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As you wipe the sweat from your forehead for the final time and the instructor says class is over, you feel accomplished and tired. You workout hard and your body needs time to recover to get the most from the stress you’re putting it through.

In a typical FITT-RX class you’re pushing your body, lifting weights, spinning your legs (and heart) out, running sprints to Gloria’s and back, and maybe dropping to the floor for a few burpees here and there.

To maximize your fitness gains there are a few different recovery methods that can help repair the muscles and get you back to classes the next day feeling ready to go.

1. Vary your classes. Mixing up your workouts and taking different classes at FITT-RX will do different things for your body. Starting the week with 4:30pm Advanced Circuit? Maybe take the Spin-Lattes Tuesday class? Likewise if you’re waking up early and taking Power Spin to start your week, maybe try Circuit Interval or Boxing to change things up. Changing up your workout will shift the impact on different areas of your body at different intensity levels which will help spread out the results for whole body fitness.

2. Sleep and Nutrition

Sleep is one of the absolute best ways to  recover from a workout. A great goal window for the amount of sleep to get is 7-9 hours. The more active you are, the more sleep is recommended.

You are what you eat. I’m not a nutritionist but I do know that what you eat either helps or hurts your recovery and overall fitness. Eating things like cheeseburgers and fries will make you feel differently (usually negatively) than say quinoa, peppers and chicken. Certain foods have restorative properties that can assist in your muscles and joints recovering faster after a workout. Cherries, high protein meats and turmeric are some examples. Consult a registered dietitian for more info and meal planning tips.

Hydration. Drink a good amount of water to help keep your muscles hydrated and fresh. Typically, three quarts to a gallon of water a day is a good range for active adults.

3. Foam Rolling and Stretching.

Instead of bolting after spin bootcamp or tabata, take some time upstairs to use the rollers and lacrosse balls to roll out the muscles. Gently rolling out will loosen up the fibers, cause more blood flow to the area and increase recovery. The best way to think about your muscles is to look at them like a rope. If you have a knot in the rope, stretching will only do so much and possibly tighten it more. If you take time to break up the tissue with massage and rolling, you’ll loosen up the area and repair more quickly. Start with the orange Triggerpoint foam roller or blue and white addaday stick. Remember, a loose muscle is a strong muscle.

4. Listen to your body. Sometimes, it’s O-K to take a day or two off from working out. Rest days are your friends.

Recovery isn’t always glamorous, but it works and will keep you moving in the right direction.

 
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