Working out consistently is one of the best things that you can do for yourself but there is a limit to how much stress your body can tolerate before it breaks down and risks injury. Doing too much work too quickly will result in injury or muscle damage, but doing too little, too slowly will not result in any improvement. This is why the REST days in your workout program are so important.
Building recovery time into your training program is important because it is when you are resting that your body adapts to the stress of the exercise and the real effects of your hard work begin to take place. It is during this time that your body is able to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Effective exercise causes changes in the body including muscle tissue breakdown & the depletion of energy stores & fluid loss.
When you Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish your body will continue to break down from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others. We want you to be successful as much as you do but remember- Don't over do it!
There are two categories of recovery important to your Exercise Program: short-term recovery & long-term recovery. Understanding both of these principals is very important to your fitness goals.
Short-term recovery is active recovery that occurs in the hours immediately after exercise. Active recovery includes some low-intensity exercise after workouts during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard workout. Another major focus of recovery immediately following exercise has to do with replenishing energy stores and fluids lost during exercise. It is important to have a post-exercise meal or protein shake to aid in your recovery. This is the time when your soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) repairs and the chemicals that build up as a result of cell activity during exercise are removed from your system.
Long-term recovery refers to recovery that is built in to a seasonal training program. This is usually reserved for athletes and coaches who have well-designed training schedules which include recovery days and or weeks that are built into an annual training schedule. This is also the reason athletes and coaches change their training program throughout the year (add cross training, modify workouts types, and make changes in intensity, time, distance and all the other training variables.
Make sure you get enough protein
Get as much rest as you can- even if it means going to bed an hour earlier
Don't over-do it!