The New Year has arrived, and you’re finally out of the haze of winter vacation, ready to eat healthier, return to the gym, and shed those pounds gained from overindulging in large meals and desserts. Being motivated is great, but if you’re not careful, too much motivation can lead to overwork, increased injury risk, and, ultimately, you may end up abandoning your fitness journey sooner than you planned.
Knowing when to rest and how to recover your muscles after the intense effort is just as important as doing your exercises correctly if you want to stay in shape, so here’s how you can strike the perfect balance.
Begin slowly and gradually progress to more difficult workouts.
One of the most common mistakes people make when starting out in fitness (or returning to it after a long break) is expecting too much too soon. As a result, you overestimate your physical condition and perform complex exercises that your body isn’t ready for yet, or you work out for longer periods of time than necessary. This, as it turns out, is not only dangerous but also ineffective. On the one hand, overtraining puts too much strain on your body, which can result in muscle injuries and even more serious conditions (for example, jogging too fast and reaching your maximum heart rate). On the other hand, you’ll feel pumped after that intense workout, but you’ll be unable to move the next day and will most likely quit. Even if you’re ecstatic and eager to test yourself, Begin slowly and with lighter exercises that do not overwork your body. If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, even small changes like taking the stairs, walking to work, or doing a few sit-ups in the morning can make a difference, so don’t feel bad if you can’t do strength training or run a 5K right away.
Make certain that you get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep is beneficial to your health in general, but especially so if you’re on a fitness regimen. When you sleep, your body produces growth hormone, which aids in the repair of muscle tissues after a workout, so don’t deprive yourself of sleep while trying to lose weight or build muscle. There is also a wide range of top adjustable beds that can literally elevate your sleep experience to make your exercises even more efficient and reduce pain. A good mattress is also an important part of getting a good night’s sleep. The last thing you want to deal with when working out is extra back pain caused by an old, worn-out mattress.
Another reason why you should get at least 7 hours of sleep while working out is that exhaustion has a negative impact on your performance. A Stanford study found that athletes who slept enough had better endurance, a lower heart rate, and more energy to complete their workouts. Furthermore, a lack of sleep may affect your eating habits, causing you to wake up very hungry in the morning and have stronger cravings throughout the day.
The right recovery can help you get more out of your workouts.
Working out properly entails more than just sweating and pushing yourself to your limits. It’s all about strategically putting in the effort, combining it with the right diet, and knowing when to stop. To achieve your goals, the way you work out and the exercises you perform are important, but what you do after you finish training is equally important. Follow these recovery tips to recharge your batteries, aid your body’s recovery, and make the most of your fitness routine:
- After a strenuous workout, drink water and sports drinks to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
- Eat protein-rich foods after each session if you’re trying to build muscle or focusing on endurance exercises.
- Allow your body to recover after a strenuous training regimen. Taking one or two days off will allow your muscles to recover, allowing you to return to full strength. However, you are not required to be completely inactive while recovering. If you don’t feel like doing anything, going for a walk or riding your bike works well.
- Gentle stretching exercises should be performed after workouts.
- Hot baths and massages can relieve muscle pain, release tension, and shorten recovery time.
If you’re unsure how to strike the right balance between pushing yourself and knowing when to rest, consult a personal trainer or use an app to follow a guided training program. This way, you avoid injuring yourself.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health provider.