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Sore Series, Part 3: How to recover

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Our muscles are sore from the previous few days in the gym. Our ligaments are tight. Our form is suffering. Our performance is lagging. It’s time for a recovery day. And while we know it’s an important day in our general fitness routine, sometimes figuring out what to do stumps us into doing nothing at all.

Consider recovery day as restorative day. We are easing up on our hard-working body, gently helping our muscles rebuild. We break up knotty tissue, get the blood moving, coax out the lactic acid. We offer TLC to our body, getting it ready to perform at its peak again.

So how can we make our recovery day productive? Read on.

Be recreationally active
In Gregg Glassman’s “Fitness in 100 Words,” he encourages athletes to “regularly learn and play new sports.” Find a sport you enjoy and use your recovery day to play. Keep in mind, recreation doesn’t mean high intensity. Instead, consider a pace where you can still talk, joke around and poke fun your opponents. Some low-intensity sports include golf, hiking, kayaking or paddle boarding, bike riding and rock climbing.

Take a class
Consider creative classes outside the gym but inside your interests. Dance, yoga (hot or not), Pilates, barre, drama. Make sure it has a physical component. Wine and book clubs don’t qualify.

Get a massage
Yes massages, once thought of as a luxury, are necessary for recovery. It gets the blood moving more effectively in the muscle, aiding in rebuilding. Plus it feels very nice.

Roll out
If getting a weekly massage is out of the picture, get yourself acquainted with the foam roller. Slowly and steadily roll on the muscles and everything adjoined. Use a lacrosse ball to dig into those hard spots (hip joints, shoulder blades). You should feel pressure and discomfort, but never debilitating pain.

Check in as Coach Tina takes over our Instagram and shows us her favorite ways to recovery and restore.