Maintaining a strong recovery routine that pairs with other weekly activities and exercise routines will allow the body to grow, repair, and function properly. There are a huge variety of ways to recover and it is important to keep a few consistent while switching up others to keep your fitness journey experience exciting and fun. Let’s explore a few ways to provide your body with the rest and repair it needs to build and sustain muscular endurance and move more efficiently overall.
It is important to note that your performance during your workouts can be affected by the type of clothes you wear! Many studies have shown that wearing compressible clothes has many effects on the body and aiding to recovery. Wearing clothes that compress the skin will increase blood flow which offers excess oxygen to muscle fibers enabling them to thrive and grow. With increased blood and oxygen flow throughout the body athletes experience less muscle soreness that comes with intense training.
I love to pair my favorite pair of flattering compression leggings with a tighter top during my cardiorespiratory training to sweat more and burn calories for fat loss. Wearing a top that is tight and fit to your core and hips helps to engage your inner muscles to have longer periods in time under tension. By engaging and tightening muscles during exercise you burn fat and grow muscles more efficiently. Target specific muscle groups that you can focus on throughout different exercises to get more out of your workouts and to build your mind-body relationship.
Another great way to relieve stress through your muscles, tendons, and joints is setting aside time to sit in the sauna or another high temperature environment. When your core temperature heats you will sweat out excess liquids and toxins that are stored in your skin and body. Wear your compression clothing into the sauna with you to truly focus on the muscles you’ve previously worked that may feel tight and painful. Remember to bring cold water into the sauna with you in case you start to feel nauseous or dizzy and to stay hydrated.
If you have access to a sauna and swimming pool you can recover quickly by switching between a hot and cold temperature. However much time you spend heating up your body in the sauna is how much time you should spend cooling down in the pool. By going back and forth several times heating and cooling your core temperature your body can reset and heal quicker. For example, sit in the sauna for 10 minutes then go straight to the pool for 10 minutes and do this for 40-60 minutes twice a week. The quick temperature change will challenge your heart rate allowing you to burn more calories than if you were to just sit in the sauna for a long period of time.
Switch up your cardiorespiratory training throughout your weekly workouts by moving around in the pool. Swimming is a great way to get in aerobic exercise without adding extra stresses to muscles, joints, and tendons. If you are feeling tight and sore then skip that 5k run you had planned and swim it instead. You will still get all of the benefits like improving your cardio fitness, flexibility, and muscular endurance. The cold water promotes blood flow and can enhance agility and power when paired with weight-training on a weekly basis. If swimming laps doesn’t seem like your thing, that’s okay, because there are so many different types of exercises you can do in the pool. You could run while circling your arms, hold a kick-board to target specific muscles, float around while strengthening your core, or just practice holding your breath.
Whatever it is that brings you joy and makes your body feel good should be scheduled into your weekly exercise routine. We must practice muscle and body recovery in many different ways to gain a variety of benefits and outcomes. People often feel like “rest days” aren’t being productive when in reality we need rest days to perform, grow, and function better to maintain functional movements throughout our life and hobbies that we love.
To more rest days, health, and happiness all 2021!
Trainer and Health Coach
The Outdoor Athlete