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Recovery in the Big Picture of Health

by Libby Aneskewich

Of course my answer is going to be “Yes!” when my boyfriend asks me if I want to go for a run with him. Anything that means we get to spend time together in a healthy way is important and exciting to me. We set out for a 5 mile trail run on a Sunday afternoon and I finished feeling proud and fulfilled but found myself especially physically drained.

As a personal trainer and fitness professional, I was doing strength training and high intensity workouts on a daily basis. I was feeling generally healthy and always looking forward to challenging myself with my daily sweat session instead of looking at the big picture of my exercise regime.

The fact that after my run I was exhausted and feeling pain in my hip for days following my run made me reconsider what I was doing and how I was doing it.

Recovery is Essential

Don’t get me wrong - I still love heavy deadlifts, box jumps, and running sprints but movement practices like yoga, foam rolling, and light walking can be key to helping you prevent injuries in the future. Since the goal is to be healthy, this means maintaining the ability to use my body for as long as possible. To do so, rest and recovery days are KEY for protecting joints, improving circulation, reducing pain, and preventing injury. Losing out on recovery techniques (including sleep) may lead to a weakened immune system, hormonal changes, weight gain, and increased stress levels to name just a few drawbacks.

I traded in some of my high intensity workouts for yoga, natural movement flows, and focused on meditating for just one minute every day. I started feeling stronger, happier, and had more energy almost immediately. Doing yoga brought awareness to all of my particularly sore joints and muscles, natural movement flows showed me where I was lacking mobility and stability, and meditation helped me to be more present in everything that I do in and outside of the gym.

After a day of recovering with yoga, nutritious meals, and plenty of sleep I had more energy to go hard in the gym and ended up being able to lift heavier and run longer and faster.

Work hard, recover hard, and see results even faster!

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