I want to talk about my recovery. I go super hard most day in training and in life. My training is intense and my lifestyle is very active. I enjoy it. I like to move a lot. But in order to be able to stay as active as I am on a consistent basis without soreness or breakdown, I must have a recovery program. Without a recovery program my body would break down, become injured and my performance would suffer.
So what do I do for recovery? Well, lots of things. The most important part of my recovery program is my sleep. I prioritize getting enough sleep every night. How much is enough? It varies based on my the activity level in each day, but it is never less than 7 hours each night. I like to get 8. I know so many people will say they cant sleep that long. They’re too busy. But Im going to say, we make time for the things that matter most to us. I commit to a sleeping schedule and I go to bed when I need to. Sleep is #1 in my recovery program.
Yes I go out and have fun and there are days I go to bed later because of it. I will sleep a little later the next morning. Or try to find time to take a nap the next day. Regardless I still need to have balance. So Im not going to miss a night out with friends because I “need” to be in bed by 10pm. But Im not going to cut my sleep short often.
After training I use a sauna every day for 10 minutes. This helps my cardiovascular system perform better but also helps me recover from the day of training. The sauna detoxes me and helps prevent any muscle soreness I would potentially feel the next day. It feels great to stretch in the sauna when my muscles are warm and loose!
Stretching. Yes, thats part of my recovery too. After my training I stretch. Usually in the sauna. If I dont stretch after my work out the lactic acid will likely cause more muscle soreness the next day. Stretching also keeps me mobile and keeps my range of motion solid. As we age our range of motion will inevitably lessen unless we take steps to prevent or slow the process down.
I also walk every single day. Walking is a great low intensity exercise. Walking prevents me from getting stiff or sore after training hard. All walking counts during the day, but I specifically take a 30 min brisk walk outside every day. The low intensity work is good for my body.
Once a month I see a practitioner for cupping and acupuncture. This takes care of any knots or areas of tightness/tension before my performance or comfort is affected. This does wonders for my body.
Does all of this take time? Yes it sure does. Am I busy? Yes, we all are. But I prioritize it. I schedule it into my day. Because at the end of the day if I dont take care of me, I cant help anyone else and I cant continue to do the things I enjoy. My health and wellness is important. Yours is too. You can give time to yourself just as easily as you give it to other people.
So lets talk about time. How do I fit it all in? As mentioned I schedule it. Just like I schedule clients, work, appointment, etc.. I schedule my work out time and recovery time. Its on my schedule and it doesnt get bumped out. I make that commitment to myself. Maybe you need to get up an hour earlier to do that. Or maybe you need to skip the hour of TV you watch at night. Maybe you need to take the time you scroll through social media and use that time to work out. I challenge you to look at your phone screen time in setting and see how much is spent on social media or other apps that arent necessary (work related). You can play an outside sports game with your kid(s) for exercise one day or go on a family bike ride or walk. There are always ways to find time to fit in exercise and recovery. If you want to you will find time, If you dont, you wont. Its that simple.
So like all of you, my days are jam packed. I too have to find creative ways to fit this all in. I can often be seen working while I walk or when I am in the sauna. Returning emails, making calls, writing posts, designing programs or creating group class choreography. I multitask in some way. If I was not doing these things while I walk or in the sauna I would be sitting in my office doing them. So I just find opportunities to multi task. When I know I need to wait for my kids somewhere I find a place to walk. If I am there anyway, its better than sitting in my car, and I get my walking time in. On days off from work or quieter days I dont have to multi talk, I can just enjoy the walk or the sauna task free. I appreciate those days. No matter what, I wont skip taking care of me and the body I have. There is always a way to make time for things that matter most to you. You just have to want to make time.