When exercising, it’s important to make sure that you’re working out as safely as possible. Injuries can happen to the best of us, whether it’s a strained hamstring or sprained ankle, we should always ensure we manage our recovery in the best way.
If you’re a little too sore after a heavy lifting session at the gym, or have strained your ankle from that extra long run along the coast, it can be tempting to take a day off and rest the next day.
However, regular active ‘rest’ days are key to keeping your body fit and healthy, especially after the stress and strain of vigorous exercise.
Whether you’re a regular gym goer or starting out on a new health journey, the importance of taking steps to make sure you seek out the best type of recovery exercises should not be underestimated.
Dean Zweck, Product Development Manager at Total Fitness, has shared his insights to make sure your next recovery exercise is done safely, and accurately.
- Cardio Workouts
Steady, flat-line cardio isn’t as scary as you think. This type of activity can include a short-distance walk or jog which can help benefit your body in the long run.
Working out at a moderate, sustained pace can help to both elevate your heart rate and build endurance without putting too much pressure on your body.
After a long period of intense training or competitions, athletes will jump straight into an ice-cold bath. Cold baths are great for recovery as they ease muscle soreness and are the perfect way to reduce your core body temperature – especially after a hot and sweaty gym session.
If jumping into an ice-cold bath just isn’t for you when it comes to recovery, swimming is a great way to exercise instead.
Swimming is a low-impact activity that puts less pressure on your joints and muscles. In fact, swimming can help to improve your overall blood circulation.
A suggestion for your recovery exercise would be to spend 20 minutes enjoying a few lengths in the pool – these swimming exercises can vary, and you can alternate between different strokes, such as backstroke and breaststroke.
Yoga is an effective active recovery workout for both the mind and body. To enhance a balanced fitness routine, yoga stretches can be the ideal way to wind down after an intense workout.
By increasing circulation to your muscles whilst doing various yoga poses, and focusing on breathing, it eases the oxygen flow within your body and helps you to feel relaxed. Therefore, helping you feel energized again and ready to tackle your next workout at your local gym.
Why not give basic yoga poses a go on your next recovery day, if you’re new to this, try the Downward Dog pose. To begin with, start on your hands and knees.
Next, inhale and lift both knees up off the floor, raising your hips up to the ceiling. Exhale and push both arms straight and push your heels toward the floor. There you have it – the first of many yoga poses. You’ll be a pro, in no time.
So, the next time you find yourself wanting to lie back and relax after an intense bout of training, make sure you’re making the most out of your workouts, and add in some recovery exercises to keep you safe, and ready to take on your next fitness routine.