Muscle recovery

I went to my first Body Pump TM class on Thursday, and although I am a strong, active 30-something year old, warmed up/ cooled down properly, and was sensible about what weights I used, I am still feeling it! 

A quick Google search comes up with 5 top tips to aid muscle repair:

  • Warm up and cool down properly
  • Hydrate (water is found in highest concentrations in active tissue like muscle. Water helps transport waste out of the body, and helps lubricate our joints too!) 
  • Rest (as well as having a rest day which is an important part of our training programs, sleep is vital as this is when the body repairs itself. You probably know that muscles grow because when we work them, they get microscopic tears. Our amazing bodies fix these tears while you sleep.)
  • Stretch -yoga, swimming, a soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil
  • Refuel- yes you need protein to repair muscles, but did you realise carbs are important to? It seems obvious: carbohydrates are the body’s energy store. However we are under pressure today to “cut the carbs”, go for the “skinny” option, etc. Research shows that some specific foods may be beneficial: blueberries, cherries, pomegranates, acai, cranberries and ginger have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Well for me I’m struggling to get 8 hours of sleep per night so I think that has something to do with the reason my arms still feel sore and heavy 3 days later. I’m going to make a nice antioxidant smoothie, and maybe I’ll go for a swim later!

ViPR

 I’ve been loving the newest class at my gym, ViPR. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! Pronounced “viper”, the letters are an acronym for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning. 

What does it involve?

It’s a pretty basic piece of equipment, a rubber tube with a series of handholds. They are available in different weights. 

Ok, tell me more.

The class I go to is just 30 minutes long, and – set to an awesome soundtrack – you perform a series of playful moves (squats, jump jacks, upper cuts, sit-ups, lunges…) all of which are loaded with strength training. 

This is perfect for me as I find static weights very dull and often skip them prefering a cardio class which flows. The fun choreographed sequence is a challenge, gets me sweating and gave this blog it’s name – Legs On Fire (in a really good way!)

So, what’s the big deal? 

I’ve been using my Fitbit to track my workouts. Here’s today’s class data:   

  
Now here’s the really interesting bit. On Saturday I did 2 classes back to back. Look at how the heart rate time bar changes after the first class: 

  
I’d love to understand more about how the exercise affects my body. 
Heading picture courtesy of https://www.finishfit.com/