Anyone who is on an extreme fitness programme or professional athletes or even just anyone who has a slight idea of what they’re doing on their fitness journey, knows that rest and recovery is one of the most important factors when it comes to being the best you can be.

Recovery is essential to a top-notch performance and yet people are still over-training and feeling guilty when they take a day off. This really shouldn’t be the case as a rest day is one of the most important days of your fitness week. Continuous training with no rest can actually weaken your performance and hinder your chances of success.

Two Types of Recovery

There are two main types of recovery; short term and long term. both are essential components of any fitness programme.

Short term recovery is sometimes called active recovery, as it occurs immediately after a session. This is in the form of a cool down phase to lower your heart rate, and in the days following. Both these short term recovery aspects can aid performance. It helps to replenish energy stores and fluids that have been depleted during the workout, building muscle and repairing soft tissue.

Long term recovery is the long-term plan for rest and recovery. This is a more complicated part of recovery that includes scheduled rest days and weeks and changing up of programmes throughout the year.

Types of Recovery

Recovery isn’t just having a sit down once you’re done with you’re workout. There are plenty of elements you can factor in to help your body recover properly and to help you reach peak performance. These are just some elements you should consider:

  • Sleep – when you sleep, this is when the body works the hardest to repair and replenish wear and tear from the day so it’s important to try and get around 7-10 hours every night.
  • Nutrition – you can find out more about this on my diet page, but the long and short of it is that whatever you consume will fuel your next workout, so think hard about what you’re eating.
  • Stretching – so many people miss this vital step when they’re done with their workout for the day but flexibility ad stretching the muscles used can help reduce DOMS and improve your next performance.
  • Hydration – water is the key to life, I promise you. It’s vital for health, energy, recovery and performance and you should be slamming litre upon litre every single day.

The Body During Recovery

The basics of recovery is that your body will adapt to the stress of the exercise you just did and repair the body to adapt to the training effect you just stressed upon it. This is why recovery is so important as it is when all you hard work takes effect for results.

During rest and recovery, your body will also replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues in worked and torn muscles.

If your body didn’t have time to repair and replenish, then the next time you worked out, these stores and conditions will only be at a reduced level, meaning your workout would be less effective as the once where your body was fully recovered.

IT’s actually pretty dangerous to not recover properly as your body will continue to breakdown from the effects of intensive exercise and you will become at risk to overtraining symptoms such as: weakness, decreased performance, risk of injury and depression.

Rest and Recover with Fitness Hub

At the Fitness Hub gym, we strongly encourage people to recover properly from their workouts and have hydration stations and rest rooms all over the gym. In our programmes, we also factor in these rest days as well as running classes aimed at maximising your recovery. There’s a stretching class, a yoga class and guided meditation available at a small extra cost.

On the Fitness Hub blog, we’ve got a whole section of posts dedicated to helping you recover the right way, with tips and tricks from me and many of our talented guest writers.