Right now, everyone seems to be talking about recovery and stretching – but why? Is there any real benefit to be had from stretching, and what does recovery actually mean? Do you skip the gym and just lay on the couch?
Movement for recovery
In fact, recovery doesn’t necessarily mean total inactivity: if your body is aching and stiff after training, taking a more active approach is a good way to speed up your recovery.
We’re talking active recovery, which is essentially low-intensity exercise such as stretching or yoga. It works because it improves circulation in muscles and tissue, flushes away lactic acid and boosts the metabolism. As such, it’s a vital part of the overall exercise picture.
Diving a little deeper into the benefits of stretching and yoga for recovery, we think this is a pretty compelling list:
- It maintains the range of motion in joints
- It keeps muscles flexible and can therefore prevent injuries
- A calm stretching or yoga routine lowers your blood pressure and activates the parasympathetic nervous system
- It flushes the lactic acid from your muscles that has been built up after exercise
- It reduces stress
- It feels good, enhancing your mood and releasing endorphins
- It can help your overall performance in other sports
- It can improve posture by reducing muscle tension and tightness
So, how do I do it?
The same rules apply for active recovery as for training: start gently and ease your way into it. Don’t overly push yourself.
For both yoga and stretching, it’s important to take your time and allow your body to settle into the poses. Focus on your breathing and concentrate on your body. Perform movements with the same concentration and intent as you would doing high-intensity training.
It shouldn’t hurt. Some yoga positions and stretching can feel uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t feel any sharp pain.
Recovery is trending
Wellbeing is a hot topic on Wexer’s platform, with sessions that allow users to slow down and look after their body and/or mind in high demand. It’s evidence of a growing interest in recovery, whether that’s recuperating from strenuous exercise or easing tension after a busy day at work.
“Gentle movements like stretching or yoga can certainly help improve recovery and overall wellbeing,” says Morten Andersen, Global Head of Content at Wexer. “We see more users picking up on that, realising that movement is often better than simply surrendering to the couch.”
And so the recovery revolution is underway – yet for many people, doing something active for physical and mental recovery and wellbeing still takes some getting used to.
“We’re confident that most people can learn to wind down and enjoy the softer side of fitness,” says Andersen. “If you allow yourself a couple of recovery sessions to get familiar with the process, there’s a great chance you’ll quickly feel the revitalising benefits, as well as enjoying improved overall mental and physical wellbeing.”
And Wexer has some great new content to help you on your way, adds Andersen: “Yogaia has provided us with some great sessions that encompass gentle stretches, movement and yoga. I strongly recommend everyone give it a go.”
Yogaia have picked 3 of their favourite classes to help you recover and become more flexible. You can try them out on the Wexer platform.
A silky, gentle restorative class to help you calm your mind and relax your body. Focused on getting you grounded this class is suitable for anyone looking for more balance and relaxation.
Slow Gentle Flow
A gentle and sweet class of movement and breathing that will take you through some lovely twists, lunges and gentle backbends in an approachable flow.
Stretch in 10
Perfect for post-workout but great as a standalone class, enjoy ten minutes of blissful stretching. Focus is on opening inner thighs, quadriceps and nice juicy stretches for your back and the sides of the body.
Find out more about Yogaia and Wexer’s other fantastic recovery-focused content at email@example.com