Tag Archives: sleep

5 Tips for Faster Recovery

Recovery is an important part of working out.  If you aren’t recovering from today’s workout, how are you going to be ready to perform tomorrow?  The right answer is you won’t be.  Your body needs certain things pre-, post and hours after a good sweat session to get back in working order.  Here are five tips from Team FitNice that will help you feel great after today’s workout and fresh for tomorrow’s.

Eat right away.  Workouts burn through energy reserves and if you want your body to build those stores back up, you have to feed it.  Proper refueling will help your tissues recoveryrepair, muscles get stronger and be ready for the next day.  Post workout fueling should include complex carbohydrates and quality protein and occur within 30 minutes of a session.

Drink up.  Drinking fluids is important while you workout, especially for endurance athletes, but it’s likely you’ll need a even more when you’re finished.  Luckily, good old fashioned water is all most people need to help their muscles start the repair process.  Water helps the body get started with recovery by supporting all metabolic functions, most importantly flushing out the things that build up while you exercise and allowing much needed blood and oxygen back into torn up muscles.

Keep moving.  Gentle movement, like walking, stretching or light yoga, is known as active recovery.  Staying in motion promotes circulation, moving nutrients into needy muscles and waste from your workout out.  More nutrients and less waste lead to faster repair, less recoverysoreness and a better next session.

Relax.  Foam roll, stretch, maybe an ice bath if you’re really in need or if you’re lucky, a massage.  Like performing active recovery, massaging muscles promotes circulation and tissue repair.  An additional bonus:  you can do this while you eat that high quality post workout food!

Go to bed.  Sleep is the best time to recover.  When you’re snoozing, the body is producing essential Growth Hormone to repair and build muscles.  Getting plenty of quality sleep can lead to stronger muscles, better performance and more endurance while sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to decreases in performance and increases in recovery times.

Use these tips for faster recovery to feel better after each workout and before your next one!  Have questions?  Email us at Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.

Get Some Sleep!

Sleep is an incredibly important part of physical fitness.  Putting out a max effort as often as possible in the gym is how you get results.  If you’re tired, sleep deprived and lacking energy, you’ll be missing key elements important in reaching the goals you want.  A suffering workout can be prevented by getting enough sleep every night, here’s why and some ways to fix it.

One major reason not getting enough rest is going to prevent you from seeing increases in strength and endurance is that most of your growth hormone (GH) is produced while you sleep.  Not only does GH help you grow, it aids in calcium rentention, helps decrease fat storage, supports your immune system and assists your organs.  While GH is clearly an important element in getting results from your workouts, sleep also plays in big role in keeping your stomach satisfied.  Two hunger managing hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are balanced when you’re catching Zs.  A study in the journal PLoS Medicine showed a strong relationship between limited sleep, high levels of hunger-inducing Ghrelin, low levels of satisfaction-inducing Leptin and obesity.  The bottom line?  Not getting enough sleep will make you fat.

If sleeping less leads to weight gain, it implies that sleeping more help with weight loss.  Weight gain and weight loss are both associated with metabolism, and a big part of that is how your body manages blood sugar levels.  Not getting enough sleep puts your body in a state similar to being diabetic because it results in trouble regulating blood sugar.  Your body’s response to and regulation of blood glucose levels after eating carbohydrate rich foods can be slowed by up to 40% when lacking sleep.  Your thyroid, which is mostly in charge of how many calories you burn just to get through the day, doesn’t react well to losing sleep, either.  The thyroid hormone becomes suppressed when you’re getting a full night’s rest and doesn’t burn as many calories, slowing down your metabolism.

Now that you know how getting a full night’s rest will benefit you, here are some tips to help you get one:

Check out where and how you sleep.  Ambient light and noise need to be reduced as much as possible.  Put that flashing modem in another room, silence your cell phone and get rid of the bedroom TV.  Hang heavy drapes and close blinds before bedtime.

Develop a pattern.  Your body likes routines, so going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday will help your internal alarm clock reset.  Dimming the lights and quieting down for a half hour before bed starts shutting you down from the day, and if you’re one whose mind races, reading something light will help those speeding thoughts fade away.

Now you know how important sleep is and how to make sure you get a good night’s full, so go get your jammies on and hit they hay.

How to Overcome a Bad Workout

Everybody has bad days.  Sometimes they start when you get out of bed, but others wait until after lunch, or even once you’ve begun to exercise.  Exercise increases the amount of endorphins in your blood stream, lowering the body’s perception of pain and acting as a sedative.  Getting your endorphins flowing with a little hard work can pull you right up out of the dumps, especially if you’re already in the midst of a rough day, because hitting the gym can be a great way to relieve stress and clear your head.  Bad days might mean you tried to take on the wrong kind of workout.  Are you someone who likes group exercise, but was running late and decided to go it on your own, with miserable results?  Are you stressing out about something or feeling rushed?  Is it hot and humid outside?  Are you injured?  The answers to these questions can solve most bad gym day problems.  The last thing you want to have is a bad workout or let it ruin your otherwise lovely day, so here are several surefire ways to deal with a workout that isn’t going your way.

Get enough sleep.  Sleep allows your body time to heal from the last gym session or just daily life.  Having a bad night, or a night without enough sleep, can wreak havoc on your body and suck out tons of the energy you plan on using in the gym.  One great thing about sleep is the human body’s ability to catch up on it.  When skipping a meal, your body misses out, and eating more later won’t make it better.  Losing out on a few hours of sleep during the week, however, can be fixed right up with a night or two of twelve hours of rest.  While this shouldn’t be a regular practice, and seven to eight hours a night are recommended for most people, it’s good to know there’s a reason you want, and are allowed, to sleep in on Sunday morning.

Eat right.  If you read our Balanced Diet Series, you know what and how much to eat on a daily basis.  Giving your body the right type of fuel for the workout you have planned is just as, if not more, important than getting enough sleep.  Whole grains and less sugar will aid in preventing the exhaustion many people face an hour or two after lunch.  Make sure you are properly hydrated before, during and after your session and watch out for caffeine intake, which can wake your body up for a workout, or push it over the limit and cause nausea and shakiness.

Have good goals.  The gym can be intimidating with lots of equipment, free weights, classes going on and people who look like they know what they’re doing much more than you do.  They probably don’t.  Those who have efficient, organized workouts have a plan.  They most likely have a schedule based on the day of the week, a set order they perform exercises in, and a specific goal in mind.  The best way to overcome the fear of workout failure is to have a goal.  Write it down.  Look at it every single day.  Get together with a fitness professional and discuss both your goal and a path to reach it.  Not only will this keep you focused and on track, it prevents boredom and provides a support system in the gym on a daily basis, which is especially nice on those frustrating days.

Beware of over training.  Ensure you use a variety of equipment and styles so your body doesn’t get overloaded.  Try alternating weight lifting days with cardio days, and always leave at least one day per week for complete rest and recovery.  If you start feeling worn down, unusually sore, grouchy, or dreading the gym, it might be time for a few extra days off.  Listen to what your body tells you and take what it’s saying seriously.

Throw in the towel.  An extra day off to let your body recover won’t wreck all the work you’ve already done, and it pays to listen up when your body says ‘no’.  Bounce around, doing one set of a bunch of different exercises, or choose three of your favorites, do a few sets and call it a day.

Now that you’ve used your bad workout to learn things about the best, and most fun, way for you to workout, get going!  Try something new, or take some time to recover.  No matter what you choose, stick with a fitness program that works for you.