Does Your Body Really Need Rest?
During exercise our body responds in a variety of ways. Some of the major influences surrounding exercise and resistance training include:
- Fluctuating hormone levels
- Compound exchange
- Depletion of key minerals
Let’s have a look at each one, so we can understand what happens during and after exercise.
Two main hormones are altered as an effect of exercise. Insulin and cortisol.
You may be familiar with these terms as they relate among the diabetic population. But, what you may not know is the role they play in our ability to recover from a single bout of exercise.
So, here we go..
As we exercise, insulin levels in the bloodstream decrease. Inversely, cortisol levels increase as we exercise.
How does this affect our ability to recover from exercise?
When cortisol levels are high and insulin levels are down, our body is in a catabolic (breaking down) state. Recovery needs to begin immediately following exercise, so that we put ourselves in an anabolic state (rebuilding). The faster we can rebuild, the faster we can recover.
How do we do this?
We must raise our insulin levels, within 30-45 mins following exercise, to get them back to normal with high-glycemic (quick absorption rate) consumables such as fesh fruit and veggies. Once these foods enter our bloodstream, the rebuilding process begins.
Then, it is important to consume a form of protein so that our muscles can start to undergo repair. Finally, we must keep repairing our muscles by providing lean proteins and grains for the next 12-24 hours.
This will keep our cortisol and insulin levels in check and maximize our muscle growth and recovery.
During aerobic and anaerobic stress our blood flow increases causing a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. In effect, this causes a very high demand for oxygen and ATP (energy).
When ATP and oxygen are called upon at great lengths, our respiratory system becomes compromised. If the proper nutrients are not available to facilitate this process, then you can forget about a fast recovery.
Magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, potassium and calcium are vital compounds in muscle function and movement quality, to name a few.
Supplementing our diet with a multivitamin will split recovery time in half, because of the availability of these compounds during exercise. Muscles will respond better, and so will our central nervous system.
DOMS (Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness)
This is one that is relevant and many can relate to. That feeling of intense muscle soreness. You know the one I am referring to; when you can’t even sit on the bowl without your glutes and hammies screaming.
Anyway, this soreness is termed DOMS: delayed-onset muscle soreness. Typically 24-48 hours following exercise and resistance training.
Most people without the proper education interpret DOMS as a direct effect of exercise, and that nothing can alleviate the sensation; they need to just ‘wait it out’ until the soreness resolves itself. That’s the worst thing you can do.
The best move would be to perform some light aerobic exercise to help promote blood flow circulation among the sore areas and speed recovery.
Depletion of Key Minerals
When minerals, compounds and macros are depleted it is critical to replenish our body with those both used or lost.
For example; vitamin B, C, and E are common sources of energy and function needed for exercise. If we can get these vitamins into our body before and after exercise regularly, on a daily basis, we will have a better chance of fast recovery and enhanced performance.
So there you go. Your body does need rest, active rest that is. Don’t sit around between workouts. Get up and moving. Walk. Run. Jog. Jump rope. Circuit train. Get your blood circulating and your heart rate up.
Lastly, taking a multi vitamin and supplementing your diet with key minerals is going to make a huge difference in your daily function. From a mental state to a physical state. What goes in, is what you will get out. So put quality stuff in your body.
Thanks for reading. I encourage you to leave questions if you have them.