Tried, Tested & Well Rested

1 Mar

Before I get started on this post I’d just like to state, as you know, I am not a health, fitness or weight loss professional. I am just a girl with an avid interest in all things health and fitness.  This post (as are the majority of my posts) is purely based on my own opinion as well as methods I have tried and tested.  This is what works best for me.

You are more than welcome to try these ideas for yourself however I do strongly suggest if you have any ongoing issues with muscle soreness or chronic pain that you seek professional advice.

Okay, now that that boringness is out of the way let’s get into it!  Muscle soreness.  Something I know only too well and it is also something that I have finally got a handle on.  Finally.  I have spent far too long walking like I just got off a horse.   It’s not very becoming for a lady like myself. *cough*

Basically, my theory is this – if you are going to spend ‘x’ amount of time on working out and pushing your body to its limits then you must spend ‘y’ amount of time working on recovery. What ‘x’ and ‘y’ equal is up to you but the important thing is that you find balance between the two.

I have seen far too many instances where people (I’m also pointing the finger at myself) keep pushing, pushing and pushing through workouts and spending no time at all on recovery and end up with injuries.  It’s really not worth it. Spend the time you need to on recovery and you will avoid the cost of physios, podiatrists, chiros and doctors that you will no doubt need to visit if you don’t pay attention to your body!

What I have found during this journey to fitness freakness is that your body makes most of its major changes when it is in recovery mode.  This is when the muscles relax and take shape.   Taking on a new shape is what we are so desperately seeking so we need to ensure that we aid recovery as well as we possibly can.

So, what can we do to help this process?

Stretching

A 60 second stretch at the end of a session is simply not enough.  You need to spend a good 5 – 10 minutes at the end of your session (when your muscles are warm) stretching.  You should hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and focus on the areas which are tightest.   For instance, my hip flexors are usually the tightest so I spend the majority of my time stretching them, even going back 2 or 3 times to stretch them again.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is really a godsend.  Anyone who partakes in exercise who thinks they don’t need it should think again.  It’s like having a sports massage without the hefty price tag.

Foam rolling is great for stretching muscles and tendons and it also breaks down tissue adhesions and scar tissue.  You basically use your own body weight and press down on the roller to self massage the affected area to break up trigger points, soothe tight fascia and promote blood flow and circulation.

I foam roll a few times a week but you can do it as often or as little as you like.

Here’s a great YouTube clip to get you started on your foam rolling journey:

Magnesium Oil Spray

I’ve just started using this but, just like every new thing I try, I’m almost certain it’s going to change my life.

Rub a few sprays of this oil into your skin daily (it’s actually not really an oil – more a tonic) and reap the benefits of magnesium far quicker than if you were to take a supplement.

Not only does it help relieve sore and stiff muscles but it helps prevent stress as well as helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

It does sting the skin a little at first but the stinging sensation will ease as you get used to it.  Suck it up princesses!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Yep! I still drink my apple cider vinegar!  I usually have it as soon as I wake up in the morning but you can also have it immediately after exercise to help clear lactic acid.

Simply Rest

I always ensure I have one day of rest a week.   On this day I do very little physical activity and let my body just ‘be’.   Every now and then I find it’s good to take off 3 or 4 days and just do light activity.   As I said earlier, rest days are so important as it is during this period of recovery that our muscles change and take shape.   So don’t hammer yourself in training day after day without ensuring you give your body some rest! Got it? Good!

That’s about it from me on the topic of rest and recovery!   I hope that you will now pay more attention to your recovery routine.

Do you put enough effort into recovery?  What’s your tried and tested tips for rest and recover?

Advertisements

12 Responses to “Tried, Tested & Well Rested”

  1. Alex March 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    what is apple cider vinegar good for?

  2. Alex March 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    just read it – AMAZING!! will be taking it every morning with my hot water & lemon juice from now on.

    • Amanda March 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Haha! Let me know how you go with it!

      • Alex March 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

        ok just tried the apple cider vinegar.
        OMG i almost brought it back up. (hope that wasnt too graphic).
        how do you take it? and how much do you have at a time?
        still shivering when i think about it!

      • Amanda March 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

        Haha yes, it can take some getting used to!

        I usually mix about a tablespoon in a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of honey. You can start off with just a teaspoon or two though until you get used to it. 🙂

  3. Chanel March 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I don’t put any thought into recovery actually, apart from resting I guess 😉 But I definitely want one of those foam rollers now!

  4. Alex March 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    OH! well im going to try it like that next time. ill just mix it into my morning lemon and warm water drink!

  5. Cooper March 6, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    This is one of your best posts!!
    I have been such a victim of rushing my recovery (even though I know better) since trying to get back into it lately and as a result have gone for 1-2 sessions and then had to spend 3-4 days off my feet and out of the gym because I rushed it, didn’t take protein and hardly stretched afterwards.
    I definitely want to get myself a foam roller – great investments.

    • Amanda March 7, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks lady bug! Definitely pay attention to that fragile little body of yours! 🙂

  6. Katey @ Bonne Santé March 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    “A 60 second stretch at the end of a session is simply not enough.”
    GUILTY!
    I need to start taking your advice more often Amanda – weight-training with your awesome guide the other day left me broken and confused…in the best possible way! Could definitely feel it the next day.
    You may not be a certified health professional yet, but you’re definitely on your way dude!!!

    • Amanda March 7, 2011 at 8:24 am #

      Lolz! Maybe my lifes calling? Time will tell! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: