With a new year brings with it a new set of dreams, goals, and aspirations that you hope to achieve in the next 12 months. Which is why it can be all too tempting to plan and schedule an extensive workout to help you lose that extra weight that crept on over Christmas, as well as attempting to lead a healthy lifestyle, and achieve all your workout goals in the months ahead. However, what if we told you that when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and getting the most benefits out of your workouts, allowing your body time to recover is just as important as that sweaty gym session.

Any professional athlete will tell you that rest days and recovery are essential if you want to beat your goals and achieve a high-level performance, and this is just as true for you when setting yourself a new workout schedule. So, we have put together these top 5 reasons why recovery is just as important as the workout itself, and by following our tips, you can achieve all your new year goals.

Your muscles need time to recover and grow

Many people aren’t aware of this but your muscles do not grow and develop during your time spent in the gym; instead they thrive after the workout is over, and once the recovery process starts. Whether you love a long session in the gym, or you are more of an outdoorsy workout kind of person, any form of intense exercise is a shock to the system and can cause our bodies a significant amount of stress. ‘Why is exercise so good for me then?’ I hear you ask.

Well, every time our body is exposed to this kind of stress, we learn how to cope with it during the recovery process. During an intense workout, you can expect to lose fluids, have your energy levels depleted, and your muscle tissues breakdown. So, recovery time is essential to allow our bodies the opportunity to replenish our energy stores, and for our muscles to repair any damaged tissue. As the muscles repair these micro-tears, they grow and become stronger, meaning that you can push them further in the future.

Your muscles need time to recover and grow

Recovery reduces your risk of injury

With this in mind, there is nothing more dangerous than working out continuously without taking breaks and rest days. Often individuals make the mistake of assuming that the harder and more often they push their body during a workout the quicker they will see results. But this is far from the case. Instead, they are exposing themselves to an increased risk of suffering an injury and could even do permanent damage to their muscles.

Therefore, it is essential that you reduce your risk of injury by not only taking regular rest days, but also have the recovery equipment you need on hand to help the recovery process along. Muscle recovery equipment produced by specialists Pulseroll use innovative vibration technology to give post-workout muscles an extra push on their way to recovery. For example, their vibrating foam roller is ideal for self-massage, performance training, and rehabilitation all from the comfort of your own home. By using recovery equipment such as this, you can increase blood flow and muscle oxygen to the muscles and improve recovery time overall.

Lack of recovery can disrupt your sleep

While controlled exercise with regular recovery periods can help you to lead a healthier and more energized lifestyle, working out continuously without a rest will leave you with little energy and feeling tired throughout the day. Therefore, it is important that you take a break and allow your body the time it needs to recuperate.

Failure to allow your body the time it needs to rest could result in pain and discomfort which in turn will make a good night’s sleep more difficult to achieve. This can then have a considerable impact on your performance during your workout. While we all have a bad night’s sleep from time to time, and this will largely not affect your gym session, consistently having poor sleep will have an impact on your performance. Sleep deprivation can cause increased levels of stress hormone cortisol and decreased activity of growth hormones which are essential if you want your muscles to grow and develop.

Improves performance

One of the main reasons why professional athletes take their recovery time so seriously is because recovery is directly related to performance improvements. By taking the time their joints and muscles need to repair those micro-tears that have been caused by an intense workout, they can come back stronger than ever if given the opportunity. Without providing accurate recovery time, you will always be limited to what you can achieve in a workout and how far you can push your muscles and how you can help them grow, which is why recovery is just as important as the session itself.

Recovery equals a healthier lifestyle

While our new year resolutions and plans often involve working out more and losing weight, it is important to remember that those goals are a whole lot more achievable if we are also living a healthier lifestyle. While giving your muscles and joints time to repair is crucial, so is giving your mind the downtime that it can’t otherwise enjoy when stuck in the gym 7 days a week. Taking the time away from the gym on recovery days also gives you the opportunity to work on your mental wellbeing and spending time with friends and family.

While exercising and getting your body moving is important to a healthy lifestyle, it is important to remember that it isn’t all just about what happens during the workout. Instead, by providing your body the time it needs to recover, the sky’s the limit on what you can achieve.