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June 7 - Rest and Recovery: Your challenge today to make time for one of the most neglected areas of any successful fitness regimens - recovery!

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  • Written By: Tasha Rossi

We are all aware of the importance of exercise to performance. On the other hand, how many of us are aware of the significance of recovery in that equation? In order to improve your physical fitness, the body needs to be exposed to stresses (training or exercise), then needs time to adapt to the stresses (recovery). Your task today is to make time for rest and relaxation so your body can be prepared for the challenging week ahead. Take a walk, do some stretching, prepare a healthy meal, drink plenty of water, or plan to get to bed an hour early! Make these tasks just as important as your training regimen.

Often time’s recovery is misunderstood and neglected. It sounds pretty simple to rest and relax, but recovery is not about staying off your feet. It includes proper hydration, good nutrition, adequate sleep, stretching, myofascial release and much more. Healthy forms of recovery are important when trying to achieve higher levels of physical performance. It is extremely important to fill the tank (our body) with fruits, vegetables, protein and lots of water. Exercise is not only physically stressful but psychologically as well, that’s why it is crucial to get enough sleep which will allow your muscles to repair, as well as, improve your over-all well being.

Many people feel guilty when they take time off from exercise, especially when they are new. However, dedicating time to recovery is just as important as exercising. If you start feeling sluggish, fatigued, sore, or stiff, it might be a good idea to include recovery techniques into your routine. Rest and recovery allow the body to repair, rebuild and improve strength and endurance. If taking time off is out of the question, then plan active recovery into your regimen. Active recovery is low intensity exercise such as a mellow yoga class or easy pedaling on a bike, but still enough to increase blood flow. Remember performance in any sport or activity requires preparation, and preparation requires planned recovery.

My name is Tasha Rossi. I am a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Personal Trainer at Saint Mary's Fitness Center. In my free time I train and race road bikes, and I enjoy mountain biking too. For me, proper recovery is just as important as training or eating right. I train 5 days a week and on some weekends race. My recovery includes good nutrition, plenty of water and myofascial release technique like yoga, stretching and foam rolling.