Hey Folks, this weeks blog is about the importance of recovery, I believe there are two parts to this, physical recovery and mental recovery. This week I will focus on the physical. 

Getting the right recovery after exercise is essential for muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building. For weight training routines, never work the same muscle groups two days in a row.

All throughout my personal training and coaching career, it never seems to amaze me how many people fail on this- in my eyes it is one of the most critical aspects of exercise.

Below are a number of key points we should take on board to help aid results when exercising.

Cool Down. Cooling down simply means slowing down (not stopping completely) after exercise. Continuing to move around at a very low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes after a workout helps remove lactic acid from your muscles and may reduce muscles stiffness.

Replace Fluids. You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally- you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Lots of fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

Stretch. After any workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover. Depending on your session hold your stretch up to 10-15secs. 

Rest. Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It's not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.

Eat Properly. After emptying your energy stores through exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 15-30 minutes of the end of your workout, and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.

Perform Active Recovery. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster. This can be carried out almost anywhere, such as your place of work or home.

Have a Massage. Have a treat..:) A Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. You can also try self-massage using a Foam Roller to ease tight muscles and it could avoid the sometimes heavy sports massage price tag.

Should you require any of the SSTF services or any further information regarding any of the topics discussed, please contact me on 07786375730, email sportsspecific@hotmail.com or visit our website www.sstf-web.com

Hugh Donnelly