Build and Recover

I love a good workout.  For me, that means busting it and being absolutely spent at the end.  The problem with that is I want to do it all again the next day, so to ensure that I can, I have found some recovery tips that work for me.  Here are a few (not including my oatmeal recipe that makes my wife crinkle up her nose):

A few years ago, my legs started cramping up at the end of every triathlon I did.  After doing some research, I concluded that I needed to use a foam roller to help my legs recover and be stronger during workouts and races.  At one race, a new roller that was just put on the market was being offered on sale for $20, so I snapped it up.  The Rollga Foam Roller is amazing.  Its contours work great for digging into the muscles and are perfect for rolling the spine.  No more visits to the chiropractor!  I wasn’t sure about the durability of that roller, especially since my first roller died within a year, but after over 3 years with the Rollga, it is still in the same condition I bought it in.  Since my purchase, not a single leg cramp! (probably just jinxed it)

I would often scoff at the newest trends in water.  From hydrogen water to all sorts of other additives, I was not buying the benefits.  But one additive that I have fully bought into is putting trace minerals into my water.  This supplement helps to return your body to an alkaline state.  Being in an alkaline state helps reduce fatigue, muscle contractions, and general body function.  Also, muscle cramps can stem from a mineral imbalance.  Using these minerals is just another way for me to stave off those pesky cramps!

During the summer, I increase my training load to prepare for upcoming races.  I try to do everything I can to recover and be ready for the next great workout.  I have found something that is both effective and tasty to help with my recovery.  Switchel is a drink that contains ginger and apple cider vinegar, both of which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.  There are many great recipes out there for Switchel, but I prefer the simple Dr. Axe version.  It is a refreshing way to re-hydrate after a hard workout.

The final, and most important, thing I do to help make my performance and recover better is to take days off.  My wife had to really work to get me to accept that off-days are a good thing.  In my mind, going hard each day was going to make me better.  After reducing my workouts to five days a week instead of seven, I have noticed great changes.  I am able to lift more and am more toned.  I make an effort to put my most taxing workouts right before off days, and make sure to roll out my sore muscles on these off days so that I will be ready to go again.  By slowing down and giving my muscles a chance to grow stronger, I can go harder on training days.  Thanks for the advice, honey!  Sorry it took so long to get through my thick skull.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  He may not have been talking about exercising, but moving forward and improving is my goal.  These recovery methods help me move better- speaking from experience.

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