Training, nutrition, and recovery are the three pillars to achieving success when it comes to your fitness goals. And they all deserve equal attention. Neglecting one leg of the tripod ups your odds of failure. Despite that, recovery is often a training element that receives the least amount of attention. Whether it’s neglecting to stretch post-workout, apply an SMS foam roller to tender muscles, or opting to ignore messages being sent from your body, these recovery elements can help your body become more equipped, rebuild muscle, and remain free from injury.
There are two stages of recovery: active (short-term) and long-term. A comprehensive post-workout recovery strategy (using an SMS foam roller, resting, drinking P4’s NSF Certified for Sport vitamin- and electrolyte-packed Recovery Push Formula, etc.) is what supports your body rebuilding tissue following a tough workout. That doesn’t mean you won’t suffer delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) —it’s a common soreness felt up to 48 hours post-training; but you can stave off preventable injuries to joints, muscles, and tendons while leaving your body better prepared to go through the rigors of a tough training session the following day.
The long-term recovery plan hinges on the entire picture; how well you’re warming your body up, the techniques and exercises in which you’re using, and, overall, what your strategy is to avoid overtraining and poor nutrition (including dehydration).
Sleep is another big part of recovery. If your sleep hygiene is poor, your recovery will also suffer. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following to adopt better sleep hygiene:
Avoiding stimulants too close to bedtime.
Avoiding large meals before bed.
Establishing regular bedtimes.
Using your bed to sleep only (instead of eating, reading, or watching TV)