The Benefits of Recovery

This year many of us have resolved to have a more active year. We are chasing after health and fitness goals and in order to achieve those you might be training harder or more frequently than usual. Whether you have started a new fitness program, joined the gym, or have started training to run a race this year-- way to go! Isn’t it just so exciting (sometimes scary) to start something new?

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I wanted to share with you one of my big resolutions for 2018–to take better care of my body. I know that sounds pretty general, and of course that means focusing more on my nutrition and fitness (I’ve decided that I want to train for a half marathon in April and compete in a fitness competition), but the real thing I want to focus on is recovery. I am resolving in 2018 to stretch more, and to allow my body to recover after my workouts and to do a better job of preventing injury. I know I am not “old,” however I am starting to notice aches and pains especially in my hips and knees that I’ve never felt before and I know it’s because I am training harder, yet stretching and recovering less. Building recovery into your routine allows for your body to repair after a workout, and adapt to the stress that you just put it through. I’m willing to say recovery and rest is the one of the most important parts of your workout routine.

I’m going to raise my hand and admit that this will take time and accountability, but it’s something that I think is super important and I hope that this encourages you towards good workout recovery habits as well.

In this post I wanted to share just some of the practical ways that I’ll be focusing on recovery and some things that I’ll be adding into my training this year.

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  • Yoga! I used to LOVE practicing yoga, but I turned into a HIIT (high intensity interval training) junkie a couple years ago and had a hard time feeling like I got an amazing workout unless I was drenched in sweat. It is super hard for me to slow down and be quiet during my workouts because I’m a big fan of group fitness. However, I am definitely looking forward to increasing my flexibility in 2018. I also think it’s super important to confuse your body and change up your routine. Throwing in a day of yoga each week I’m hoping will improve my strength, flexibility and my overall stress level. Follow along over the next couple of months because I am going to be going to some different yoga studios in the area! I went to SunstoneFIT for my first hot yoga class of 2018, and I am not going to lie I realized very quickly how of of “yoga” shape I am, it was challenging to say the least and I didn’t realize how much my heart would be pumping.  The next studio on my list is CorePower yoga in Fort Worth and I can’t wait. What are some of your favorite yoga studios?
  • Foam rolling- Oh the torture!  Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage,  a benefit of foam rolling is that it increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility, helping with recovery and improving your workout performance. I’ll be honest on this one and admit that I normally only foam roll when something is hurting, but I am not consistent about rolling on a regular basis. First off, it can be quite uncomfortable and secondly I think it’s easy to forget to do something good for your body when you don’t feel a problem, so usually it’s not at the top of my list of things to do before or after my workout. My goal is to commit to 2-3 times per week and especially before and after long runs while training for my half marathon. When foam rolling it’s good idea to start at the bottom and work your way up, I start with my calves, then move to my hamstrings, my glutes, my IT band and then my quads. You can focus on each area for up to 1 minute, rolling up and down and really getting into the spots that are tight (avoid the joints) Here’s to foam rolling in 2018, beauty is pain, right?! You can find my Trigger Point foam roller here

  • ROMWOD- ROMWOD stands for “range of motion workout of the day,” and it is a website that you can subscribe to that sends you daily videos designed to increase your range of motion, it helps to enhance your workout performance and it promotes recovery and muscle healing, all of those things sound like a win to me! ROMWOD was created in the crossfit world, and what I think is great about it is that it opens up and strengthens your joints which is where the most common workout injuries occur.  You can easily fit ROMWOD into your day either before your workout or even before bedtime. Check out their website and subscribe to your free trial here!

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I hope that this post encourages you to take better care of your body after your workouts. Eating healthy and working out are great ways to steward your body, but don’t forget that after those tough workouts when your muscles are exhausted and sore that it’s a good idea to stretch and prevent injuries. No matter where you are in your training whether you are new to exercise or have been working out consistently, I encourage you to take some recovery time and add in some things to your routine that slow you down a little bit.