them with bigger, stronger muscle tissue.

Tips For a Speedy, Sufficient Recovery

• Cool down after your workout. When you perform an intense workout and suddenly stop, the lactic acid that is produced during the workout stays in your body. However, performing a short cool-down exercise can flush out this lactic acid, helping to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

• Replenish glucose in your body. After finishing a workout, your first priority should be replenishing the glucose in your muscles. Since glucose is your body’s primary source of energy, it is important not to leave your muscles depleted. Aim to consume 200-300 calories (with a 3:1 carb:protein ratio) within 30 minutes of your workout, when your body is most primed to digest these nutrients.

Foam roll, stretch, and massage your muscles. For maximum benefit, do this before and after your workouts. Not only will this increase flexibility, it can help flush lactic acid and prevent injuries.

Get sufficient amounts of sleep. Sleep is the most important part of the recovery process. Aim for 8-9 hours every night, as well as a short 15-20 minute nap during the day if your schedule allows for it. Just 30 extra minutes of sleep per day can significantly aid in muscle recovery.

Want more recovery tips? Check out this article from Muscle & Fitness.

Once you’re fully recovered, come to Insports to get your daily dose of exercise. As Fairfield County’s premier indoor sports facility, we have something for everyone! Visit our website for a list of upcoming leagues and events, or join the thousands of others who have connected with us on Facebook.