Post-workout recovery is something that is often overlooked, but so important in keeping your body and mind healthy, and moving towards your goals.
When you work out, you are putting your body under stress, so taking the time to reduce the stress in order to allow recovery processes to take place, is essential to seeing the results that you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
“Simply put, rest and recovery is time spent not training. It includes low intensity activity such as sleeping, eating, flexibility and mobility training, heating, and icing. These activities are what cultivate an environment for restoration and repair after training.”
If you don’t spend any time in ‘recovery mode’, you will likely feel unpleasantly sore for a longer amount of time, which will hinder you from staying on your workout schedule at best, or lead to injury/re-injury at worst. Exercise physiologist Dr. Bryan Meyers describes the typical symptoms of an extra tough workout:
“In addition to muscle tightness, people with DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) notice several other symptoms. These changes include a decrease in muscle strength and a smaller range of motion. Your muscles will also feel swollen and thick. Combined, these effects decrease your athletic ability and life quality.”
So how can you mitigate DOMS and other hindrances to your workout progress? General recovery can easily and conveniently be achieved in the context of group fitness classes. A focus on low impact activities to promote blood flow to speed up recovery and repair is critical, as is gentle mobility and stretching. The following are ideal class formats to support your recovery efforts:
Group Cycling (Spinning): spinning has long been used by athletes as an effective recovery modality. It is low impact, while facilitating an easy to moderate cardiovascular “flush” to rid the body of lactic acid build-up particularly in the lower body.
Forever Fit: this class is designed for gentle cardio and muscular endurance work for the mature exerciser, or those returning or reintegrating into a fitness routine after injury. Don’t feel any workout is too easy! Sometimes it takes just as much discipline to do an light workout vs. a heavy workout.
Yoga/Pilates: the combination of deep focused breathing, alignment and increased range of motion is optimal for a body in discomfort or misalignment. Aim for basic Pilates, Fusion, Yoga or YIN Yoga for ideal levels of stability and stretch.
No Stress Stretch: this is a class for those that aren’t into yoga, but still need the stretch! Participants are guided through fluid dynamic standing stretches, into seated and floor based static stretches for a deep enhancement to recovery.
Go easy, breathe easy, and let the instructor know how your body is feeling, or if you have an injury. They will guide you through the class in a safe and mindful manner. Of course, if pain or discomfort persist or start to impede your workouts and quality of life, it is time for a visit to your healthcare provider and/or physiotherapist.
Other modalities for recovery are available through personal training sessions as well, such as foam rolling and Hyper Volt electrical stimulation.
Talk to one of our personal trainers today for more information. Whether through classes or private sessions, our aim is to help you get your body fully recovered in order to achieve that next big fitness goal!