When you exercise, your body needs some recovery time. An increase in size, strength, power and performance is often attributed to growth in lean muscle mass. But what exactly is growth, and why does it happen?
Muscles grow when they are subjected to an external resistance. That resistance causes incredibly small tears within the muscle fibers, commonly known as micro-tears.
When these micro-tears are healed the muscle becomes slightly larger, and as you can imagine it would take hundreds if not thousands of these healing cycles to create a marked difference that can actually be seen.
Certain muscle groups take far longer to heal than others (an example is the lower back), and the healing ability of people varies greatly. The reason behind differing recovery rates between people is largely determined by their current lifestyle (which includes current health, level of fitness/conditioning, stress levels, nutrition, quality and duration of sleep).
In essence, growth’s limiting factor is directly related to one’s ability to regenerate. The faster you heal, the sooner you can provide the stimulus for growth. Again, in simpler terms – the shorter your recovery cycle the sooner you can train again.
With so much emphasis of recovery, how on earth can you improve yours?
4 Ways To Improve Your Recovery After Exercise:
This is the best place to start and relatively easy to alter. Drink more water – hydration is key to health and toxin removal. Increase antioxidant intake – great for immune system and healing in general. Eat clean – A balanced diet is a major contributing factor to healing, after all it provides the building blocks that are essential to recovery. If you don’t know what to eat, seek the advice of a qualified dietitian.
The current level of fitness and conditioning of an individual greatly impacts their recovery rate. For instance an individual whose body is adapted for a particular form of training will recover quicker.
Light cardio and light stretching flushes the tender muscle groups with nutrient rich blood accelerating the healing process. As well as training of any sort moves the lymph further assisting toxin removal.
Often manifests itself chemically in the form of cortisol, which by nature is a catabolic hormone which means to ‘break down’ molecules for energy. This hormone complex is responsible for waking you up, burning fat and yes it can burn muscle. Stress causes an abundance of this chemical complex which can negatively influence your sleeping pattern and muscle growth over time.
Solution: Meditation, working out, reading for pleasure, playful activities and yoga are great for combating stress.
Your greatest healing phase of the entire day, make sure you prioritize going to bed early and creating a quality experience that leaves you refreshed!
Follow the link for more fitness advice from personal trainer Tyrone Wessels.