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My Favorite Rest and Recovery Methods

Sporty & Rich Wellness - My Favorite Rest and Recovery Methods

 

By: @emma.walsh

 

Our health and wellbeing is our most precious asset. As such, I can write endlessly about the importance of exercise and self care – which are all integral practices to support our healthiest selves!

 

Even still, I sometimes feel pressured to be “productive” 24/7. But if we try to push past our limits, it will inevitably lead to burnout at some point. When I feel this way, I don’t perform my best, lose my motivation, and can even become apathetic. With that said, here’s my personal guide to mind and body recovery methods:

 

Let’s begin with the body. If we're challenging ourselves (like with functional exercise), P.volve trainers Dani and Kimmie say we need to give back to our bodies with time for rest and active recovery. 

 

Rest: No strenuous physical activity 

 

Recovery: Light, gentle, low impact movements and activities (eg. walking, yoga, stretching)

 

Taking this time off actually improves our mental and physical performance because we need that break in order to heal and repair muscle, maintain flexibility, feel energized, balance hormones, and prevent injury. Are you inspired to take a day off now? Me too!

 

Dani and Kimmie also remind us that we need to schedule in these recovery/rest days in our weekly exercise regime, just as we would with our normal workouts. Here are some of my favorite recovery methods for the body to get my energy flowing in a gentle way:

 

Walking

 

Walking is a low impact way to be active and move your body while simultaneously rejuvenating the mind. When I’ve pushed myself for a few days in a row and my body is sore, I opt for a more restful activity like walking to still get some movement in. Bonus points if you’re out in nature, practicing mindfulness, listening to a motivational podcast, or chatting with a friend while you walk!

 

Foam Rolling

 

Something I need to do more often is get out my cute pink roller and foam roll my whole body! It’s an effective warm up or cool down for your muscles, and also helps to alleviate soreness, enhance muscle recovery, and increase flexibility. 

 

Stretching

 

Like walking, stretching is another non-strenuous, accessible activity for our health. You can do dynamic (slow, gentle stretches that incorporate movement) or static stretches (stretches where you hold – and if you can, go deeper with each breath). Even a few minutes every day releases tension and helps you feel more physically and mentally aligned.

 

Massage

 

I’m sure you know all about the benefits of massages; in essence they are an amazing way to relax the mind and body. 

 

Sauna

 

One of my favorite wellness rituals is an infrared sauna! One of the primary benefits of infrared saunas is their ability to detoxify the body through sweating. It also enhances muscle recovery, increases circulation and oxygenation, and decreases inflammation throughout the body. In my opinion, one of the best benefits is that it promotes mind and body relaxation by balancing cortisol, our primary stress hormone.

 

Just as we allow our bodies to relax and recover, we also need to relax our mind... 

 

Journaling

 

My weekly journaling session brings me so much peace. I like to reflect on the previous week, jot down my ideas, and write about what I’m grateful for. As someone whose mind often runs a million miles an hour, putting pen to paper is a healthy tool to process my thoughts.

 

Meditate

 

I love meditating, as it gives my mind a chance to calm down and take those slow, deep, rejuvenating breaths. 

 

Dream, Get Inspired, and Get Motivated

 

Especially if we’ve been feeling burnt out, it’s so much fun to watch some inspirational individuals on YouTube or listen to a podcast to reinvigorate our motivation! After you’ve re-energized your mindset, also take some time to daydream about your ideal life and set some goals!

 

Self Expression

 

Another reason we want to avoid burnout is because it can stifle our creativity. To bring back my artistic side, I like to engage in some form of self expression. For me, dancing, writing, and moving my body are all forms of self expression that allow my creative side to pour out of me. Do whatever you like that makes you feel artistic and lose track of time!

 

Taking time for rest and recovery ignites our motivation, increases our happiness, and enables us to do more for others – because we’re giving from a place of abundance, rather than burnout. I encourage you to find the practices that bring you joy and peace, and honor the healthy habits that make you feel your best!

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