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How to Rest After Workouts to Boost Your Fitness

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Logging endless hours in the gym, on the running trail, or in the pool may feel like you’re working toward your fitness goals, but pushing your body all the time may actually stall your progress. Here’s why: When you crush a workout, you’re actually causing tiny tears in your muscle fibers. “This activates an immune response to initiate a process of adaptation and repair,” explains certified personal trainer Fabio Comana, faculty instructor at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Basically, the process that causes your muscles to repair themselves actually makes them grow stronger, giving you a toned, sleek physique. But as with any form of healing, rest can help you net your best results. Here’s how to get the right kind of rest after every workout, so you can rock your fitness goals:

After Strength Training

The day after a tough gym session, go for an easy 30-minute walk to gently boost circulation, or a light swim because it puts your body in a weightless state, which is super easy on the joints, says Jennie Brooks, owner of Longevity Fitness in Charleston, SC. Swimming also allows for a greater range of motion, which helps relieve tightness after, say, a hard day of squats. “It’s important to address muscles worked the following day to increase circulation,” Brooks says. “Don’t neglect them or else you will likely find yourself really sore two days later.”

After a Hard Run

The day after you log serious miles, Brooks recommends 30 to 60 minutes of walking, swimming, or Pilates. “Pilates is a wonderful go-to as you aren’t being hard on your joints, you can work on your range of motion, and you can address the core muscles which are key for stability,” she says. “Pilates also opens areas that tend to get tight from running, especially in the hips and back.”

After a Challenging Ride or Cycling Class

When it comes to riding a bike, good form, a strong core, and proper muscle balance are crucial, according to Brooks. To help keep your body balanced, opt for yoga or myofascial release (a form of deep massage) the day after a hard pedal session. “Use a foam roller on sore muscles to keep the fascia that covers the muscles from getting too rigid,” she says. “Being seated on a bike in a particular position for a length of time can cause fascia to get very tight. Foam rolling can help prevent ensuing tightness.”

After a Tough Swim

You’re still pulling your weight, and it’s a total-body workout. Try a stretch session, incorporating both dynamic (moving) and static moves. “Stretches relieve tension in the muscles, and increase your range of motion,” Brooks says.

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About Richard Lopez

Richard Lopez
I was born in a small town in Texas population 812. I have lived in several big cities in the mid west and on the east coast. I now live in Oklahoma loving the country living again. As I have become older I realize that it is very important to take care of yourself. So I hope the information is helpful.

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