A lot of us are living life in the fast lane. We barely have time to make it to the gym – and recovery, stretching, and mobility are often at the end of the priority list. Did you know that our bodies need rest and recovery to reduce stress, enhance performance, and reach our goals?

In February, we are challenging you to set aside 10 minutes each day for rest and recovery – before you know it, R&R will become part of your daily routine, and we are confident that you’ll feel great.

Why Are Rest and Recovery Important?

Bone and muscle ‘breakdown’ is crucial for athletic development, but too much of it without regeneration can lead to injury, long-term complications, and burnout. Complete rest can achieve regeneration, but research shows that a better option is ‘active rest/recovery’ which is intentionally utilizing strategies and techniques to expedite the recovery process. Recovery enhances performance by restoring energy stores and initiating healing mechanisms in the body – this leaves your muscles feeling energized, responsive, and less sore/stiff.

Whether you workout or not, getting enough sleep is essential to recovery. Our brains do not have a lymphatic system. Therefore, sleeping is our brain’s way of ridding waste. It’s also necessary for stress management, cognitive function, and performance.

Best Methods to Rest/Recovery

Foam Rolling

Whether you are at the gym or at home, grab a foam roller to massage your muscles. Foam rolling can increase flexibility, reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

Cross-Training

Just because you’re resting doesn’t mean you can’t cross-train. Go for a walk during your lunch break, take a spin class, do yoga or stretch. These activities will keep your muscles loosened up while giving them a break from strenuous exercise.

Increase Circulation

Circulation initiates the healing processes for micro tears, which reduces muscle soreness. Recovery facilities like Rx Sports Recovery offer tools to increase circulation. Normatec compression systems and non-fatiguing muscle stim can accelerate recovery, improve range-of-motion, and increase blood flow.

Best Times for Rest/Recovery

Off Days

Instead of complete rest on off days, use the strategies listed above for active recovery.

After Workouts

After your work out, grab a foam roller or lacrosse ball to massage out your muscles. You can also actively cool down by taking a leisurely spin on an assault bike or going for a light jog. Rest and recovery are just as important as nutrition, hydration and stress management. Build it into your day and stick to it.  Remember, our challenge is for you to set aside 10 minutes each day for rest and recovery.

Special thanks to our partner Rx Sports Recovery in Highlands Ranch, CO for contributing to this blog.  Fill out their consultation form to see how Rx Sports Recovery can help you perform your best.