It would appear the world has gone mad for home exercise classes. People and families bouncing around their living rooms like lunatics, wearing the carpet down in just one patch in front of a laptop, tablet or TV and banging their heads on ceiling lights as they curse their internet connection.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this article is about to slag all of that off but I’m part of that very same group and I love it. In fact I don’t know where I would be without it in these recent weeks. An opportunity to let off some steam, raise the heart rate and dare I say have some fun with it too.
All of this exercise stuff is great but have you been taking the time to Rest and Recover too??
Taking said exercise classes as an example, they can all be pretty tough on those muscles and joints. But any form of exercise, whether you’ve been out on your bike, taking in a walk or trying to beat a 5km or 10km time, it all takes its toll on the body, exercise is a stress on the body at the end of the day and therefore it is vitally important that we take the time to recover from it in order to seek the best benefits.
Just like exercise there are multiple ways in which you can rest and recover and to get the very best out of it you should probably be utilising several methods across your week.
Sleep: The most important way to recover is of course to make sure you get adequate sleep. Getting between 7-9hrs sleep per night is the single most important way to recover from your days activities. Sticking to consistent sleep and wake times and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine from midday can be a great way to support a good night’s kip.
Stretch: Putting time aside to work on muscle and joint mobility is a great way to give specific attention to fatigued tight areas. Using a blend of stretching exercises to work logically throughout the body allows you to become in tune with areas of the body that need further care. Adopting some foam rolling and a trigger point ball can also be great tools to use here too.
Bath: Sometimes nothing beats a good soak. Putting time aside to light the candles and sink beneath the bubbles is a great way to relax and unwind. A nice hot bath has genuine calming affects upon the body as well as opening up the blood vessels to help relax those muscles. *If you’ve not got the candles out are you really doing it properly??
Breathe: How often do you take even a moment to consider your breathing? It’s just something we can all be forgiven for taking for granted. But taking even just as little as 1 minute to complete 6-8 breaths can have a tremendous calming and relaxing affect upon us. Tying this is with some simple guided meditation could also be of huge benefit.
To conclude...there is absolutely no problem with bouncing around your living room, garden or bedroom where ever you do it, squeezing every last rep out, keeping up with the clock or tying to beat you previous best time. But making the time to rest and recover from all of this exercise is equally important and using a combination of the methods discussed will be a great place to start.