We all want to be strong and fit, but let’s face it.  In our dedication to a more toned body, we can often times over do it and really pay for it in the days to follow.  Sorry folks, the solution is NOT to work out less  – though some may wish it that way.  Exercising on a regular basis let’s our bodies know we are thankful for it’s hard work and would like to keep this whole ‘life thing’ lasting as a long and beautifully as possible.  So – keep up your healthy routine and enjoy some of these all natural, post workout recovery tips!

STRETCH BEFORE & AFTER!

Gentle stretching before AND after a workout is a key component not to be dismissed.  Trust me, I’ve been there and sometimes you just don’t want to ‘waste your time’ stretching.  I want to emphasize the gentle part for a minute as well.  Especially before a workout, your muscles are not warmed up. This will cause them to be more tight and stiff – like a dry rubber band.  Over stretching or stretching to forcefully will actually weaken the muscle, making injury more likely. Once your workout is complete – consider stretching in a sauna (still gently) and really make use of the extra heat.  More about saunas below…  


HYDRATE!

You lose so much water during exercise and while it’s best to replace it during exercise, refilling your personal hydro-tank after exercise is a great and simple way to speed up your recovery time. Water supports every metabolic function and transfer of nutrients in the body. Having plenty of water will improve each and every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more vital for endurance athletes who lose larger amounts of water during hours of sweating and peak activity. 


REFUEL!

It’s SO important to make sure you eat within 60 minutes of a hard workout.   You just depleted your energy stores and now it’s time to refuel them if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. Some great go-to foods for a speedy recovery are protein shakes, bananas, nut butters, hummus and red peppers, yogurt, berries, fish and all green plants.  Let’s just face it – green plants are the food to eat pre and post anything!



HOT COLD! 

Take alternating hot and cold to the next level.  The old advice of ice pack and heating pad have great purpose but are better for targeting certain areas.   Try taking a really hot shower and then switching to the coldest setting for about 30 seconds (or how long you can handle it) and switching back to hot again.  As well, if you have access to a steam room or sauna – go stretch in the heat for 5-10 minutes, go out and take a cold shower (or use the ice bath if it’s available) and the return to the sauna.  Repeat the process 2-3 times for best results.  


DID SOMEONE SAY SAUNA?

Of course I did.  I would almost go as far as saying that I’m one of the biggest sauna fans in the world.  It’s for good reason too.  The health benefits that saunas deliver make me wonder why more people don’t invest in building one in their own home! {If you DO want one built, talk to THESE GUYS and you’ll be on your way to better home health in no time!} But back to muscle recovery…  If you’re already going to be stretching and alternating hot and cold in that gift of a sauna – enhance the experience further and add Eucalyptus oil or Spray!  For the oil, mix the essential oil into another base, like almond or jojoba and you’ll quickly have a muscle recovery rub!  The oil penetrates deep into the tissue (more so in the heat of the sauna) for an anti-inflammatory effect.  When using the spray, simply spritz into the shower steam or the sauna/steam room.  The oil in the air will then enter your lungs and be carried off to nurture the needier parts of your well-worked muscles.  


You are working out and exercising to better your health and look your best. Congratulations! That’s a big commitment you should be proud of!  Please take care of yourself with proper diet, rest and recovery as you live your life to it’s absolute fullest! 


-Navae Fiona 

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