Reps or Rest
Is more exercise the answer?
By Steve Dozois, Licensed Massage Therapist
Worcester Fitness Massage
This time of year a lot of us have renewed dedication to health and fitness goals. We make our way to the gym or do our own workout routines more frequently and try to eat a little better. For others, this is almost a "rest" time as their training season is getting ready to start.
Consequences of Activity
What happens to your body when you increase your physical activity or try a new fitness routine? If you're doing it right, you will be sore for a day or two, because you are increasing the load on your muscles and activating other muscle groups that aren't used to the work. So, then what? If you have goals of really improving your fitness and performance, you can't afford to rest. There is also research to suggest that the best thing for sore muscles is more exercise!
However, there is a fine line to walk.
Form is the thing!
The danger of not recovering properly is that at some point, your form will begin to breakdown. That could be your running, swimming, cycling, squat, or any other movement form. When your form falls apart, that's when injuries can occur. When your form is off your body starts recruiting other muscles to do the motion, and when pushed too hard those muscles may cave with the added and unusual work load, creating pain.
So, how do you keep pushing yourself without getting injured? You need to take care of your muscles, tendons, and joints. Think of it like brushing your teeth. To have proper teeth and mouth health, it is recommended to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and visit your dentist every six months. There are many ways to maintain your muscles and connective tissue. Some of the most effective are various stretching activities, foam rolling, or self myofacial release, and of course visiting a qualified massage therapist who understands your activities and goals.
Want to learn more about how to maintain your muscles at home or at the gym? Ask one of our personal trainers or massage therapists, and we'll show you some great, efficient techniques!