Rest and recovery

With many of you having your first or second week back into the gym, your rest and recovery is going to extremely important, and the more you implement now, the better it will be in the long run.

Rest and Recovery is ultimately the time spent outside of training, and the actions you implement to help your body repair from the breakdown and stress you have caused from training.

If you didn’t already know, your muscles do not grow and become stronger during physical training. When you exercise your muscles are broken down and microtears are created, only once the training session has finished and the ‘recovery stage’ has begun will your muscles repair and become bigger/stronger. As you can imagine, if the recovery stage isn’t considered after training, your body will not recover as well as it potentially could do.

Over the next 4 days I shall cover the 4 key variables to ensure you are achieving the best possible rest and recovery.

Better sleep = Better recovery.

I’m sure you have all heard how important sleep is by now, and when it comes to recovering from physical training sleep is still one of the top variables you should be considering.

Your goal should be a minimum of 7 hours a night and if you are someone who tends to have restless sleeps, you should look into changing variables you can manage before you go to bed, before potentially looking at supplements.

Our top tips for better sleep are:

  • No Caffeine after 3pm
  • To try and reduce as much blue light exposure 1 hour before bed.
  • Make the room as dark as possible.

How much sleep do you usually get per night?

Nutrition & Recovery

Still following on with how we can improve our recovery, the next factor is nutrition.

One thing you need to remember is that food is fuel, and shouldn’t be consumed for short term pleasure. Now you should all have a rough idea of the daily macronutrients you are consuming, although I don’t want to go into much detail these numbers will have been set for you not just to ‘fuel’ your day to day life, but also to ensure you are recovering from any physical activity you are doing.

Something you probably have not considered when it comes to recovery is ensuring you are consuming a wide range of micronutrients. Consuming a wide range of fruit and vegetables daily can almost guarantee you will achieve your micronutrient goal, but if you really struggle with consuming a wide range, a multi vitamin supplement can be incorporated.

Stretching for better recovery.

Stretching is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to recovery, I know this because I have over looked it myself for years.

For this I am primarily talking about post workout stretching. It has multiple benefits including increased flexibly and increased range of motion, but the main reason I have included this is due to improvement in blood flow due to consistent stretching. Now we know that if we have an improved blood flow our body is going to be able to deliver nutrients to our muscles quicker therefore increasing recovery times.

Massage & Self Myofascial Release

The last piece of the puzzle we are going to look at this week is massage & SMR. Having a massage performed by a professional once a month or even once a week will have multiple positives when it comes to recovery. Again, it will help allow for that increased blood flow that we talked about yesterday. It can also decrease inflammation and help reduce muscle tightness.

Another type of massage you can do is self-myofascial realise (SMR), Which is when you use a foam roller to release any tension you may feel is any area. This can be used more regularly than getting a massage and it can also be more time efficient.


Reece Halsey

Impact Personal Trainer