5 Tips for Your Body on Recovery Day

You make your greatest gains when you give your body the rest it needs. Plan your rest days for optimal execution, and by being proactive in your body’s recovery process, you will improve exercise performance and overall wellness. 

Here are five tips on why planning scheduled recovery days will help you to become fitter, strong, healthier, and happier.

1) Your Muscles Rebuild

Muscles are either in a state of breaking down or building up; therefore, on recovery days, even though you are resting, your muscles are still working.  In the 24-48 hours that follow your training, your muscles repair and grow stronger through a process called muscle protein synthesis.

This process can only occur during rest. If you’re not taking the time to recover, your body will always be working to get back to its baseline.

2) Your connective tissue rebuilds

Most people don’t think about their connective tissue until it starts to hurt. Connective tissue is exactly what it sounds like: tissues that connect your body’s muscles, organs, blood vessels, and nerves. It provides structure and support; it’s the glue that holds you together.

Your connective tissues will adapt to training; however, there’s a catch… they develop at a much slower rate than muscle tissue.

For these tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, the emphasis needs to be on injury prevention, and planning your rest days will ensure that they are receiving the time needed that they can rebuild.

3) Your mind to muscle connection gains strength

Your nervous systems signal your muscles to fire when needed. When you train, you stimulate your nerves to perform a task or do something that requires coordination. When you rest, your body is able to strengthen the pathway between that signal and movement. Therefore, the next time you perform that task, you do so more efficiently.

4) Your hormones begin to balance

Consistent, tough workouts without recovery days can boost our production of the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as the other “fight or flight” hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones increase our heart rate and blood pressure; therefore, we feel an energy surge when we need it. 

While these hormones are important when we need them, having them revved up all of the time does our body a great disservice. Insomnia, an increase in appetite, and an overall feeling of fatigue are all signs of elevated cortisol levels.

Rest will give your body the opportunity to bring the stress hormones back down to normal levels and prepare for the next time you train.  

5) Recovery for recharging

Rest is good for the soul. The constant grind of training can grow monotonous. If you begin to find yourself dreading your workouts, it might be a sign that scheduled recovery days should find their way into your exercise routine or training plan.

Bonus tip:

One of the best ways to spend your recovery days is to schedule routine bodywork appointments. We at Denver Deep take recovery days DEEPLY serious, and we know the unique recipe your body requires to recover as hard as you train. Occasional bodywork is great, regular Deep Method Ashiatsu Massage is a must. 

Justin Sutton