5 Navy SEAL Workout Recovery Tips

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Students approximate a PT routine workout for the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School.
Students with the North Carolina Piedmont Region Consortium NROTC unit participate in an instructor-led workout session made to approximate the day-to-day PT routine at the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. They worked out during a physical training and injury prevention medical lab at the University of North Carolina. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda S. Kitchner/U.S. Navy photo)

For those of you who train hard, sometimes a day off is necessary to allow your body to recover. Just because you're not hitting the gym hard every day doesn't mean you're lazy.

Even with perfect nutrition and recovery tools, the body can only recover so much after a few weeks of two workouts per day.

Here five recommendations for you to recover and come back stronger.

5 Navy SEAL Workout Recovery Tips

1. Rest days. If you are burning the candle at both ends with busy work days, hard workouts and sleeping less, you may find you either can take a day off or consider a recovery day or week, for that matter. Using recovery gear, eating well and getting a good night's sleep can be just what the doctor ordered.

2. Take it easy. If you prefer not to skip a day of training, resort to a mobility day and focus on non-impact cardio, easy pace, deep breathing, stretching and foam rolling every five minutes or so within a 45- to 60-minute easy cardio session. I prefer doing these first, as I feel that too many days off in a row just makes me lazy and less productive with other life events (work, family, etc.).

3. Multiple mobility days. You may find yourself sore, tired and unmotivated to train. If you need a break but want to do something, try 3-5 days in a row of nothing but non-impact cardio and focusing on mobility (stretching, foam rolling, massage) throughout the time you are training. I recommend a system of five minutes of cardio and five minutes of stretching or foam rolling for 45-60 minutes. It produces great results, and you'll feel like you did something to maintain habits of fitness.

4. What is overtraining? You likely will not realize you are overtraining unless you are really in tune with your body. It is easy to keep pushing through these low motivation/energy days if you are disciplined, but you also need to tell others around you the symptoms of overtraining. They will see mood swings and other symptoms coming before you do.

5. Know when to stop. When ill or fighting illness, your body needs to use all its resources to heal. Don't waste energy training through it or risk getting others sick by training when ill. Head colds are common issues people typically can train through, but flu, fevers and serious injuries for that matter require total rest.

It is difficult to get into the habit of fitness (requires persistent work), and it is easy to get out of the habit (requires no work). A few days off can lead to a week off, then a month off.

Eventually, you get good at not working out at all.

Even if you do something as simple as walking to replace a typical workout, do it at the same time to help you develop the habit of training.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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