Work out harder, recover more quickly

I don’t know if this is contrary to conventional wisdom or just unexpected, but it’s making the news – The Harder You Exercise, the Quicker You Recover.

Researchers studied the exercise regimens and recovery times of 25 men competing in an Ironman triathlon, a three-part race consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle leg, and a 26.2-mile marathon run.

Although this competition is much more taxing than your standard cardio kickboxing class, researchers were surprised to see how quickly the athletes’ bodies recovered. It takes about two week for muscles and tendons to fuly recover after an Ironman triathlon.

But one day after the race the competitors’ heart rates, cardiac output, and blood pressures had returned to baseline levels. Within three days, other system changes brought on by activity also reverted to normal.