The benefits of exercise as an aid in improving your health, as well as a means to faster and more lasting weight loss, is well documented. However, less well publicized, but equally important, is the need for exercise recovery. To understand why recovery is so important, let’s briefly go over what happens during exercise.
What happens to your body during exercise?
During exercise, small tears in your muscle tissues occurs. This is a byproduct that results from the stress and strain you place on your muscles. Moreover, the more and harder you exercise, the more the stress causes your muscles to become catabolize, that is to become broken down. This breaking down of muscle is a precursor to muscle hypertrophy, the process in which muscle size increases.
To recover from this, several processes need to occur in your body.
Exercise Recovery Processes
Resting after exercising is an important ingredient in the physiological processes that occur during recovery. Some of the processes that occur are as follows.
Adaptation to stress of exercise Recovery time gives your body time to adapt to the stress of exercise. Likewise, adaptation is similar to learning any new skill. When you first attempt something, the activity is usually difficult. However, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
Replenishment of energy stores During exercise your muscles become depleted of muscle glycogen. To power future workouts, your body needs time to replenish its reserves. This is accomplished by eating nourishing carbohydrates.
Repair damaged tissues When you are asleep, growth hormones are released, whose functions are to help to repair muscle tissue. As such, when you deprive yourself of sleep, you are denying your body the opportunity to naturally repair itself. In addition, it is during this time that muscle growth occurs.
Keep in mind that without allowing yourself sufficient time for your muscles to repair and replenish, the muscles in your body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise.
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