Guest Blog Post from Megan Elizabeth Clark- Certified personal trainer
When designing a workout schedule the emphasis is usually on the active days. You spend so much time thinking about how many reps and sets you plan on doing, or whether you’re doing sprints or long distance today, or when leg and ab day will be versus shoulders and arms. Rest and recovery are often overlooked as unimportant in the grand scheme of your workout goals.
However, scheduling time for rest and recovery is not only important but necessary for the success of your workout. It’s so easy to get excited about the progress we can make during our workouts that we sometimes forget that it’s actually our rest days where the muscle growth and repair occur.
Rest is especially important to factor in if you are new to an exercise program. This is because you will experience muscle soreness as your body adjusts to your new routine. If you aren’t giving your body the proper amount of time it needs to recover, you run the risk of injuring yourself and making it even harder to achieve your goals.
So what exactly is a rest day and what happens in the body to make it so important?
A rest day is not a built-in day to be lazy, it is a day focused on recovery. During a workout, you demand a lot from your body. Your muscle fibers are tearing as they grow, your body is increasing its oxygen consumption, heart rate, and blood flow, your glucose or energy stores decrease, and you increase pressure to your joints as you move.
All of these processes that your body is undergoing during a workout make you healthier and stronger. However, when someone continues to demand this amount of work from the body day in and day out, the muscles and body will eventually give out. This leads to exhaustion, overwork, or even injury.
When you actively build in time for rest and recovery your body will use that time to replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle tissue, and bring your bodily functions back to a normal state. This is the time when your body is literally growing and getting stronger and you can begin to see the gains and the progress that you are working towards.
Think of rest days like sleep, you might not be actively accomplishing your goals during that time but without it, you can’t accomplish anything. As anyone who’s pulled an all-nighter to finish a project knows, you pay for it the next day. If your muscles were not given adequate time to rest and recover, they will not perform to their full potential in your next workout. This not only diminishes the effectiveness of your training but could put you at risk of serious injury.
What should I be doing during a rest day?
The concept of a rest day is not news to anyone who’s spent any amount of time working out. However, the question of what to do during a rest day is a bit unclear. Should you be sleeping? Not moving? Doing a lighter workout?
To answer this question it’s important to differentiate between a rest day and an active recovery day. Depending on your workout routine, you might build both rest and active recovery days into your schedule. A rest day is exactly as the name suggests, it requires minimal activity and is a day focused on resting. An active recovery day involves some form of movement or activity that is lower intensity as a way to recover from a more active workout.
Some great activities to be doing during your active recovery days include:
- Going for a walk or hike
- Taking the bike for a ride around the block
- Going for a swim
- Taking a yoga class
The demand of these activities on your body isn’t super high so it allows you to recover while still maintaining a certain level of fitness.
During a rest day (and during your active recovery days as well), it’s important to spend time taking care of your body. Some ideas for how to do that include:
- Self-myofascial release
- Treating your sore muscles through the use of a CBD Sports Cream
- Elevating sore muscles
- Still finding ways to move throughout the day
Caring for your body when you aren’t working out will make your active days far more enjoyable and productive. That’s why I build in at least 2-3 rest and active recovery days into my own workout routine. I rely on my foam roller, 400mg THC Free CBD Sports Cream, and yoga practice to help me on my way to achieving my fitness goals.
About the Author:
Megan Elizabeth Clark
Megan is a NASM Certified Personal trainer, RYT-200 certified yoga instructor, and all-around fitness fanatic with a passion for elevating fitness and health brands through content marketing and copywriting. Megan helps businesses and entrepreneurs in the industry cut through the noise and provide accurate, authentic, and action-oriented content that drives sales and increases traffic. Connect with Megan to talk about fitness or content marketing anytime by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or heading to www.meganelizabethclark.com.
Guest Blog Post from Matt Palazzolo- a Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Performance & Movement Coach
Golf is a very dynamic sport. The complexity of the golf swing can place a tremendous toll on the body. Golfers tend to focus on two major aspects of their game when it comes to physical performance: distance and longevity. Exercise & recovery are paramount to golf and facilitating the effectiveness of both distance and longevity.
In this article we will focus on longevity. When it comes to sustainability, it’s important we look at how to best engage in recovery protocols from a weekend of golf.
Here are three tips that golfers of all levels can utilize to promote recovery:
#1: Mobility Work
Watch any Tour event on TV and you will see several different types of swings. When you work with a golf coach they’ll often compare your swing to that of a professional, possibly suggesting you feel “laid off” at the top or “less rounded” at impact. Not surprisingly, the best typically do it the most efficient way because they do it for a living. They have thousands of hours behind it. Most amateur golfers don’t have that luxury so we need to work on improving mobility to increase the swing efficiency.
When it comes to mobility, we also see the importance of working on increasing range of motion within certain parts of our bodies, regardless of our “swing type”. There are plenty of resources available on any number YouTube and Instagram pages (for example: @coach.palazzolo) where you can see stretches and exercises that help with a golfer’s mobility. When referencing these sources, look for exercises that help with hip internal rotation, shoulder external rotation, thoracic mobility, and ankle/big toe (yes, big toe) mobility.
#2 Soft Tissue Work
If you’ve ever gone to a chiropractor or physical therapist, they’ve probably done some minor massage or soft tissue work to help with joint function. The beauty is that a lot of the basic but very helpful soft tissue work that your therapist may perform, you can perform on yourself with practice and a few essential “tools”. All you’ll need is a foam roller or lacrosse ball.
I also use Therapist Preferred’s 400mg THC Free CBD Sports Cream when working areas like my calves, upper traps and lats (shoulder/upper back and neck) to help with getting a little less friction when working these tissues.
Note- for direct advice about specific conditions and to learn these maneuvers first hand, it’s always best to speak with your trusted therapist/sports medicine professional.
#3 Golf Specific Movement
When it comes to gym work, we definitely see the importance of strong hips, a strong back, and a functional core. There are tons of exercises that we can do that help with increasing our strength and function here.
But how often do you train rotation? And more importantly, how often do you train your pivot, especially with load? When it comes to golf, it’s super important for us to keep our joints healthy and our bodies comfortable within the position we swing from. Taking a club across your chest while in your living room or on the course waiting to hit your shot and working on your pivot will pay out dividends when it comes to the longevity of your golf game. As you advance, you can begin to take resistance bands and bars to work on tour pivot. Again, it’s suggested that advancing from bodyweight to load should be done and monitored by your trainer or therapist.
Golf is an amazing sport because you can continue to play as you get older. Performance and distance are at the forefront right now. Everyone wants to hit it further. As much as performance coaches like myself want to help you as golfers get there, we also know the importance of prioritizing quality movement patterns and recovery protocols. If you’re serious about the game, and serious about staying healthy for golf, what you do in the gym and at home should heavily reflect what you want to feel and do on the course. For me and my golfers, this becomes the priority, as does the utilization of proper recovery tools and supplements.
To learn more recovery tips for golfers, follow me on IG @Coach.Palazzolo or email me at email@example.com.
About the Author:
MATT PALAZZOLO – PERFORMANCE & MOVEMENT COACH
In 2013 Matt received his certification from Nike as a Golf Performance Specialist. Matt spent 2 years in Florida working as the Director of Performance at an elite junior golf academy and now works in a private club in Manhattan and remotely. With a strong background in human movement and understanding the dynamics of the golf swing, Matt has worked with players of all skill levels ranging from beginner to players on the Symetra Tour and LPGA. Matt was also named a 2020 Top 50 Golf Fitness Trainer by Golf Digest.
Have you always been an avid exerciser? Have you adjusted your exercise regime as your body has changed? Are you still burning the candle at both ends? Your answers to these questions and many more impact the quality of your sleep.
Most of us require exercise and the corresponding endorphin rush to “survive” and get through our day to day activities. Don’t get me wrong I still love waking up and taking that five mile run on the streets, treadmill or even better on the boardwalk or beach. As I get older, I’ve just realized that I had to perform my daily exercises ‘smarter’. When you sit down and take the time to think about the benefits of exercise for your mind and body, the list would go on and on.
Let’s think about your best days of exercise, activity or athletic achievement. Were they directly related to hydration and sleep? If we gave this a little bit of thought, I think we would all come to realize that these two components were directly related to our performance.
When you take care of yourself and exercise regularly, you will most likely notice that your mind and body feel sharper throughout the day and you will sleep better at night. Research has shown that physical activity can provide excellent benefits for your nighttime sleep. Making exercise part of your daily routine may contribute to an overall healthier body and more peaceful night’s sleep.
When and how much should you exercise?
Regular exercise in the morning or early afternoon have been proven to be the most beneficial times of day to exercise.
The Physical Activity Guidelines published US Health & Human Services Department recommend a MINIMUM of one hundred fifty (150) minutes of moderate to rigorous exercise weekly for “Substantial Benefits” and note that additional benefits are gained for exceeding three hundred (300) minutes.
At Therapist Preferred, we believe that any and all activity is a positive and encourage you to find the time to exercise for a healthier you!
Is there a better time of day to work out?
As mentioned above, research has shown that there are optimal times of day for working out to maximize the direct health benefits on the body
Interestingly, morning workouts seem to have the greatest effect on influencing one’s sleep. Early afternoon exercise plays a close second to leading to a good night’s sleep. This early afternoon time of exercise leads to an increase in overall body temperature by about three (3) degrees. As the body’s temperature decreases over time and resets, the body’s autonomic nervous system will trigger a response that induces drowsiness for sleep.
Not everyone who exercises will experience the increased sleep benefits described but again, exercise will benefit your general wellness.
How can exercise affect your sleep?
Through decades of research exercise has been shown to improve overall sleep quality. Exercise has been known to increase the length of time we all spend in ‘deep’ sleep. This REM or ‘deep’ sleep is where the body tends to do its best healing. Deep sleep has a direct link to improving immune function, increasing cardiovascular health as well as helping to manage stress and anxiety.
Do you ever have difficulty sleeping?
Some people find it difficult to fall asleep and or stay asleep. Ever notice the connection this has to our daily stress? Most people don’t even realize the effect that stress has on our bodies. This can cause decreased appetite, restlessness, and deficiencies in our quality sleep. One way to combat stress would be to implement a regular exercise routine. Along with healthy eating habits, exercise will certainly lead to better sleep patterns.
Even after regular exercise and healthy eating, some people still may suffer from irregular sleep. Natural sleep aids, like melatonin, may be a good option in those situations after consulting your healthcare professional. Melatonin is commonly combined with CBD to help you relax and sleep more naturally.
Therapist Preferred’s CBD Soft Gels with Melatonin combine our premium, THC Free 25mg Soft Gel with 1mg of Melatonin. As mentioned in our previous post, we recommend taking 1-2 of these capsules 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime for a more restful sleep.
Sleep is such an integral part of our health and wellness routine so make sure you are making it a priority!
About the Author:
Doug Geller is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and co-founder of Therapist Preferred. He leads an active lifestyle which includes playing soccer and basketball. You will always find him on an epic peloton ride and/or run as he is an avid exercise enthusiast. To support his needs as an athlete, he utilizes Therapist Preferred’s sports cream daily for muscle recovery and soft gel capsules for everyday wellness!
Read the Therapist Preferred story here.