5 Signs You Need More Recovery Following a Workout

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If you’re feeling inexplicably rundown following a workout, you may not have recovered enough from an earlier sweat session. Exercise stresses your body, and you need to recover to rebuild it stronger than before. Watch for these telltale signs that you'll require more R&R.

  1. Your workouts feel like work. This is often the first subtle sign that you’re not recovering enough. The body usually let us know when something isn’t right; we just need to listen.
  • Rest for a day, then exercise at half your normal intensity and duration for several more days before resuming your normal routine.
  1. You hurt — all the time. Are you sore, or do you hurt? Delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) is typical and probably doesn’t mean you’re under-recovered. Pain, on the other hand, can be a sign that you’re overtraining.
  • Make sure you’re hydrating and replenishing electrolytes. Prioritize protein to supply the building blocks for recovery.
  1. You feel weary, crabby, or grouchy. Or all three. Do people keep asking what’s wrong along with you? You may be burning up energy reserves during training. Exercise should cause you to feel better, not worse.
  • Cutting back on calories during training to obtain leaner faster can be counterproductive. Recovery means eating to fuel your body and support resilience.
  1. You turn and toss all night. Excessive exercise stress makes it tough to sleep, and insomnia creates chronic stress — a vicious cycle.
  • Try improving your sleep environment: Lower the temperature towards the 60s at bedtime. Keep your room as quiet and dark as you possibly can. Chances are, if your sleep improves, your recovery will too.
  1. You’re sick — again. Exercise usually boosts immunity, but too many intense sessions can hamper it.
  • It’s OK to exercise through a cold, as long as you lower the intensity. Don’t overload congested lungs, though. As a rule, if your symptoms are below the neck — or you’re struggling with a fever, nausea, or diarrhea — stay in bed.
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