There are so many people I see coming in and out of the gym each day and each week. Most of these people are in at 6am in the morning for at least 5-6 days per week. They are getting stronger, training hard and rushing out the door to get to work. Movement is great. Getting stronger is great. Physical activity is great. However, over time, our bodies still need to recover and be taken care of! The harder you workout, the harder you need to recover. I didn’t build a gym with a yoga studio just for my own health...I truly believe it is one essential way to help with recovery.
Treating yoga as an active recovery is so important. If you are making it to the gym and lifting heavy weights 5-6 days per week, you need to find time to get into yoga class at a MINIMUM of 1 time per week (preferably 2). You need to find a balance between lifting heavy, working on mobility, mindfulness in movement and focusing on recovery. Over time, bad things can happen to your body if you just constantly give it the same stress without spending time and care on the recovery process. I know this for a fact because this recently happened to me...
I lift, I warm up, I foam roll and stretch and get on with my day. However, I started trying to run to get ready to play soccer again (coming out of retirement after 4 years). My body didn’t like it. My hamstring and glute felt like they were ready to tear. It got to a point, where running wasn’t an option. The pain was not bearable any more (2.5 weeks of trying to work it out on my own). So, I finally went to PT. They did a combination of dry needling, cupping, grastin, massage and more. After 1 session, I felt pretty good. I was able to jog 20 yards, no pain, but I didn’t want to push it. I used the rowing machine and ski erg to do intervals to get my HR up. I even stayed away from deadlifting heavy and went back to the 16kg bell and went back to the basics. Deadlifts, squats and getups. I went in for my second appointment and this time had the dry needling, massage and the tens unit was placed on my leg with a warm blanket. Got back to the gym and felt event better. Once again, I had to do something. I stuck with pressing overhead, trx rows, step ups and followed that with intervals on the rower. Followed that up with 10 minutes of stretching and foam rolling and hydration. I still have 1 more PT appointment to make sure I am 100%. Then, I should be cleared to run and get back to soccer specific training.
Here is the lesson. I use to go to acupuncture 1x per month at a minimum for maintenance. With my son being born and just the craziness of life, I stopped that. I do think that was one thing that kept me healthy and I am determined to get back to it. I am also committing to 1x per week of yoga class these next 3 weeks and then will increase that to 2 times per week once soccer season starts. I am going to make my warmup longer and my cool down just as long. I am going to focus on hiking on the weekends and making sure to foam roll every single day and stay hydrated! So, here is the thing. Life gets in the way. If we run out of time or are limited on time, we only want to focus on getting our work out in! However, with life and stress, we most likely need more recovery and self care than we give ourselves. So, here is my challenge for you!
Try one of the following:
Schedule a yoga class
Schedule a massage
Are you in pain? Go to PT
Epson salt bath
Grab a foam roller while you watch tv
Drink half your Bodyweight in ounces of water per day!
Let me know how that goes for you! If you need any other suggestions or help just ask me!