What's the Difference Between Rest & Recovery?

If you’re reading this, chances are you need to be giving your body a little more R&R than you think.  

Every day, we work hard—in fitness classes, walking to work, picking up our kids and everything in between. These are good and necessary things, but altogether, they take a toll on our bodies. We have to give back to our muscles that helped us accomplish all those things with proper rest, stretching and recovery practices. 

Celestine, P.volve trainer, knows how important it is to incorporate rest and recovery days into our routine for that exact reason. She worked with both Megan and Misasha on their two-month transformation journeys and made it a steadfast rule for recovery to be part of their weekly plan, much in the same way that their workouts were.  

Below, she breaks rest and recovery down even further so you can optimize your routine (and in turn, your results!) for good: 

What are the main benefits of recovery? 

Recovery is crucial for maintaining flexibility, preventing injury and feeling energized during workouts and thereafter. 

What is the biggest difference between rest and recovery? 

Rest days are where no strenuous, physical activity is happening on the body. I like to use them as days to sleep in, read, watch TV and fully relax. Recovery days are ones that require lighter, gentler movements than typical exercise days. Think low-impact activities such as stretching, walking, light biking or swimming. 

How can you start incorporating recovery into your routine? 

Sometimesa full rest day is overlooked because it makes us feel lazy and/or unproductivebut the truth is, a day of rest will fully refresh the body. As for a stretching or active recovery days, it’s important to add these to your weekly exercise schedule, just as you would with standard workoutsBy adding it to your calendar every week and treating it like an appointment, you are less likely to skip out 

How can recovery improve your workouts? 

Recovery is important for healing, muscle building and hormonal balance. Exercise causes microscopic tears in the muscles and it’s mainly when we rest that the body can focus on repair which will allow the muscles to become stronger.  

What is a dynamic stretch, and why are they so crucial to this method? 

Dynamic stretching refers to stretching exercises that are performed with movement, unlike static stretching that’s performed without any additional movement in the body. Dynamic stretching is slow, gentle and purposeful. It increases the heart and respiratory rate, blood flow and muscle temperature. The purpose of dynamic stretching before exercise is to prevent injury by lengthening the muscles and tendons which increases the range of movement.  

How does one’s recovery needs differ based on the types of workouts they do? 

Generallyrecovery in terms of one day of full rest will always be the same regardless of activity. A stretching routine may differ based on the activity done. For a cyclist, there will be a greater focus on stretches for the hips and legsfor a runner, stretches may include hips, legs and thoracic spine; for P.volve, glute stretches are essential since the glutes are predominant focus in our workouts. 

Why is recovery especially important for those with injuries? 

A person with a specific injury needs adequate rest time to allow the tissue to optimally heal. This menas no activities including light stretching which could further exacerbate the problem. Once cleared by a doctor, a gentle place to start is with light stretching and slower movement exercises which will help rebuild muscular strength and mobility.  

Ready to start making Recover & Stretch a priority in your routine? Find every workout to replenish your body and mind here. 

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