Taking care of your body goes well beyond exercise and nutrition. Although exercise and nutrition are two of the most important factors of living a healthy lifestyle, proper recovery after exercise is potentially more important. When you are new to fitness, it is easy to fall victim to the idea that training harder every single day will get you better results. In fact, over-training can actually impede your fitness goals and lead to complications such as overuse injuries. Continue reading to learn how you can minimize your chance of injury and maximize your performance while exercising. 


Getting enough sleep is essential for muscle growth and overall fitness performance. Getting enough sleep allows the body to recover and provides you with enough energy for your next workout. Sleep is also crucial for rebuilding muscle tissue. When you workout, small microtears are created in the muscle. When these microtears are repaired with proper nutrition and rest, they become stronger and larger which increases muscle mass and conditioning.


Keeping the body hydrated reduces muscle fatigue during workouts. When an individual exercises, they will lose body water from sweat. That fluid needs to be replaced in order for the body to perform at an optimal level, therefore replenishing your body with water during and afterwards is of the utmost importance.


Making sure you get the proper nutrients in your body is one of the most important factors in building muscle. Some key things to remember when starting out is to reduce the consumption of processed foods, sugars and sodium. Limit your trans fat and saturated fats as well as monitor your carbohydrate intake. Also, try your best to consume lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish or tofu.


Stretching plays a large part in everyday fitness. The trick is to know what kind of stretching to do and when to do it. Some of the most effective methods of stretching are to warm up with a dynamic style of stretching. This means to be active while stretching, no extended static stretches which could overstretch the muscle and make it more susceptible to injury. Static stretches of 30 seconds or longer are best used post-exercise.

There are countless ways to improve your body with self-care, however, start with these key methods and you will keep your body in its best working condition, while limiting injuries and progressing in your fitness journey.

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