People don't realize how important it is to rest... it is actually just as important as lifting and training. I realized this was exactly what the doctor ordered when I went to outerbanks for a few days. It was SO relaxing! I thought.. wow.. this is really peaceful and nice.
A road to recovery was discussed in Christos's awesome blog. He writes in detail these very important bullets:
- Active Recovery: continuing to move but at a lesser intensity
- Water: soaking in warm water and using Epsom salts
- Electric Muscle Stimulation: applying electrical currents to your muscles to help them to contract and relax
- Soft tissue release: otherwise known as foam rolling or massage
- Sleep: just that!
I encourage everyone to read this as it goes into depth on all these key strategies for recovery. I want to talk about just how doing absolutely NOTHING can also be extremely helpful for recovery. When I was at the beach I grilled kabobs and sat on the beach, went in the hot tub, watched movies, and slept. This seems like doing nothing but actually you are doing something. You are doing your body good by allowing your body to relax and be stress free. Did you know that stress can actually cause weight gain? When someone is super stressed and under pressure your stress hormone (cortisol) rises.
Cortisol can actually create problems not just for weight gain. It can also decrease bone density, lead to a weaker immune system, memory issues, and many more problems. With this killer hormone one is also more likely to have depression, mental illness and even a shorter life span. I strongly urge you all... whatever problems you have and whatever is weighing on your mind... try to put your brain at ease and relax! Purposely set aside a couple of days to get away from the chaos of living in the worst traffic in the US and breathe. Do this often because we all NEED it.
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. For me it's Korean dramas, Winnie the Pooh face masks, movies, good food and lots of sleep =) Find what that is, NIKE it up and JUST DO IT. Rest your mind and your body and you will be surprised at how well your body is able to perform the next time you lift!