Facts You Should Know About Muscle Recovery

Fitness Routine, Muscle Recovery -

Facts You Should Know About Muscle Recovery

The road to muscle growth involves stressing our bodies through exercise. While routine training has countless benefits, failing to plan for muscle recovery can harm your overall health. Here are important things you should know regarding proper recovery. 

Neglecting Muscle Recovery Can Lead to Illness and Injury

While exercise is a great way to keep our bodies in peak condition, failing to allow your muscles to recover can compromise your immune system and your body’s inner balance of function. This can increase your risk for injury and illness and spark the onset of nonfunctional overtraining. Excessive training without adequate rest can have a harmful effect on your overall well-being.

Appropriate Muscle Recovery Balances Your Body's Functioning

Physiological homeostasis is the state of balance within your body that occurs when the critical parameters are maintained within a specific range. These parameters include blood glucose, temperature, blood pressure, and body temperature. Muscle recovery is an essential process that leads to homeostasis. Proper recovery includes the following: 

  • Rest: During sleep, your muscles relax, leading to decreased tension and pain. Growth hormone is also secreted while we sleep. This hormone is important for muscle growth. Lack of adequate sleep can prolong muscle soreness and may even cause chronic pain. Over time, poor sleep hygiene can lead to higher cortisol levels, which increases stress and inflammation within your body. 
  • Refuel Through Food: Optimal nutritional intake with the proper amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fats is important to replenish your body’s stores, facilitate muscle repair and growth, maintain your energy, and reduce inflammation. While excessive food intake is harmful, not eating enough is equally detrimental to muscle recovery. 
  • Rehydration: Water is important for regulating our body’s temperature, transporting nutrients, and even lubricating our joints. Staying hydrated stimulates blood flow to your muscles, which can lead to decreased pain. Proper hydration can also help to remove the toxins that prolong muscle soreness.

You Can Monitor Your Heart Rate and Breathing To Validate Muscle Recovery 

To know if you are properly restoring your muscles, simply monitor your heart and breathing rates. 

  • Heart Rate: First determine your resting heart rate by measuring your average morning heart rate over a period of five days. If your heart rate is eight beats per minute higher than your RHR while training, take the day off to rest and recover. 
  • Breathing: Overbreathing can be a sign that your body is in stress mode. To test for over-breathing, measure the time needed to take another breath after one normal breath. The normal time is around 40 seconds. If you need to take another breath in 15 to 25 seconds, this is a sign that you are an over-breather. 

Active Recovery Can Speed Up Muscle Healing 

Active recovery involves movements ranging from light-intensity workouts to small bouts of high-intensity exercises to stimulate lactate removal and blood flow, thus signaling proteins in your body to initiate healing to stressed tissues. Studies have demonstrated that active recovery leads to faster returns to homeostasis when compared to passive recovery, which involves no movement at all. 

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