5 Easy Exercise Recovery Tips

If you want to get into the best possible shape and avoid injuries, allowing your muscles some time to recover is essential. Unfortunately, most people don’t have an after exercise plan. In this post, I will share some tips to help you establish one and get your post-workout recovery plans on track.

Rest and recovery doesn’t mean stopping all workouts; it can mean changing your routine to use different muscles on different days. For example: not strength training the same muscles 2 days in a row, or simply alternating cardio training days and strength training days.

A simple exercise routine to consider would be 3 days strengthening, 2 days cardio, 2 days Active Rest. (meaning – not hanging out on the couch all day- but possibly a brisk walk or light spin on a bike)

In addition to resting between workouts here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your recovery routine:

1. Stretch it out!

I know what you are all thinking… ugh stretching! Well, it doesn’t have to be the tired, old school, Gym class of our youth, style of stretching! One reason muscle soreness occurs is chemical by-products are left behind in the muscle. A good cool down stretch at the END of your exercise will recirculate and remove these chemical by-products along with the potential for muscle soreness. I’m a huge fan of “dynamic/active stretching” and it’s more engaging than the stretches of ole. My preference is to do dynamic stretches on both ends of my workout with a faster pace group pre-exercise to slowly increase my heart rate, like these. And post-workout, I use dynamic assisted rope stretches, to cool down, recirculate, and lower my heart rate.

2. Hydrate with Quality H2O!

Yes, there are plenty of sports recovery drinks on the market but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more beneficial than plain H2O. The rule of thumb is a person should drink 1/2 their body weight in ounces of water per day! As you sweat during a workout, your body drains its water reserves. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping, fatigue, headaches and poor physical performance. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. So take the Water Boys advice- drink your Quality H2O! 😉 If you do want to add electrolytes consider my favorite brand https://elete.com/ great electrolyte addition without the sugar! (BTW no paid affiliation here just a product I like)

3. Refuel – Nutrition

Ideally, you should try to eat within 45 – 60 minutes of the end of your workout. (Even waiting past 2 hours can effect restoration values by 50%) Each macronutrient- Protein, Carbs, and Fat all play a role in recovery. Protein is critical to repair and rebuild muscles. Good sources include legumes/beans, eggs, fish, chicken, even a protein bar or protein shake. Depending on an individuals body weight studies show 20-40 grams will maximize recovery. Carbs replenish your body’s glycogen stores that get used during exercise. Having carbs in combination with the protein will provide more efficient insulin secretion and glycogen synthesis. Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein). For example, 30 grams of protein and 90 grams of carbs. Careful with the simple carbs – try sweet potatoes, brown rice/ rice cakes, fruits, and oatmeal. Fat is not ALL bad – it might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, but it will not reduce its benefits. Limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery. Keep to healthy fats – avocado, nuts/nut butters, trail mix. Micronutrients are important also – a quick list: Vitamins Bs, C, D, K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, & Selenium.

4. Catch your Zzzzz’s – plenty of sleep!

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to recuperation as it inhibits the body’s natural recovery and regeneration processes. When we enter the deep sleep state, our pituitary gland releases a pulse of human growth hormone to help with tissue repair and growth. When we enter REM sleep, testosterone levels rise which also aids in tissue repair. Basically, when we sleep, we’re getting perfectly legal and natural performance-enhancing “drugs.” If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, you’re missing out on that! Some quick sleep hygiene tips include: 1. Stick to a bedtime schedule of same bedtime and wake time 2. Establish a bedtime routine with no electronics/blue light beginning 1 hour before sleep. 3. Have a quiet, dark, and cool sleep environment.

5. Try Recovery Modalities/Tools

There is a host of great products on the market to help you recover. However, they all fall into 1 or more of these most common “modality principles.”

Cryo/Thermo/Hydro – Therapies

Cold and/or Hot applications are the simplest and most accessible of treatments available. Cold reduces inflammation by decreasing blood flow. Heat promotes blood flow and helps muscles relax. Alternating heat and cold creates a “pumping” action within the blood vessels to reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. You can use these tools in many form including water submersion in the form of a bath or bucket for specific body parts. I personal enjoy a cool bath with some epsom salt for the magnesium boost!

Massage/Soft Tissue Therapies

Whether, you use a massage therapist or use some self massaging tools like foam rollers , stick tools, or percussion massagers, getting improved blood flow and relation to the soft tissues helps. Sometimes you can even combine therapies together- another fave of mine is the Cryosphere cold & massage at the same time! If it all sounds to fancy for you HINT- you can use the rolling pin you have in your kitchen 😉

Compression Garments

Compression clothing is one of the strategies that has been used to treat various lymphatic and circulatory conditions but also applies to muscle recovery. Compression garments are thought to improve venous return through application of external pressure which may reduce the intramuscular space available for swelling and promote stable alignment of muscle fibers, attenuating the inflammatory response and reducing muscle soreness. There are compression garments on the market from the complex mechanical devices to simple clothing, socks and sleeves- you get to choose what works for you.

Light & Electrical Stimulation Therapies

Most often found in Sports Medicine and PT Clinics these higher-tech therapies are also out there for you to explore. To use these more complex recovery tools do some research or seek out the appropriate professionals!

3 Ways that Love improves health!

Family, friend, partner/spouse, or pet—human beings thrive on a sense of connection and belonging. Did you know that love can actually improve your health, both physically and emotionally? It’s true—research shows that love in all its splendor can put you on the road to health and happiness. And science proves that love really is a boost to your well-being.

The health benefits of love are easy to identify. In this post, I would like to focus on the positive health benefits of love in a healthy, loving situation.

1. Love helps you live longer and fights disease.

People in a loving, long-term relationship have longer average life spans than those that are not in a partnership. For instance, there have been studies that show patients who are diagnosed with cancer have recovered from cancer treatment faster when they had strong family connections. Also, those in loving partnerships recovered quicker or completely eliminated the cancer with no scientific explanation other than the fact the patient had great love and support from close family and friends.

Love and affection can increase levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody found in mucous membranes—such as the membrane lining the gastrointestinal tract—that fights antigens in the body. Simply spending time with your pet can do wonders for your IgA levels and therefore immune function. In fact, researchers discovered that 19 college students who spent just 18 minutes petting a dog showed significant increases in IgA levels when compared to 36 other students who either petted a stuffed dog or sat alone on a couch. (1)

2. Love produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

We all know how a hug from a loved one at the end of a stressful day can instantly make us feel better, and now research tells us why. “Endorphins are the key. According to the National Institute of Health, love triggers the hormone oxytocin which makes us feel good. It also lowers the levels of stress chemicals in our system. Physical contact like cuddles, hugs and kisses trigger the production of oxytocin,” said Jodi Prohofsky, Ph.D., L.M.F.T

In addition, stress can negatively affect your hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure, but in one study of 59 premenopausal women, frequent hugs were linked with balanced blood pressure and higher oxytocin levels, the “cuddle” hormone associated with snuggling and bonding. (2)

Love brings about many positive emotions including laughter. Laughter is healing to the soul and good for your mental well-being. As they say, “laughter is the best medicine.” It’s is a very powerful antidote to fight stress, conflict and pain both mentally and physically. 

3. Love keeps the doctor away.

Research shows that loving acts neutralize the kind of negative emotions that adversely affect immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular function. Typically, when you’re in a relationship, your partner cares about your health and they will encourage you to watch your health and discourage bad habits such as smoking, doing drugs or working too much. No one who loves another person wants to see their partner sick. Close friends and family members are also more likely to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.

I hope this article helps you understand that love has a great impact on our emotional and physical well-being. The Beatles were right when they sang, “All you need is love.” We all do. In fact, we need a community of people to love. It will reward us with better health in all areas of our lives.

References:

  1. Charnetski, C. J. (2004). Effect Of Petting A Dog On Immune System Function. Psychological Reports, 95(7), 1087. doi:10.2466/pr0.95.7.1087-1091
  2. Light, K. C., Grewen, K. M., & Amico, J. A. (2005). More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological Psychology, 69(1), 5-21. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2004.11.002

Moments of Zen – 5 Self-Care Tips!

Self-care is anything that improves your well-being encouraging you to take time out, no matter how small, to find a few moments of Zen.

One: Take 10 Minutes for Yourself daily.

Even if you feel like you don’t have a lot of time in your day, you can usually identify 10 minutes each day where you can do something you find relaxing or take time for yourself. Choose a consistent time each day, whether it’s right before you go to bed or immediately when you wake up. This can include reading, listening to music you like, watching a funny video on YouTube (laughter is great medicine), or go old school and play a hand of solitaire.

Two: Get Outside

No matter how busy you are, make it a habit to step outside for a breath of fresh air each day. Research suggests time outside helps you sleep better at night, lowers heart rate, reduces stress levels, boosts mental health, and stimulates the immune system. This can include taking a walk outside or sitting outdoors while eating dinner. Tap into your senses – feel the sunshine or breeze on your skin, hear the birds chirping or the wind through the trees, smell the newly cut grass or fresh rain, watch the clouds passing through the blue sky!

Three: Make Small, Healthy Dietary Changes

If the idea of making big changes to your diet feels overwhelming, set a goal to make small changes instead. Some easy small changes include drinking more water, swapping a sugary dessert for fruit, switching to grilled chicken for fried, or eating one new vegetable type per week. Knowing you’re doing something good for your health can help boost your confidence and your overall health. Take a moment to acknowledge it – be proud of yourself for that small change!

Four: Make High-Quality Sleep a Priority

Sleep is a HIGHLY underrated activity! It is during sleep when the body heals and regenerates. Practice good “sleep hygiene.” This includes going to sleep at the same time daily, refraining from looking at phones, laptops, and tablets at least one hour before going to bed, and keeping your bedroom dark and cool to promote better sleep.

Five: Try a Gratitude or Positivity Reflection

Taking some time to reflect on your day can help you improve gratitude. Each day write down at least one and up to three good things you did each day or are grateful for. This could include making a person feel good, improving on a work process, or reaching out to a friend or family member. Reflecting on all the good things in your life can enhance your feelings about life overall.

NAWellness 30-day Coaching & Cleanse Group Program!

This unique guided cleanse program is for you if:

  • You believe preventative care is the key to lifelong vitality and avoiding disease. 
  • You want to improve your baseline health and wellness but are overwhelmed with the sometimes conflicting information out there  and aren’t sure where to start. 
  • You want your body to be ready for all the summer fun activities you plan to do!

This cleanse group program includes 2 parts:

❶ Health Coaching by Jenn – Athletic Trainer and Certified Health Coach – through a closed/private FB Group. The coaching will provide 30 days of group coaching with a week by week plan and a variety of support for nutrition, sleep, movement, and easy to implement wellness hacks! This group will be interactive and give you the opportunity to ask wellness questions. The Group page with coaching will open 5 days prior to start date for Prep information & time.

❷ Specific nutraceuticals/vitamin supplements from doTERRA natural products. This program was designed by doTERRA scientists with supplements formulated to gently detox and replenish the integral body systems. It is comprised of 3 – 10 day phases in which to take the supplements – * not all supplements are taken all 10 days 😉 *Many “cleanse programs” on the market detox your body with no built-in replenishment plan which will leave you tired, worn-out, and nutrient deficient. This plan makes sure to nourish you too! No worries if you don’t have your supplements/nutraceuticals in time for day 1 you can start with them as soon as they arrive!

COST: 

GROUP COACHING IS INCLUDED/FREE! THE ONLY COST IS THE DOTERRA SUPPLEMENTS TO BE PURCHASED FROM THESE DOTERRA SITE LINKS:

NEW customers – $280 – Order the Cleanse & Restore Kit at https://doterra.me/ABJj6m64 (necessary items are already added to the cart via this link) then email me at jennd.nawellness@gmail.com to be added to the group!

CURRENT CUSTOMERS of NA Wellness doTERRA team – $245 order the “Cleanse & Restore Kit” from your account then email me to add you to the group!

Simple Shifts to Transform Your Health!

A wellness lifestyle encompasses not only your habits and behaviors, but it reflects your beliefs about yourself. Placing value on you wellness is a sign of a healthy belief and love for yourself. Health isn’t just based on one thing, and it doesn’t require perfection. What does help is an understanding of the small positive shifts that can make a BIG difference, most of which are under our control!

These four elements require balance for Optimal Health.

Mindset

* Maintain a positive outlook.

* Support social & emotional health.

* Reduce Stress.

Nutrition

* Eat well with lots of vegetables and minimal processed foods.

* Hydrate – Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily.

* Add-in nutritional supplementation.

Exercise

* Include healthy movement daily.

Restoration

* Get plenty of quality sleep.

* Nurture spiritual connection.

* Incorporate Self-Care routines.

Try these tips for each area above to create better balance for a More Holistic YOU! Click on the bold/italicized words below to link to more learning!

Mindset

* Practice Gratitude – journal

* Engage with community, and/or develop passion with a new hobby.

* Deep Breath or Meditate

Nutrition

* 80% – 20% rule (80% “real” food)

*Add in an Essential Oil to you H2O for flavor!

* Baseline Supplements should include a Daily Vitamin, an Omega, a Cellular Regeneration complex, & a Probiotic.

Exercise

* 15-30min. Just Walk, Yoga or Pilates.

Restoration

* 8-9 hours in bed, practice good sleep hygiene.

* Meditation, Prayer, or Gratitude.

* Spoil yourself! Read, or a warm bath.

Are Essential Oils Safe?

As essential oils become more popular, so are concerns about whether these highly concentrated plant extracts are safe for common use. Many consumers are unaware of the potential risks while using essential oils in their wellness, beauty, and cleaning routines. Quality essential oils are generally safe and free of adverse side effects when used properly. However, as with any substance you are introducing into your body, it is important to use them intelligently. Not all oils are created equal – Quality always matters but especially if you are intending to use Eos for improving health or in an effort to live a more natural lifestyle.

So, what is a Quality Essential Oil? There are a few items to consider:

1. Where are they sourced? Oils sourced from plants growing in the optimal soil, typically its native location, will have optimal chemistry for health benefits and full aromatic value.

2. Are they 3rd party tested on every batch? Many EO companies perform their own testing which is fine but a 3rd party should also be evaluating to ensure reliable results. Some do randomized testing but this doesn’t ensure every bottle is pure. BE AWARE -Many EO companies do not test at ALL!

3. Consider Purity (no contaminants) and Potency (not diluted with fillers)

4. Organic, is a good start but does not guarantee the highest standard. General info – US Organic allows for 5% pesticides.

5. As everyone knows you get what you pay for! If you find Frankincense at a BIG BOX store for $7 …know there is no REAL frankincense in it!

Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated so the bottle can say pure, therapeutic grade, or all natural and it is just not true! So ultimately do your homework and be well!

NAWellness partners with Kore Regenerative Medicine!

Natural Advantage Wellness partners with Kore Regenerative Medicine to provide a FREE educational series! Come learn about the specific variety of topics including the Physician Services provided by Dr. Quinn for Hormone Health, Medical Aesthetics, and Athletic Performance with and natural healing with Regenerative Medicine! Check out the attached Flyer and our Event Calendar for detailed information.