Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Recovery Workouts Are Essential
Some people just love to get in the gym and just hammer out the weights and use their Bosu Balls, run like a madman on the cardio machines and just crank out rep after rep on those "machines." I love training hard too; getting out and hitting tire with my Epic Sledgehammer, play with Battling Ropes, and move like a wild animal and just go raw with my favorite exercises but yet I understand the importance of recovery. Unless you work all day in construction or at some heavy duty job or having to survive in the wilderness; you can't train that hard all the time without suffering some sort of consequence like an injury or being burnt out or whatever. It's great to push yourself but it's also important to let things die down a bit and let your body repair itself.
My type of recovery training is to practice forms of Chi Kung to train my internal strength and use more of a flow of movements and holds that unleash that electrical vibration in the body not just outside. A lot of us can be filled with tension that deprives us from doing things that are fun and enjoyable. Tension can be used in a positive way depending on the situation but the negative side of it is it can cause damage to your body like inflammation, tendonitis, back pain, knee problems and it can take a toll on your emotional state as well. Exercise done right releases endorphins and is often a stress reliever which is why daily exercise is good for the body but like anything else if it's not balanced than you're in for a rude awakening which is why a lot of people quit after a week or 2 of training because they pushed too hard and not enough recovery time to balance it out. You don't have to do Chi Kung to recover but you can do other things that balance out your body's nervous system. Go for a walk, stretch your body and loosen up the joints, do deep breathing exercises for a day or before/during/after your workouts, do meditation; there are so many things you can do but it's up to you to find that balance.
Now contrary to popular belief you don't always have to do workouts that only go 3-5 times a week and not do anything on you're off days. In this day and age, very rarely you find people in fitness who never take a day off. I have not taken one day off since I started training for rehab way back in 2005 around august. When I tell certain people that they often think "how can you do that everyday and not be burnt out, don't you get injured?" The truth is, I train hard when I can but when I need to back off I do which I'm currently doing right now. There's no such thing as a day off because you're constantly doing something every single day and it doesn't always require training in the gym or doing a few push-ups at home. Here's the thing, there are times we can get so sore from a workout or we become sick and need to take care of ourselves, what to do then? How about say you're sore from head to toe and you still want to get in a good workout, why not go for a brisk walk for about 30 min., go swimming and just tread water or swim a few laps so the muscles are loosened up, stretch your body to open up the channels within your muscles. What about being sick with the flu or you can hardly move feeling like a crowbar is hitting your body; well you do a fast or eat very lightly, lay back and flex the muscles in various places to bring blood flow to the body, you can also do light stretching, kick back and do some deep breathing exercises (trust me it's not easy to do when you're stuffed up but breathe from your diaphragm and not your nose) and mentally picture yourself feeling better and visualize healing yourself. You don't always need to move to train your body.
A lot of us struggle to relax and go with the flow. It happens to me quite a bit and I get really tense sometimes and jittery. I'm known to be a night owl so sleeping at night isn't always simple to do like in my current situation where my body is just going nuts and my sleeping patterns are way off so I'm training myself to not fight and just relax and flow while listening to my body. Relaxing isn't easy for some people because they're so stressed from their job or something is wrong in the family or your mind just runs at a million miles an hour and it's causing you frustration. We have 24 hours in a day and so if you have time to ease down even if it's for a few minutes believe me you'll see a whole new look at training the body in a different perspective. Watch something funny, chill out and forget about the negative bullshit for a bit. Destress yourself with intent. I'm not always talking about positive thinking or be one with the universe but train your body to ease down when you make the effort to and let your body repair itself, sleep when you need to so the muscles can have time to rebuild and grow. Balance yourself according to your needs and recovery just as efficiently as you train hard.
Welcome to October everyone. Have a happy Wednesday and be awesome.