The Truth About Rest and Recovery

What do YOU do when you get injured or sick? Push through the pain and the sniffles NO MATTER WHAT? Or do you scale back, stay home, and limit your activity to sipping soup and binge watching Netflix? Or maybe you opt for a somewhat schizophrenic blend of those extremes—pounding through a killer workout that lays you up for two days, and then repeating that cycle on loop indefinitely, never quite getting back to 100%?

Whatever camp you fall into, it’s totally cool. But here are some important bits to remember—and basic guidelines to follow—when your body is dealing with some yuck.

rest

First, please know that we love you like mad, but…if you’re coughing or sneezing up a storm AND you’re contagious, STAY HOME! Yup, keep those germs as confined as you possibly can. If you have a fever, same thing. But if you’re dealing with lingering symptoms of a common cold and the contagious phase has passed, it’s likely time to resume your workouts. Getting the blood pumping can actually boost your energy. Truth! Just be sure to listen to your body, and be willing to back off if you start feeling crappy.

Now, if you’re injured, THAT SUCKS! Seriously. That sucks. It’s such a drag to be sidelined or limited in any way. But when injury strikes, you gotta listen to your body AND to your doctor. If those sources say (or scream) “Take time off!” or “Take it easy!” please obey promptly. Pain is your body’s signal that something is wrong. If you just power through the pain and ignore your body’s signal, you’re likely doing more harm than good. Plus, your injury will last longer, your workouts will suffer, you might create permanent imbalances in your body, and your mood will be Frankenstein-eque. Eeek!

big-deal

So, what does “time off” look like? Here it is—and you may not like it or even believe such a practice exists in the real world—but “time off” means COMPLETE rest. That doesn’t mean squeezing in a “short” 30-mile bike ride, or sweating your way through back-to- back hot yoga classes. Nope. Dial it back to Super Chill mode, and take it one day at a time. Keep asking yourself: “Am I still in pain? Do certain movements still bother me?” If yes, take another day off, and another, until the answer is a definitive no.

Don’t panic, ok? Stay calm. Taking time to rest and recover doesn’t mean your fitness career is over. Not at all. It’s just the smart thing to do. Recovering is going to give your body what it needs to heal so you can get back to your routine ASAP. Dig it? I’m struggling to put this advice into practice right now, so if you’re in a similar boat, I (literally) feel your pain. This week my buddy Carey took me on my first ever indoor rock climbing adventure. So much fun! But in the process of scaling a wall, I tweaked my left biceps muscle. Crap crap crap!

rest-muscle

A biceps injury isn’t a total deal breaker for exercise. I can still do LOTS of things. I just need to back off certain movements. Maybe you’re in a similar situation. All right! If so, keep training—just be sure to tell us (the trainers) what’s up so we can provide options that keep you moving AND SAFE. And keep in mind that while your injury is healing and you’re doing modified workouts, you may not feel the same post-workout exhaustion you usually feel. Just ride the wave. You’ll be back to Super Badass mode lickety split!

Never ever feel guilty for taking time to rest and recover when you’re sick or injured. Nope. Not allowed. Remember: it won’t last forever! Your body is powerful and wants to move. And we’ll support you every step of the way. Promise! Just keep Frankenstein at home. 🙂

If you’re ready to start a new fitness program, or take your current routine to a new level, I’d love to be the one to support you. Call or email today and we’ll make it happen! 503-395- 4689 or luke@sweetmomentumfitness.com

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Luke Jude

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