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Something new, something old: Get some rest

rest2Workout - Recuperate

Getting sufficient rest and recuperation is as important as any workout. Overtraining won’t make you any stronger or aid your performance, so learn to keep a proper balance between the two by watching for the following markers.

A loss of body mass/weight of just 2% indicates a lack of sufficient hydration which affects both physical and mental performance. Another indicator of dehydration is the colour of your urine. Dark yellow means you need to drink more water. Drinking more fluids both before and after a workout is recommended.

It’s a good idea to check your resting heart rate each morning to see what’s normal for you. An elevated resting heart rate is a sign of stress and your heart trying to move more oxygen to muscles and the brain. Physical and psychological stress registers the same. Both require extra recovery.

Get some sleep

Sleep could be the answer. Consistently good sleep boosts growth hormones which build muscle fibers. Poor quality sleep decreases mental and muscle reaction time.

You need to be honest about your general energy level. If it’s low, something’s wrong. Pushing through fatigue isn’t always the answer. Your mood is another indicator of your physical state. A physically stressed body produces cortisol which can cause irritability and anxiety.

rest1If you’re sick your body needs extra energy to supply your immune system, which means less energy for physical workouts. This applies to women’s menstrual cycles too. Pain also falls into the same category.

Overworked muscles or an injury require more energy and time to repair.

Overall workout performance, although subjective, is a measure of workout quality. Comparing your performance on a daily basis should give you a sense of your need for recovery.

Has you oxygen level decreased? To measure this you’ll need a portable pulse oximeter. The higher the oxygen level the better. However, this is a relatively new area of recovery science and there’s a need for further research. Nevertheless, there may be a link between low oxygen saturation and the need for increased recovery.

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