Coaching and Nutrition

Recover The Right Way For You

By Nike Training

Recover the Right Way for You

Take time to truly rest your body and mind.

Recovery isn't just about letting your muscles relax after you've worn them out doing tough workouts. "Recovery's real value is when you take a physical break and a mental break", says Shona Halson, an Associate Professor at the Australian Catholic University's School of Behavioural and Health Sciences. That could mean chilling on the sofa while you watch a show, cooking a great meal, chatting with a friend or reading a book—whatever works for you.

"Recovery's real value is when you take a physical break and a mental break."

Shona Halson, Associate Professor, Australian Catholic University

There are two keys to finding a type of recovery that aids your body and your mind, says Halson. The first is making sure your body is relaxed during the activity. "Everyone thinks yoga is a great recovery, and gentle yoga is perfect because it can help maintain your flexibility and range of motion, as well as help with injury prevention", she says. "But a challenging yoga session, where you're raising your body temp, is actually a physiological stress to your system, so it doesn't count as recovery".

Are you sweating? Is your heart racing? Then you're not letting your body recover. Save those physical challenges for work days, and let your rest days really be about allowing your system to rest. Not into restorative yoga? Take a 15-minute walk around your local area, head outside to chill in your garden (if you have one), or stay inside and take a 20-minute power nap.

"Ask yourself: do I feel relaxed and calm while I'm doing this? Because that's a good recovery strategy."

Shona Halson, Associate Professor, Australian Catholic University

The second factor to a successful recovery activity is relaxing your mind. The key here is choosing something because you truly enjoy it, not just because it's "supposed" to be good #selfcare. "If you don't feel good while you're doing the activity, but you feel good when it's over, that's not great recovery for you personally, because it doesn't provide a mental break", says Halson. "Ask yourself: do I feel relaxed and calm while I'm doing this? Because that's a good recovery strategy". If you have trouble calming your mind, try listening to a podcast about a topic you care about, draw or spend some quality time catching up with a friend on the phone.

If there's one thing to take away about finding the right recovery for you, start by trying different ways to relax, and notice if your body feels calm and you're enjoying yourself during the activity. If not, skip it and try something else until you've found the thing that works for you.

Make It a Habit: We challenge you to make time for recovering in a way that feels authentically relaxing to you. Not sure where to start? The NTC Gentle Yoga session with Nike Master Trainer Alex Silver-Fagan is a crowd favourite because it's under 20 minutes, yet laid back and effective. Give it a try tonight. Whether you find gentle yoga is your thing or you'd rather move onto a different recovery strategy, give yourself a pat on the back for giving your body and mind a much-deserved break.

Recover the Right Way for You

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Recover the Right Way for You

Join Nike Training Club

Get access to our world-class experts and trainers to help you stay active and healthy.

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