Tag Archives: recovery

Supp Y’all?

23 Sep

This is how many supplements you will need. NOT.

I often get asked what supplements I take and to be honest I don’t take a whole lot but there are 3 supplements that I am currently taking on a daily basis and that I swear by.  I think that if you have a rich and varied diet that you should get all the nutrients you need but when you put your body through strenuous exercise regularly, you sometimes need a little assistance.

Whey Protein Isolate

I have written a little about whey protein in another post which you can read here.

I usually mix my WPI with a little skim milk, vanilla extract and cacao powder.  It’s great to have any time of day as a snack but is particularly beneficial immediately after exercise as it quickly provides protein to the muscles.

BCAAs

I’ve only recently starting taking BCAAs and I am now converted.  The brand I use currently is Xtend but I think I will change to something else when I’m done as it contains artificial sweeteners and is really REALLY sweet.  You get used to it but, yeah, wow, it’s sweet!

Since using them I have found that I recover easier and have less muscles soreness, which is exactly what I need when I have been smashing 5-6 weight sessions a week and a few cardio sessions too!

Glutamine

I take glutamine for its immune and digestive system benefits but it is also another supplement that aids recovery post exercise.

I also take, as required, but not every day:

Fish Oil

For the anti-inflammatory and omega-3 benefits.

Bio Magnesium

To help with muscular cramps and ease premenstrual symptoms.

I would recommend talking to your GP before commencing any supplement usage to ensure that they are safe for you to use!

What supplements do you swear by?

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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?

Quinoa Smoothie

29 Jan

Yep, that’s right. I said quinoa smoothie. Okay, maybe I’m a little obsessed with quinoa but I’m telling you, it really is amazing and so good for you. It has a slightly nutty flavor that really takes on the flavor of anything it’s paired with so I thought it would make a great addition to a smoothie.

This smoothie makes the PERFECT post-workout meal because it’s packed with protein from the milk, yogurt and quinoa. The honey is loaded with healing properties that will help reduce muscle inflammation and the cinnamon helps stabalise blood sugars. The banana provides a healthy dose of fibre and we all know what fibre is food for! Wink wink.

1 serving = 250 calories

Ingredients

1/2 cup of milk (I use 98% fat free)
1/2 medium banana
1/3 cup of cooked, cooled quinoa
2 tablespoons of fat free natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of honey

Blend for a few minutes until smooth. Pour into a cup and revel at your healthiness.

Protein Products – Trial Begins!

11 Oct

For a little while now I have been considering protein shakes and specifically whether they would be of any benefit to me. I train 6 – 7 sessions a week and am still having issues with recovery even though I do stretch, foam roll, get massages and have long soaks in the tub!

Reading other blogs and advice from my lovely twitter followers has led me to think that maybe protein shakes could be a good option for me so I considered it a sign when Vitalstrength announced the were giving some samples away to their followers on their Facebook page. I contacted them and they were kind enough to send me a few goodies to try!

I will be trying the Carb Clear Protein Bars (Chocolate and Cherry Coconut) and the Define Womens High Protein Powder (Chocolate) and I have passed over the Hydroxy Liquid Lean capsules to the lovely Chanel from Vineyards, Veils & Vows who is soon to be married (squeal! OMG!). She will be trialling them and I will report back.

As I was rushing to my hair appointment on Friday afternoon (in preparation for Chanel’s Hens Day!), I grabbed the Cherry Coconut Carb Clear bar to have as a snack. The bar contains only 205 calories but has a whopping 17.5g of protein! Protein makes for a great snack as it keeps you full and provides you with long lasting energy – just what I need!

What I liked about the bar was that it took a long time to eat and by the time I had finished it I was quite full. The flavour was quite good too – it wasn’t overly sweet and had a good texture. I didn’t even think about food again until dinner time which is very unlike me! 😉

I’ll give the protein powder a whirl tomorrow after my training session and let you know how it goes!