If you’re anything like us, you love to hit the gym. And all that workout time is fantastic for your health. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and your body needs rest as well in order to perform to its full potential. Here, we take a look at gym recovery time, and why it’s an essential part of any exercise schedule.
Muscle growth and recovery
If your main aim at the gym is to build up some bulk, you might be loath to have a day off. In fact, it’s the best thing you can do for your muscles. Resistance training is certainly an essential part of muscle-building, introducing extra strains for your body to adapt to. But that adaptation – the phase where muscles actually grow in response to your efforts, actually happens during your precious gym recovery time.
Be kind to your immune system
Too much training can make you ill. It makes sense if you think about it; when you’re always at the gym, all your energy is focused on just keeping you going and your immune system is busy repairing your muscles and joints. That’s OK for a while, but when you encounter a bug, you might not have enough in the tank to fight it off.
If you’ve ever sustained a sports injury, there’s a good chance it happened due to overtraining. This is where you don’t allow sufficient recovery time and your muscles and joints become more vulnerable due to overuse. A better approach is a consistent, but steady, workout schedule, where your body is constantly challenged but your immune system is also given time to rest.
If you do experience a niggle or pain and it doesn’t feel right, it’s especially important to give yourself extra gym recovery time. Don’t just work through it, as you could exacerbate the problem! If in doubt, get it seen by a physiotherapist, who can advise you on your next steps and ensure the best recovery possible.
Boost morale and maintain your mental energy
As you’ll know if you’re an exercise aficionado, much of the impetus behind a great workout comes from the mind. It can feel fantastic when you smash your own personal best, or achieve something new for the first time. But mental energy can lag if you never have any time away. The best way to banish boredom and boost morale is to incorporate plenty of gym recovery time, so that you can come to your workouts feeling fresh and full of focus.
Do you have a good gym / life balance? Although it may not always seem that way, there’s a whole world out there, beyond the walls of the gym. Having a couple of gym-free evenings could revolutionise your life; you can use the time however best suits you, whether that’s spending time with family, socialising with friends or even taking part in gentler physical pursuits, such as yoga or Pilates.