There are many different aspects to fitness and to living a fit lifestyle. We touch a lot on two of the more obvious branches of the fitness tree; nutrition and working out. That’s because they are two very essential aspects and there are many different factors to each which are different for every person. Another very important part of living the fit life, that is often over looked, is the recovery aspect.
When engaging in weight and resistance training, you are putting your muscles through a lot. That is how you trigger growth and increase your strength, but afterwards, your muscles are going to be in need of some TLC and there are different forms that can take.
We talked to Sarah Jane Parker, ACSM cPT, ACE Health Coach,Mom, runner, yoga instructor and the Fit Cookie herself. Sarah is the mind behind thefitcookie.com and we asked her about some different recovery techniques and the importance of working techniques like these into your life.
What do you feel is most important to keep in mind for someone over the age of 45 who has just decided to get fit?
That progress is progress no matter how small. Sometimes people new to fitness get impatient and want to see results yesterday, but it will often take time to see results. If you are combining proper diet with exercise, you will see results, but they won’t come overnight.
Why is recovery after a work out Important?
Recovery after a workout is essential because progress depends on it! Taking time to stretch, foam roll, sit in the sauna, and sleep helps to reduce cortisol levels, repairs muscle, and keeps your energy levels up so you can continue to perform your best in every workout.
What are some recovery tips and techniques to keep in mind?
Take a break when you need it. If you feel like your body needs a rest, do a workout but keep it low key, like walking or yoga. Listen to your body. When you’re stretching or doing yoga, make sure that you are working in a comfortable range of motion for YOU. Don’t be afraid to modify workouts and recovery sessions to fit your body
What is the foam roller and what’s it used for and how can it help?
A foam roller is a wonderful tool for myofascial release (a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia). It’s like a deep tissue massage you can do for yourself, and it works to break up scar tissue and adhesions. This keeps your fascia, muscles, and tendons elastic and mobile, improving movement and mobility.
What’s your #1 fitness tip?
Progress not perfection. Don’t worry about being perfect or having things just right. If you can’t workout for your scheduled 60 minutes, then it’s okay to do just 15 or 20 minutes. Be flexible!
Make it your own. Modify your workouts and exercises to fit your body and your needs. If your knees hurt, you don’t have to do squats. There are other leg exercises out there that you can do without pain
How is nutrition important to fitness?
Nutrition is so important in fitness. You can get some results with just fitness alone, but you will get the best and longest lasting results by combining good diet with exercise. Proper nutrition can help fuel workouts, reduce body fat and change body composition, and will keep you feeling your best
So now you have another tool in your fitness tool box to help you get even closer to achieving your goals. Follow Sarah’s words of wisdom, and stretch, foam roll, sauna and sleep your way to a more complete work out plan, and never ever forget to listen to your body. Don’t forget to check out Sarah on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more great tips, tricks and recipes.