Workout, Rest, Repeat

Athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high level performance. Although you may feel guilty when you take a day off from exercising, it is important to help the body with repairs. A rest day will also help strengthen your body in the time between workouts. Continuous training can actually weaken even the strongest athletes.

Rest days are critical to sports performance for many reasons. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days will help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.

Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effects takes place. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy store and repair damaged tissues. Exercise and physical work causes changes in the body. Muscle tissue will breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss will occur. Recovery time, or a rest day will allow the stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. The result, is overtraining and symptoms such as, feeling a general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and an increased risk of injury.

Short-Term Recovery
Also called active recovery, short-term recovery occurs in the hours immediately after intense exercise. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout as well as during the days following the workout. These types of recovery are helpful with performance. Getting quality sleep is also an important part of short-term recovery, especially if you are doing a hard training regime.

Long-Term Recovery
Long-term recovery refers to those that are built into a seasonal training program such as professional athletes will have for during the season vs. off season workouts. Recovery time will be days and even weeks, depending on the demand that their body faces.

It is important to adapt your recovery time to your workout. The higher level of training intensity, the greater the need for planned recovery time. With monitoring your workouts in a training log and paying attention to your body and how it feels, you’ll be able to plan in your rest days. Talk to your trainer- get them to help you plan out the best workout – rest routine that suits you and your body’s needs. Remember how important it is to let your body rest and recover – rest for success.

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Vitamin C and Recovery from Exercise

Oranges are a good source of Vitamin CIt is no secret that certain vitamins can not only contribute to better overall health and life longevity but some may not be aware of the fact that vitamins can also help our bodies heal quicker than they normally would without vitamins. For those who participate in sports activities or exercise program, accidents and injuries are to be expected. One vitamin that is aggressive in helping our bodies recover is Vitamin C. Here is what you should know about Vitamin C and recovery from exercise.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of nature’s best gifts whether ingested it in pill form or from food sources. Because it has antioxidant properties and components it naturally assists our bodies in growth, production and healing. Vitamins in general fall within one of two categories-either water soluble or fat soluble. Vitamin C falls in the water soluble category which simply means is has the ability to dissolve easily and therefore the benefits we get from it are quick. Water soluble vitamins transition or pass through our urine as well and help regulate the toxins within our systems.

Each time we take something into our bodies, our metabolism works hard to process it. Vitamins that are water soluble such as Vitamin C are easily processed and therefore our bodies can absorb what it needs and flushes what isn’t needed (or the excess) out with ease.

Benefits of Vitamin C

With regard to exercise, Vitamin C is essential not only in the preparatory stages of exercising but it also plays a key role in helping our bodies recover from aches, pains and injuries. When we exercise we are naturally putting strain on our joints, tendons and muscles so we need to take preventative measures to not over strain them and to be responsible in helping them to repair themselves when we do over-extend.

Our bodies contain massive amounts of tissue that connects our muscles and ligaments. Vitamin C plays a vital part in strengthening and repairing these tissues, particularly the connective ones. Since Vitamin C is stored within the tissues, it has direct access and can aid in promoting healthy tissue development. Additionally Vitamin C has antioxidants that have been shown to assist with oxidative damage that often occurs during exercising. This type of damage is sustained and caused by free radicals within the air that we breathe and can deteriorate our cell functions.

Because antioxidants also promote healthy immune systems, our bodies will recover from illness and exercise related injuries much quicker than someone who has an infected or compromised immune system. This is especially true once we begin to age because our bones, muscles and connective tissues are more fragile than they were in our younger years.

Taking Vitamin C for pre- and post-exercise regimes

Whether you’re a high level athlete or just beginning to incorporate regular exercise into your life, the benefits that one can obtain from taking recommended doses of Vitamin C are vast. Many health professionals recommend that you take Vitamin C on a daily basis. Because Vitamin C is soluble, it doesn’t remain in our systems permanently; our body will absorb what it needs and secrete the rest through sweat and urine, therefore we have to offer our body a steady stream of it for it to be beneficial.

Taking the proper dose of Vitamin C prior to working out can prevent muscle aches and pain and can also assist the repair of injuries at a much quicker rate. The recommended dose of daily Vitamin C will vary depending on your own physiological make up as well as the intensity of your regime. Professionals generally recommend anywhere from 400 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C per day.

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Oranges in glass