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We’ve all heard the sayings. “No pain, no gain”, “Sweat is your fat crying”…and many others that make us think that going all out all the time is the only way to train. Sure, fitness and training are great ways to build muscle and improve your cardiorespiratory system. However, running your body into the ground is not the answer to long-term health and wellness. The fact is that you body responds best to training when you allow it time to RECOVER! Recovering helps reset your system. Your muscles are able to rebuild, so you can come back and train even better the next time around.

Effects of Stress

We get stress from all sides. Work stress, life circumstances, financial obligations, and yes, even working out adds to physical stress. Our bodies are resilient and we do actually require some stress to function and grow. However, overly stressing one’s body is not the path to optimizing performance. In fact, not taking the time to recover can actually have the opposite effect of what we are working so hard towards in the gym. We have to honor our bodies and give it the time it needs to heal to come back even stronger.

The effects of stress can affect all areas in our life from digestive issues, mental health conditions, problems with sleep, unwanted weight gain or loss, and even manifest itself into physical pain. If we are constantly feeling run down, low energy, emotional, and achy, the answer is not “toughing” it out. The answer is to take time for yourself. Try to bring your level of stress down to a much more manageable level.

Ways to Recover

Deep breathing, going for a walk/hike in the sun, doing light yoga or stretching, getting massage, or just taking time to be mindful are all ways that allow our bodies and minds to recover.

1. Being Mindful– If you’ve never tried mindfulness practices before, we recommend starting small. Implement just 2-3 mins a couple times a week. There are a lot of great mobile apps out there that can simplify the process and keep you more accountable. You can check out our blog on ‘5 Tips to Being More Mindful’.

2. Deep Breathing– For deep breathing, you can try belly breathing. As an added piece while you are breathing think about how your body feels in the moment. The goal is to start slow and build up to something you can implement as a daily practice.

3. Going for a walk/hike– Walking is an exercise that often gets overlooked, because it’s not as sexy as running or high intensity workouts, but it has many benefits. It’s a superior exercise! It allows your body to reset itself while also moving some blood and aiding the lymphatic system.

4. Yoga or stretching– Yoga combines a lot of the previously mentioned ways to recover because it offers blood flow through movement, breathing practices, and meditation. It doesn’t have to complicated or time-consuming either. Just 10-15 mins a day can have a huge effect on relieving stress

5. Massage– Who doesn’t like getting a great massage? It can help release physical tension in the muscles and stimulate the vagus nerve, which activates your body’s relaxation response.

Bring it All Together

In summary, if you’re feeling stressed out and are looking for ways to improve your health and fitness, taking the time to recover may be exactly what you need. If you’ve been struggling with low energy, weight management, or performance at the gym, you may need to not work harder, but learn how to relax!

If you’re interested in finding out more about other helpful health and wellness tips, then contact us today: info@opexfitness.com or click on the Request a Free Consult tab at the top right corner of this page!