Implementing recovery into your Challenge routine
Cristina Chan, F45 Instructor, CES, CPT | September 2022
Mobility exercises are having a moment right now, but they’re not a new concept. Mobility refers to how well you can move and is the result of flexibility, range of motion, and strength. Building these mobility exercises into any daily routine is important for overall wellness.
What do Recovery sessions actually do? Recovery sessions are a great way to introduce mobilizing movements that send muscles and joints through their full range of motion. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight, putting you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. Adding recovery workouts weekly can be a significant component to your fitness routine for a number of benefits including
- Increasing blood flow and tissue hydration (aiding in recovery)
- Relieving muscle soreness and joint stress
- Helps correct muscle imbalances
- Aid in chronic pain conditions
- Improves joint range of motion and overall flexibility
When correctly performed, dynamic stretches can also improve speed, agility and acceleration during a workout. This can be helpful when striving to complete any fitness goal!
As simple as it may seem, sitting down for a stretch isn’t always the easiest part of recovery. So where to start? These are a few tips on how to create a well rounded routine that includes recovery for ultimate results during your Challenge.
Tip 1: A balance of F45 workouts and active recovery according to your fitness level:
Whether you are coming back from a break or just beginning ,the same way a good warm-up session prepares the body for a workout, starting your fitness journey with dynamic stretches gradually prepares your body for exercise. As your joints adjust to new movements it is important to regain the range of motion before you advance to other challenging workouts. Therefore, it is suggested to start with flexibility and strength workouts that will increase the blood flow, improve range of motion while also strengthening your muscles and joints.
If you are someone who is entering the challenge as a regular F45 member, taking 4-5 F45 classes or a combination of about 3 strength days and 2 cardio days, you should be including at least 2 days of active recovery. If you are doing extra classes during the challenge make sure you match the added days to recovery days accordingly. Putting your body under pressure will require the recovery days as an essential to maintaining longevity through the full length of the challenge.
Tip 2: Be aware and listen to your body. A little discomfort is OK. A lot is not. Start thinking about your movement as a way to develop a mental and physical connection with your body and when it needs the proper rest. It’s important to take time off from your workouts if health is your overall goal. Over-exercise can lead to adrenal fatigue and other disorders, as exercise is literally stress for your body. Your adrenal glands respond to exercise by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and over time, not giving your adrenals a break can lead to tiredness, lethargy, and even thyroid problems.
And besides, it’s important to take a break MENTALLY from exercise. When you start to obsess about fitness is when a healthy habit turns into something more sinister. Do yourself a favor and take at least two days a week for rest or active recovery. Your body will thank you.
Tip 3: Adding recovery into your weekly routine doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of extra time. Sometimes simply 15 minutes of stretching or going for a walk is better than nothing at all! The good news, as an F45 member you have full access to our Challenge App where Recovery sessions are available at any time to play and they are only 30 minutes long. This can be implemented as a great way to start or end your day!