There is often so much emphasis on the active part of training that sometimes the rest and the recovery is cast aside. In order to achieve one’s potential during the active phase of training, one must be attentive to the physical and mental needs for the rest and recovery stage. Physical and mental performance can be enhanced with planned recovery time and self-care. We often schedule our workouts into out weekly plan, but neglect to plan for the recovery which is part of your fitness program. Sleep is the main recovery strategy and is essential for both the physiological adaptation as well as to the consolidation of skill development. It is important to training recovery because we release human growth hormone during Stage 3 and 4 that repairs the muscle that has been purposely damaged during training. Increased duration or quality of sleep can result in overall athletic performance for non-athletes and athletes. Often nutritional changes and a regular routine can provide highly beneficial results to getting a better sleep.
An increasingly common recovery technique is foam rolling – Studies show that proper foam rolling techniques can lessen decrements in muscle performance caused by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Acutely foam rolling can increase flexibility and reduce muscle soreness and does not hinder performance. It can work by improving overall circulation. (arterial function, vascular endothelial function), and improves parasympathetic activity. For most individuals foam rolling can have a positive effect to reduce muscle soreness, increase flexibility and range of motion before, during or after a workout. Facilitated stretching, assisted stretches, yoga and massage techniques are other ways to allow muscles to release tension and allow more overall mobility, flexibility, increased blood flow. These techniques also encourage mental relaxation, which is a component of the recovery process.
The body adapts best when it is given the best opportunity to do so