Let's Talk Recovery
Let’s talk recovery real quick. Maybe you just ran a marathon, went for a long, strenuous hike, biked 100 miles, etc. Now it’s time to recover before your next big day. What you should do to make sure your body gets a break before you get back out there?
I’m a big believer in active recovery, so doing things like stretching and mobility work, walking, or easy biking. Your muscles worked hard to get you up that mountain, or through that race. It’s time to give them some love. Sometimes people think that they can sit on the couch and watch Netflix and be recovered, but you’d definitely be doing a disservice to your muscles if you choose to recover that way.
Stretching keeps your muscles strong, flexible and healthy. The lengthening of muscles helps them to be ready to fire when you call on them to do something active. If you let your muscles shorten, you can be susceptible to all kinds of issues like muscle strains, sprains and joint pain.
Aim for spending 15-30 minutes a day just stretching your prime movers. Your hamstrings, quads, biceps, triceps, core and glutes will thank you and you’ll improve flexibility with a daily practice of stretching. It also just feels good and can put you in a relaxed state for sleep if you stretch before bed.
As you probably guessed, I am huge on mobility work. I try to spend about 30 minutes a day working out any tight muscles by foam rolling or lacrosse ball smashing, and working on improving range of motion in my joints.
Mobility work has made a huge difference in my recovery practice, and I highly recommend adding in even just 10 minutes a day of this kind of work. If you need some ideas, feel free to send me an email and I’ll send you a couple of exercises based on your sport or hot spot.
Sleep is so very important. Honestly, it should be number one on this list, and your number one priority. Your muscles repair themselves in your sleep, your immune system recharges and your brain gets to rest. It’s super important to aim for at least 8 hours of sleep, but especially the first couple of days after a big effort, getting 9-10 hours is even better.
Keep your room dark, avoid technology (screens) at least 1 hour before bed and turn the temperature down to around 64 degrees for optimal sleep.
Eating healthy is always important, but even more so after a big effort. Healthy eating is different for everyone so I won’t go into specifics, but as the old adage says, “you are what you eat” and it’s definitely true. So don’t be a processed meal, be fresh fruit and veggies. Always aim for whole, plant based foods to be at least half of your plate. Then add in some healthy grains and protein and you’re good to go.
If you focus on these four things, you’ll be feeling recovered in no time and ready to get back outside to your favorite activities.