Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com
You may not be control the circumstances in your life, but you can control how well you take care of yourself. Fitness is one of many self-care habits and plays a crucial role in many different populations including self-healing for people in substance recovery, people needing to lower their risk for sedentary diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc., people with ADHD or other attention difficulties, and much more. An important key to successfully integrate fitness into your life, is to make other self-care practices habitual as well. Here are some self-care strategies that will keep you motivated to stick with your fitness routine.
Get enough rest and sleep
Overall, we know working out is good for your body. However, it uses a mechanism that stresses your body. For instance, exercises such as resistance training cause muscle tears, which then rebuild into bigger, stronger muscles. Exercising also puts stress on the nervous system. Adequate rest allows the body to recover and rebuild. It is also helps prevent injuries and improves performance!
There are two main ways that you can ensure you are well rested:
Get Proper Nutrition
What you eat fuels your body during exercise and replenishes it after the workouts by aiding in muscle recovery and development. While there are various nutrition plans that you can adapt depending on your fitness goals, a good nutrition plan should provide your body with sufficient macronutrients and micronutrients.
Don't Overdo it
Overtraining is a common phenomenon, especially among athletes and weightlifters. It results from putting more stress on your body than it can recover from. It can result from training the same muscle group over and over again without giving it time to rest or subjecting the body to frequent high intensity training, too much volume, or both.
Some common signs that you may be overtraining include:
Adequately Warm Up & Cool Down
A warm-up gradually raises your heart rate, body temperature and blood flow to the muscles. It also prepares you psychologically for your workout session. On the other hand, your cool down helps the heart rate and body temperature to steadily return to normal. Both the warm up and cool down are essential for preventing injuries. Warm ups should mimic the workout itself, putting you through movements similar to the ones you'll face later on or the same just at lower intensities. Cool down sessions are also light in intensity, an easy two minute walk or jog followed by stretching usually does the trick.
Water plays the role of regulating your body temperature, lubricating your joints and transporting nutrients, energy and toxins during exercise. This is why you should drink water before, during and after exercise. The American Council on Exercise recommends you have up to 20 ounces of water 3+ hours before exercise, 15 to 18 ounces every 20 to 30 minute during exercise, and 8 ounces within the first 30 minutes after exercise. Read more on why hydration is crucial here.