Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It is important to recognize that each individual in our running/walking group has a different skill set; everybody and every “body” are different. With this being said, training and recovery time varies between each group member.
As many of us have experienced days where we do not want to exercise, and do our best to push through the workout, sometimes we need to listen to what our body is telling us. In order for our bodies to adapt to physiological changes, we need rest; as muscles grow when the body is in a recovery stage. “It’s not how hard you train, but how well you recover.” Rest is not for the weak, it is a necessity to keep ourselves and bodies in shape! In order to avoid over-training, it is important to take one day off from exercise; that means 100% no physical activity. Stretching is highly encouraged on your off day! Regarding your running schedule, it is not beneficial to run as far and as fast ever day. It is important to incorporate easy runs throughout the week to allow your muscles and lactic acid to relax and dissipate.
While some believe that running is the best form of exercise, you should incorporate different variations to your workout, such as weight/ resistance training. Examples of these types of training can be listed as planks, squats, free weights, etc. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended to perform resistance training two to three times a week. For proper muscle recovery and results, it is important to have 48 hours of rest for the specific muscle group that you targeted. For example, if you targeted your chest and shoulders, you would want to exercise a different muscle group the next day in order to allow those muscles to recover.
All in all, the main theme of this blog post is REST! Proper nutrition, sleep, and muscle rest are the keys to living a healthy life while keeping your body in tip top shape. Sometimes, it is better to have several beneficial workouts throughout the week then to exercise every day, which adds wear and tear onto the body. Read below for stretches that you can add into your weekly recovery exercise schedule!
Pre Run Stretches:
Leg Swings: Hold onto a sturdy object, swinging one leg at a time back and forth. 20 total swings on each leg.
Walking Lunges: With one foot forward, proceed to lower your hips until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Perform a total of 20 (10 each leg)
Post Run Stretches:
Standing Quadriceps: With one leg, bring your heel to your buttocks and press your shoelaces into your hand.
Downward Dog Yoga Stretch: On all fours, push hips up towards the ceiling, keeping the abdomen tight.