(CARLSBAD, CA) – It’s 5:30 a.m. Your alarm clock blasts, you jump-out of bed, grab your gym bag, and stammer out the door. Good for you! A regular fitness routine is the first step to health and well-being. Now, the second step may surprise you… it’s about taking a day off!
Yep, your body actually needs time “off” from exercise. Recovery time allows your body to replenish its stores of energy and repair damaged tissues. So, what happens if you shortchange your body on recovery? Simply put, if you don’t give your body time to repair, then it will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. You’ll be at risk for injury, not to mention that you won’t see your best results.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett offers a five-step plan to give your body a proper recovery after an intense exercise session.
Step #1: Cool Down – At the end of a cardiovascular workout, bring your heart rate down slowly before coming to a complete stop. For example, if you’ve been running for 30 minutes, then take five minutes to walk before you stop entirely. This helps remove lactic acid from your muscles, so you won’t get as sore and stiff.
Step #2: Stretch – Take time at the end of your workout for gentle stretches. Hold your stretches for at least one minute, without bouncing.
Step #3: Drink Up – Your body loses fluid during exercise. You need to replace this fluid throughout your exercise regimen and fill-up after your session ends.
Step #4: Eat – Water is not enough to sustain you after a tough workout. Within 60 minutes of completing your exercise session, eat a meal with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The amino acids in the protein are essential to repair muscles and the carbohydrates will replenish your energy stores.
Step #5: Rest – There is no substitute for time as the healer of all wounds, and that includes repairing your body after exercise. While it’s important to get moving on most days of the week, it’s equally important to take a day off. Choose one day of the week to rest your body.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced fitness fanatic, take time for rest and recovery. If you are feeling strong on a particular day, then go ahead and push yourself. But if you’re feeling tired and sore, then take it a bit easier. Your body will signal you that it needs to recover if you take the time to listen.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.