It took a long time for me to waste a thought on proper warm-ups and recovery. At first, I worked out hard, slept suboptimally, ate not enough and was most of the time stressed the *** out.
But- it is a fact that working out alone doesn’t make you strong and healthy. It’s just one piece of the whole cake of healthiness.
While many people actively think about nutrition and workout programming, few consider proper recovery. Nutrition and training are obvious. Recently I found out the hard way how important proper recovery really is. It’s nothing to maybe care about – it’s the single most important thing you should work on to get ahead.
The thought behind that is to simply get more blood through your muscles. More blood equals more oxygen, more repairing material and lesser waste metabolites.
Us humans are made to move. Can’t do anything about it!
The most important thing is to keep it easy. Just move lightly, do some mobility work, or go for a relaxed cardio session. Even just walking around your local forest can help significantly.
Eat well and sufficient!
Only who gives his body all the materials it needs can recover properly.
Ever been on a strict diet and trained really hard while doing so? I bet you were sore even 2 days after this workout. That’s because your body is already stressed enough by starvation.
Your body is an awesome improviser. It can sustain without many substances and not everything is essential. On the contrary, it can build up a lot of stuff from scratch and sustain without many others for a long period of time.
They promise the holy grail of the lazy (or an economist’s wet dream). The only problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work in 99% of all cases.
Do yourself a favor and forget about short-term-fixes and quick solutions.
Getting strong needs time, dedication, and hard work. The same goes for mobility. Even more, to improve your recovery. It takes a whooping third of your whole day.
Befriend this mindset and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration. And money…
Other recovery methods to consider for your getting-back-on-track-toolbox
In this section, you’ll find besides the three main protagonists – sleep, nutrition, and movement – a few passive methods that I personally found useful in some cases.
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If the three above are in sync they can help you. If you mess up in one of the three, none of them will help you.
See them as a plus, an additional feature – the top of the recovery iceberg.
Who doesn’t like going into saunas? Besides all these many naked, and most of the time ancient-looking, bodies…
Because of the high room temperature inside a sauna, your heart has to work really hard. Your body thinks you’re dying of a heat stroke and want to get the heat outside.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t work – outside its hot and humid. Sorry, body.
A visit to the sauna, once a week, can be a good supplement to improve your recovery – both physically and mentally.
Massages and Gua Sha
In general, I don’t think good of massages. They feel great but don’t have a lasting effect. But, from time to time, they can help to get really stressed-out body parts, back for action.
I like to massage my forearms after strenuous handstand sessions for example.
Gua Sha is a self-massage technique. You use a stone, spoon, or coin for it* This may sound unpleasant – but in reality, it’s 10 times that unpleasant. If you wanna try this technique educate yourself first and start slow.
First things first – flushes are nothing for rookies! You should know what you are doing here.
When flushing you’ll reduce the blood flow out of an extremity with the aid of a flexible band, named voodoo floss. The important point is that you don’t bind it up completely. You don’t want to create a tourniquet.
While bind up, for roughly 2-3 minutes, you’ll perform some light and easy exercises to build up an oxygen deficit. This is why your extremity can turn slightly blue.
When you open the voodoo floss*, blood will shoot into the tissues. It will look red, hot, warm, and pumping. Your body tries hard to reoxygenate these tissues.
Very interesting to read was this Interview with Christie Aschwanden. I like her No-Bullshit approach when it comes to recovery. She thinks nearly as I do of this matter and focuses on the important basics.
Or the worse in terms of a lack of sleep.
But, if you’ve got problems with your weight, this is a whole other story. Just keep in mind to not cut your calories too aggressive. The place to dive deeper into this would be another post. Another really long post.