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After Exercise: Recovery and Rest

Fitday Editor

Most people already know the health benefits derived from being active through consistent exercise; many, however, do not value after exercise recovery as an essential part of the process.

What is After Exercise Recovery?

In order to have a healthy lifestyle, it is important that you do some form of moderate to intense exercise. Exercising, however, comes with its own risk of injury, and in order to reduce this likelihood, it is important that you engage in after exercise recovery. This way, your body will be allowed to recover and do so faster. No matter what your fitness level is, exercise regime or intensity, there are certain after exercise steps that need to be taken with respect to exercise recovery. The process will not take any significant period of time and will require too much effort, yet most people neglect to do it.

Benefits of After Exercise Recovery

When you allow your body to recover after exercise, you will be aiding it in adapting to the strain of exercise. When you engage in exercise, your muscle tissues get somewhat damaged during the process. When you allow your body time to rest and recover, you give it time to repair these damaged tissue. Also, after exercise recovery also helps in replenishing your energy stores and greatly aids in your psychology recovery through rejuvenation and relaxation.

What Does After Exercise Recovery Involve?

After exercise recovery will require certain actions to be carried out as soon as the exercise is done. This will include warming down and stretching, consuming food and rest.

When you have finished exercising, you will need to spend up to fifteen minutes doing very low intensity exercise. This allows your heart rate to fall in a gradual manner and helps in preventing muscle stiffening. The exercise that you do when warming down need not be similar to that of the main exercise activity.

Stretching is also important after exercising. When exercising, your joints, tendons and muscles will be under strain. You will need to do stretching to prevent the muscles from becoming 'knotted' and also to help improve flexibility. When stretching, do so within 10 minutes of finishing the exercise and ensure that you do not overstretch the muscle. Stretch slowly and ensure that you do not hold the stretch for more than thirty seconds. Also, as you are easing into the stretch you should breathe out.

To aid in your muscle recovery after exercise, it is necessary that you keep hydrated. As you exercise, your body is losing fluids and this can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to fall. Therefore, drinking an adequate amount of fluids before and after exercise is important.

Apart from an appropriate after exercise recovery, you must allow your body to get adequate amounts of rest each day. It has been estimated that six to eight hours of rest is necessary each day for optimum health and recovery.

Exercise rest and recovery is very important in preventing muscle and tissue damage, and the required steps must be taken for optimal benefits.

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