Recovery is just as important as training, this was the message that Simply Health wanted to get across to a group of bloggers last weekend in a dimly lit gym in East London. It might be against the commercial interests of a health insurance company to be promoting keeping your bodies safe from injury after a gruelling workout but then Simply Health wants its customers to be healthier and is actively engaged in spreading their knowledge to anyone who’ll listen. So I went down to 1Rebel on London to find out what they had to say, take part in a exercise session and was immediately treated to some liquid recovery to see if recovery is really as important as the work out.
Simply Health say that it’s at times of rest that our bodies adapt and change. It’s the recovery process from exercise that makes us fitter and our muscles stronger but so many people skip rest and recovery or view it as a guilty past time. I know I’ve been made to feel guilty for not working out as much as some people so I often doubt myself and wonder if there’s anybody else in the same boat, the insanely busy boat, the boat of people who just need a sit down for a second cause we’ve been rushing around on our feet all day?
The workout session was run by 1Rebel’s trainer Bryony and she really pushed us to our limits. The reshape session runs regularly and involves a lot of sprinting on the treadmill, using it as a “deadmill” (turning the treadmill off but using your legs to make the belt move) and lots and lots of burpees. You have a brief rest where you lift some dumbells repeatedly and that gives you a pretty accurate picture of how high energy the Reshape class is. If you don’t like burpees and treadmills then it’s not a great deal of fun, but there’s no doubting she knows what she’s doing as Bryony has the abs of Spartacus.
It’s so easy to buy into this idea that you need to WORKOUT ALL THE TIME but according to Simply Health, it’s just not true. Recovery is just as important to our health as training is. Simply Health say that our bodies repair themselves during rest periods and it’s this process of repair tat makes us fitter and our bodies stronger.
You might already know, but our muscles experience small tears when we exercise and begin to repair themselves into your new shape when we stop overworking them. The new shape is generally bigger and stronger to be able to cope with the next time you decide to do a million burpees or plank for 10 hours. If you deprive your muscles of the things they need to recover, the can get weaker.
Simply Health recommend resting for around 48hrs in-between a weights session or other muscle strengthening workouts and that you get a couple of good night’s rest. As much as sleep as important, what you eat is also a part of your recovery. We all know that we should eat plenty of protein after a workout as it’s important for the much needed cell reproduction that our muscles need to repair. They also say it’s important to replenish sugars, minerals and nutrients that we use up or lose during exercise.
Smoothies are a fantastic way to replenish post-workout as they’re quick and easy, portable and easily absorbed. You get all the nutrients delivered in one go and you don’t lose any of the vitamins as it’s all whizzed up in your blender. Simply Health made us a couple of smoothies from their own recipe book and have generously shared them with us. Amounts of each ingredient are up to you. I tried the Body & Soul Saviour Smoothie and it was just like a chocolate milkshake.
1. Simplyhealth’s Super Sassy Smoothie
Coconut water, spirulina, apple, lemon, avocado, honey, ginger, spinach and chia seeds
This smoothie offers a great mix of replenishing nutrients. You’ve got protein from the chia seeds, iron from the spinach, lots of vitamins from the fruit and veg, and healthy fats from the avocado. Spinach is full of magnesium, which helps lower cortisol in the body. This is handy because cortisol levels peak after a workout.
2. Body & Soul Saviour Smoothie
Avocado, cacao, cacao nibs, chocolate protein, almond milk, Himalayan Salt, dates and goji berries
Goji berries are a source of energy as they give your body high-quality carbs, which can help your muscles recover properly. And cacao is one of the world’s superfoods, filled with antioxidants that can help balance hormones, protect your heart, and prevent blood clots. Plus, almond milk is a source of protein that tastes great too.
After the smoothie we were also given a LifeBox*, the latest in subscription boxes but this one focuses on healthy snacks. This jam packed box was crammed full of goodies and tasty treats to try from lots of newer and obscure brands. If you love being healthy as well as a taste maker then this is the box for you. I was so excited to try the Tapped birch water with Billberry and Lingonberry. Friends of mine were particularly pleased to try the Raw Gorilla Maca and Cinnamon Munchies.
Partnering with Simply Health for the occasion, Life Box’s subscriptions come in a variety of forms, from Women’s Health to Men’s or Juniors. From Vegan to Nut free. And from just £14.95, they’re a really affordable way to try out new brands as we all know, healthy snacks aren’t the cheapest.
Simply Health’s plans start from just £11.88 a month and vary depending on which policy you opt for and presumably lots of other factors regarding your lifestyle. They healthier you are before your policy starts, the cheaper it will be. They also have accident plans and dental plans because you never know what’s going to happen. Visit Simply Health for more information.