Working out is important, but rest and recovery is just as important. Relentlessly pushing ourselves and over-stressing our bodies can lead to burnout and result in serious injury and setbacks. As Ashletes, you are ELITE athletes, I expect you dedicate just as must time to recovery as you do to training… if not more. Allowing your body ample time to rest and restore is a VITAL part of your training and will ensure that our subsequent workouts are productive. Outside of my injuries from my car accident, one of the main reasons why I’m able to do so much (or be “meta human” as some of you like to say) is that I do actually set aside time to care for my body and allow it to recover from the daily cray that I put it through. So what should you be doing to help your recovery? Here’s my top 10!
1. Rest. You should incorporate AT LEAST ONE rest day per week. Let me define rest day: a day where you actually do NO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (unless you count sex as a physical activity lol). This means: No cardio, no workout, no freestyling, no balance work, nothing active. Just R-E-S-T.
2. H2O. You must stay hydrated. Drink water, lots and lots of water.
3. SOAK. DIY at home with a Hot bath soak. I suggest adding a little epsom salt, baking soda and lavender oil. Or bath bombs if you prefer! This mineral soak will help you relax and can ease sore achy muscles. OR a spa day can be great too and you don’t even have to break the bank. Just hit up Groupon and get a pass to Spa Castle. The various saunas and the jets in the outdoor pools are amazeballs.
4. Sleep. Our bodies repair and recover during sleep. Be sure to get plenty of sleep.
5. Get your roll on. Foam roll, peanut, lacrosse/trigger point ball: these work to loosen and relaxe muscles, improve moment and range of motion, improve blood flow and flush out toxins. When it comes to the balls, they target more specific areas of the body, applying more pressure on the muscle tissue in the process.
6. Stretch. Utilize a mixture of lite stretching 15-20 min and deep stretch sessions 30+ min. This will help keep you loose, flexy and mobile.
7. Topical pain relief and bruising ointments like: Bio freeze, Icy Hot, Arnica gel (Pain relief and bruising), Tiger Balm.
8. KILL THE PAIN! If needed (and you’re not anti-pills) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help. Try Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin OR Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn.
9. Hands-on Adjustments (Massage & Chiropractic). Massages: I suggest working with a professional massage therapist. They can help work out knots and stiffness while allowing your body to relax. I recommended at least once every 30-60 days. If you don’t have a massage therapist then I can loan you mine. She’s amazing and she’s family with the aches and pains of aerialists. Chiropractor visits: Adjustments can make a huge difference. You don’t need to go weekly, maybe once every 60-90 days.
10. Hot/cold therapy. Heat helps soothe stiff joints and relax muscles. Cold helps numb sharp pain and reduce swelling, inflammation and muscle spasm/cramping.