Ok, so we know generally about how to eat healthy and exercise, right? (Posts to come on my approach to those!) There’s a third important factor that I think we forget all too often, and that’s recovery. The soreness we feel after a workout is tiny tears in our muscle tissue, which results in stronger muscles when they heal. In order to optimize the improvement from this cycle, we need to recover effectively. I’m a mama of two, and new at juggling 2 kids, let alone working out while juggling them (that’s a funny mental picture!) so I really needed to make sure my systems were in place, so I sat down a few weeks ago to strategize on how to fuel, train, and recover well with limited extra effort and time. Here are my top tips:
Rest day: I take 2 days as active recovery days, where I go for a walk, but don’t do any strength work or intense cardio, and one total rest day where I don’t usually even go for a walk. I train as intensely as I can the other four days, so I need to give my body the best recovery I can. A few years ago this would have sounded insane. Only work out half the week? If you overtrain, your muscles won’t recover enough to get stronger, and your risk of injury increases, so really, this is necessary if you’re looking for expedited results.
-I eat a few ginger chews each day to help aid in my recovery. They are delicious and make a huge difference. There’s science behind this, but tbh, I don’t remember exactly what it says.
-coconut water. This stuff is awesome. It has electrolytes, sodium, potassium, and far less sugar and none of the chemicals of sports drinks. Plus I love the taste.
-potassium rich foods- bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, squashes…all these things help your body heal.
-hydration-the coconut water helps, but I drink a ton of water too. The muscles need water to repair. Sometimes we swell up after a tough workout, and that’s why-but drinking adequate water actually makes you de-bloat faster!
-extra protein- I usually try to up my protein on rest days especially while I’m rebuilding, in the form of nuts, chicken, beef. Fish, and eggs.
-SLEEP! I try to take a nap as often as I can, but especially on rest days. Your body does the most healing when you sleep!
Hope these tips help you find some sweet success of your own!