Can you believe my half is only 4 days away? I’m SO PREPARED. That was sarcasm.
Anyways, I try to push myself the majority of the time I exercise, which often means that I wake up sore as shit the next day. Recovery has been an incredibly important part of my fitness regimen since starting CrossFit. I hate when I have to take extra days off from doing the things that I love because I didn’t allow my body to recover properly post-exercise.
In the Girls Gone WOD interview that I did, I asked the girls how they recovered from intense exercise. This got me to thinking about the recovery that I do on a daily basis to ensure that my body is ready to take on the next day and whatever it may bring.
My secret to recovery involves 5 simple tasks. I’ve found that in doing them, my body is not as likely to be fatigued, (as) sore or hinder my performance.
1. Protein & Carbs: By eating a snack with a 2:1 carb to protein ratio, you are properly refueling your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to rebuild itself. Carbohydrates refuel your energy stores and protein rebuilds your muscles, allowing those muscles to become stronger. This snack could be chocolate milk, cottage cheese and fruit, a turkey sandwich and pretzels or a protein shake that contains the correct ratio.
2. Foam Roll: I cannot stress how essential foam rolling has been in my exercise regimen. I rely on this piece of equipment for SO much, and incorporate it into my daily routine, even if it is a rest day. Foam rolling is like giving yourself a deep-tissue massage. Foam rolling is a type of soft tissue therapy mimics the benefits of a massage. If you’re like me and don’t want to spend $$$ on weekly massages, invest in a foam roller. This tool has done WONDERS for my IT bands, my back and my extremely tight hamstrings.
3. Epsom Salt Bath: Epsom salt can reduce inflammation, regulate electrolytes and restore magnesium levels in your body, resulting in an overall beneficial experience. I love taking baths, so adding in a cup or two of epsom salt to help my sore muscles is a no-brainer for me. You can even find epsom salt with essential oils added in to make for some super relaxing “me” time.
4. Fish Oil: I take fish oil pills on a daily basis. Fish oils pills (specifically the Omega-3’s) are supposed to increase blood flow to your muscles allowing them to recover quicker. If I do forget to take my daily pills, I feel that my muscles are always more sore the next day. Could this be a placebo effect? Sure. But I feel better when I take them, so I do.
5. Sleep: I cannot stress this element enough. Every person’s basal metabolic sleep is different (basal metabolic sleep is the minimum amount of sleep a person needs to function), some people require 6 hours… I require 8.5-9. If I get any less sleep than this it really effects my workout performance. I feel weak, fatigue and…just out of it.
Not to mention, deep sleep is when the human growth hormone is released, which is CRUCIAL in recovery. I mean crucial. If you are only going to do ONE thing on this list of recovery items, make it sleep.
Like I mentioned before, when I follow these five simple steps my body is more likely to perform better than when I don’t. I’m a firm believer that recovery is just as important as the workout itself, so I make sure that it is a priority in my workout regimen.
- How do you recover?
- How much sleep do you require per night?