It’s Kevin here, with another blog post.
Today I am discussing one of the truly “forgotten” elements of exercise that becomes extremely important for those exercising in their late 40’s, and well into their 60’s and 70’s.
Exercising properly could be the TRUE fountain of youth, as it provides a way for our bodies to continually remodel itself. Feeling stronger, look healthier and younger, and having high levels of energy day in and day out are the best benefits of exercise.
As long as you do it properly…
I’ve discussed before how you SHOULD approach exercise in your 50’s, if you haven’t been exercising in a while. Or if you have, to have a broader outlook on how you should be approaching your movement.
Today’s topic is “Recovery”
We can talk for days, weeks, and years about what TYPE of exercise you should be doing, but one simple rule applies for anyone after exercising.
You must approach your “Recovery” just as importantly as you approach your “exercise”
After working out, your body must go through a cycle of healing and recovery…
Muscles will produce waste product from all the calories being burned, you will accumulate small “micro tears” in your muscles and tissues from movement, and your heart and lungs will all need time to recover.
Many people associate this with a “burn” or “good pain”.
While it is okay to feel a small bit of this “good pain”, truthfully, it means that the body is in a state of repair.
After exercise, your muscles may become sore and tight. You may feel a bit “knotted up”, and it may even hurt a bit to move or walk the next day. To make sure you get the best results possible, but more importantly, to stay safe and injury free It is important that you “optimize” this stage of recovery by following 3 simple tasks:
- 1. KEEP moving! Don’t stay in one place for too long
The LAST thing you should be doing after a workout is to allow your body to become stuck in one position for too long. After exercising, your body is in a state where it is trying to heal and repair itself, and you DON’T want it to heal in a “stiffened state” such as sitting at a desk all day. If you do find yourself having to commute, or sit at an office, it is important you set aside at least 15-20 minutes/day to get out of your chair, do some light stretching and walking. This will allow your body to not get “stuck” and also provide constant circulation of blood to maximize your recovery.
- 2. Eat foods RICH in nutrients
You are what you eat. If you fill your body with junk, carbs, and fat because you feel like you “earned it” after a hard workout, then you are mistaken! Not only can you UNDO all the good you just did, but you can also cause harm to your body because your body relies on the food you eat to repair itself. If you aren’t replenishing yourself with nutrient rich foods such as vegetables, nuts/beans, and lean proteins (such as fish), then you are not only wasting a perfect opportunity to become healthier, but you can also cause MORE damage to your tissues.
- 3. See a Body Worker
At Balance and Body Restoration, we SPECIALIZE in helping people aged 45+ stay active, in the gym, while minimizing injury and helping people succeed at meeting their activity goals. With exercise will come the formation of “stiffness” and “knots”. And too often I find people stretching improperly (or not stretching at all), and inflicting useless pain on themselves trying to “roll out” their knots on a foam roller. Our Physical Therapists and Massage therapists are EXPERTS at helping your muscles remodel effectively, restore your mobility quickly, and also show you the BEST, most EFFECTIVE ways to recover with our stretching and mobility programs.
It has always been important to focus on your “recovery” after exercise, but it becomes even more important as you age.
Give yourself the best shot at not only staying healthy and active, but also minimize your risk of injury and “set-backs” from training.
Find out more about what we can do for you to help you OPTIMIZE your recovery from the gym, to not only prevent injuries, but to help you keep in tip top shape for years to come.
You can schedule a call-back with a PT to discuss more ways in which you can “optimize your recovery”, or if you had some general questions or concerns about pain, or injury you may be having with exercise.
We can have an honest conversation about your goals, and help give you the best advice possible on exercise recovery.
Just click the green button below to claim your FREE call-back consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy!
Kevin Mao DPT
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