All of that hard work you encounter on your fitness journey does no good without the proper amount of rest. Challenging physical workouts break down your body in what's called "micro tears" or muscular hypertrophy, starting the process to rebuild and fuse the muscle fibers through nutrition, oxygenated blood and certain hormones (like testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin growth factor). How can you maximize your recovery, you ask?
Proper nutrition, hydration and sleep provides the body all it needs to recover stronger than ever. Investing in your nutrition through organic, real food that is high in protein and fiber (and generally leaner) is one of the best things you can do for your health. Learning how to shop for healthy foods and preparing them in tasty ways are skills that will certainly have a positive impact on your healthy lifestyle. Next, hydrating properly (given your weight, activity level, and weather) keeps your body's water balance in an optimal state for recovery. Lastly, make sleep a priority by establishing an evening routine that eliminates screen time and excess amount of alcohol so that you can get at least 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep each night, so that your body can literally rebuild itself.
Understanding the process of recovery helps you get the most from your training regimen. You can adapt your activity so that you avoid overuse injuries and setbacks. Adopt "active recovery" strategies such as walking, hiking or other low-intensity activities that give your body the break it needs after putting it through intense periods of stress while still getting your nutrient-delivering blood flowing and having fun (also burning more calories). While there are more advanced strategies to consider (i.e. supplements like L-Glutamine), they'll do nothing without proper nutrition, hydration and sleep. Find your training rhythm and use optimization strategies to bounce back. You'll be quicker, faster and stronger than ever before.