All of us have some form of stress in our lives and some of us cope with it better than others but today, I would like to talk to you about how life stress can impact how you recvoer from your workouts.
Even though many of us, myself included, use working out and exercising as stress relief, we need to take into account how stress can impact we recover from our workouts and how it can impact our future workouts.
Most of us know that job issues, money issues, relationship issues, sleep issues and other things that happen in our lives can cause stress. When many of us get stressed we look to our workouts to help lower our stress levels but you must understand that our workouts also cause stress. Even though we consider workout stress a good type of stress, it too adds to the total amount of stress we are dealing with each day.
What I have found, in this lab that I call my body, is that if I am stressed from life and I still workout hard, it takes longer for my body to recover than if I have a hard workout on a day when my life has little stress. When I noticed I was having some issues recovering from my workouts, I started to look at the external influences such as food, sleep and my water intake.
After finding that my nutrient intake, water and sleep were almost the same, day to day, I started to look at what else could have been impacting my recovery and muscle soreness. Even on days when my workouts were almost identical, I wasn’t recovering the same on some days as I was on others. I then started to notice that a bad day at work or an argument with my wife or son, the day before, would make my body sore and drain my energy whereas on the day after a less stressful day I was fine.
Adjust your workouts accordingly…
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t workout if you have a stressful day but you can adjust your workout based on your stress levels. If you normally do four sets of each exercise, drop it down to three. If you run five miles, maybe only run four. If it’s a really stressful day, just have a play day at the gym and do what you feel like doing instead of sticking to your scheduled routine.
I know we all like to push through our workouts, even when our mind or body might be dealing with other issues but sometimes, you will gain more in the long run if you keep your overall stress levels in check.
Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have noticed how stress impacts your workout recovery.