How to Recover After Hard Workouts in Westchester

While working out is important, recovery time is just as essential when it comes to developing a healthy fitness routine.

How you treat your body after your workout is just as important as what you do during it. “Recovery is so important for people working out regularly because it helps to prevent injury and helps to optimize our training and the results we get from training,” says Alina Rendina, certified personal trainer and co-owner of Wellness Central in Peekskill.

The goal of working out is to break down muscle fibers so that they repair stronger and denser. Our bodies, in turn, adapt to the stress. But overtraining and lack of proper recovery will not only stop your body from healing but could effectively damage it more. (Writer’s Note: I tore my bicep this way. Don’t be like me!)

“Imagine your body is like a car,” says Rendina. “You have smaller forms of recovery like rest or active recovery (filling up the gas tank or charging, let’s say), but over time, the wear and tear on your car will slow it down, if you didn’t bring it in for regular maintenance or get parts replaced; it wouldn’t last nearly as long and would eventually start to break down.” Knowing that the body needs ample time to rest and reset, what are the best ways to achieve that? Rendina is a proponent of all types of rest, but one form increasing in popularity (and offered at Wellness Central, wink wink) is cold immersion therapy.

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“Benefits range from boosting metabolism due to the thermogenesis effect on brown and white fat cells, to a surge of feel-good neurotransmitters including dopamine, improved cardiovascular function with the dilation of blood vessels, reduced swelling and inflammation, stress reduction, and an overall sense of accomplishment for doing something hard,” Rendina says. “It’s hard to get out of a cold plunge and not feel amazing for some reason or another when you’re done!”

Another form of recovery often glossed over by casual and competitive athletes alike is vitamin maintenance. While a good routine to have, nutrient absorption from over-the-counter supplements lands around less than 50 percent — on a good day. The best way to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, says Jessica Abreu of Core Nutrition and Fitness in Dobbs Ferry, is IV nutrient therapy, particularly with vitamins like B-12 and D that most people are deficient in. “Lack of B-12 can lead to a ton of symptoms: memory loss, fatigue, and irritability,” she says. “IV therapy is great because the delivery is immediate via the blood stream. Benefits can be anywhere from more energy, immune system support, red cell production, and more.” If you have a major dip in your levels, Abreu recommends receiving an IV once a week until you hit your baseline. You’ll notice not only a difference in your workouts and how you recover, but your quality of sleep and cognitive functions.

Related: Fiture Offers Fitness for the Future at The Westchester

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