And just like that, we have met the twilight of 2020. Can you believe it? Almost 366 days ago (yes, this year was a leap year), we began the year of “perfect 20/20 vision”. Many of us were geared toward finally smashing our goals. And as quickly as our new year aspirations began, COVID seized us with an unprecedented global pandemic.
If the coronavirus taught us anything, it is that our health is invaluable. Whether you’ve been on top of your game this past year or have added notches to your belt, 2021 introduces a fresh beginning.
If you are like 46% of Americans, fitness is your prime goal in the upcoming year. Time to shed the excess weight gained during quarantine! Let’s hit the gym hard - all day, every day!
Not so fast. …
Research shows less than 8% of people who make fitness resolutions actually keep them. Why? One main reason is due to not seeing results. Going into the gym daily, working up a sweat, and witnessing little to no change can be discouraging.
Setting more realistic expectations can be a factor in this, yet we would like to introduce a solution to improve your results this time around, and it’s probably not what you think.
No, it’s not lifting heavier weights.
It’s not logging more hours on MapMyRun.
It’s not even loading up on protein and salad.
During an interview with Paul Jung, fitness expert and founder of Project Apex, Jung shares, “Relearning the importance of recovery is crucial to fitness success.”
He further explains, “We’ve always been told to stay active and get regular exercise. But as you feel extra motivated to start this new year right, more isn’t always better. Continuous training with a lack of rest can actually weaken your body and well-being. Whether you are training for a marathon, seeking to build muscle, or wanting to simply maintain good health, rest will be an essential ally to your body.”
Through the help of Project Apex, we were able to uncover 5 wonderful tips to aid you in mastering the recovery game and achieving fitness success in 2021.
5 Rest & Recovery Tips
1. Catch Your ZZZs
One of the simplest, yet most effective, recovery tips is to get a good night’s sleep. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot “catch up on” sleep. Your body benefits from quality sleep each night. It produces growth hormones and synthesizes proteins which are used to repair and create new cells.
Our Advice: Establish a regular sleep routine in which you go to bed at a similar time every night. Remove distractions and sources of blue light — TVs, computers, phones — which lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and your natural sleep-wake cycle. The objective is to spend adequate time in REM sleep. Learn more.
Dehydration can delay recovery, reduce performance, cause cramps and spasms, and increase your risk for injury. Proper hydration, on the other hand, makes every function of the human body more optimal.
Our Advice: Get your daily dosage of water, no excuses! If you are working out, be mindful of water lost through sweat. Learn more.
3. Eat the Right Foods
Intaking the right fuel after a workout is as important as the exercise itself. It helps us replenish, rebuild, recover, and set us up for the next workout. Simply put, training breaks our muscles down, and proper nutrition rebuilds them stronger. The lack of proper nutrition defeats the purpose of tearing our muscles in the first place.
Our Advice: Incorporate high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats into your diet. There are wonderful apps such as MyFitnessPal which can help you calculate and track everything you put into your system. Learn more.
Adding vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your diet can help your organs maintain prime health and performance. As the saying goes, “You are only as good as the sum of your parts”. The functionality of your organs is essential for complete fitness.
Our Advice: Find out which supplements aid your fitness goals best. One of the most popular choices, of course, is protein, which is the building block for your muscles. Magnesium is known to help speed up recovery by promoting proper muscle and nerve function. There is also growing research that CBD can improve balance in your endocannabinoid system and promote tranquility in your body. Learn more.
5. Mind Your Mind
Keep your mind in shape. Physical fitness receives a lot of attention, but mental fitness is just as important. The more you help your body, the more you help your mind, and vice versa.
Our Advice: Incorporate mental dexterity exercises into your daily regimen. Learn more about caring for your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in our blog.
Whether your fitness goal is to maintain decent health or become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, rest is important for ensuring you get the best results on your fitness journey. Cheers to your health and a successful new year!