It is WEEK TWO of your fresh start to your new year, new you, lifestyle transition and if you made it to the gym consistently last week you are probably sore!! Today you will learn about tips on how to speed up the recovery to reduce soreness and also help you stay injury free in the gym. First, the warm-up, because before you start a workout it is essential that you warm up your body and get it ready for physical activity. This will allow your body to not only get warm but also start to produce blood flow in the muscles that you will be training to create maximum results. Plan for a 15-minute warm up period. I’ve seen many people hurt themselves in the gym due to the lack of proper preparation to a workout. Studies show that if you stretch and warm up, you are 6 times less likely to get as sore or injured. Second, stretching is also a very important part of your workout. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. A good tool for stretching and lengthening short/ tight muscles is using a foam roller. The benefits of foam rolling have to do with the mobility of the fascia. Fascia is a fibrous layer of connective tissue that surrounds all of the muscles in our body. Without proper mobility, fibers of the fascia become cross-linked and they bind to muscles and nerves, which inhibit normal motion and cause pain. It is essential that you learn to listen to your body. Your body will definitely communicate with you when it’s tired or not recovering properly, which could also occur due to improper nutrition. Third, is the cool down………..Finally, your food intake must be customized to how often you are training. Rule #1 in regards to nutrition is to make sure you are getting a variety of healthy foods, including lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Keeping up with all these variables can be time consuming so you must plan ahead by having your food prepared ahead of time. Eating an adequate amount of protein will give your body the essential amino acids it needs for a speedy recovery and help reduce the soreness to a minimum.
Congratulations on your first week of the New Year; 2017 can be the year you reach all of your fitness goals as long as you stay consistent and stick to your resolutions. You got this!!