26 Feb Active Recovery
Even if your limbs might feel like jello immediately following a workout, that feeling doesn’t compare to the soreness that can creep in over the next couple of days. If you want to speak exercise-ese, the term is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS for short). If you want to reduce the side effects or intensity of your DOMS, being proactive by getting into a habit of daily stretching is wonderful for flexibility, posture, relaxation, increasing blood flow to muscles, and more.
And if you really want to set your body up for a smooth recovery, consider designating stretching workouts into your week. Yes, you read that correctly. A workout focused solely on stretching. Not only will you reap the benefits of stretching we listed above, but it is also a wise strategy when you’re able to alternate hard workouts with designated stretching days. I think most of us imagine running, jumping, lifting, huffing and puffing, and lots of sweating with workouts, but I implore you, try exclusively stretching for 30 minutes or more and your mental clarity and body will thank you.
Additionally, there are types of stretching, such as barre, that feel more workout-y if that’s what you’re looking for to gain flexibility and benefits of stretching, but keep your movement up.
What is barre?
“Barre class is a workout technique inspired by elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates,” says DiGiorgio. “It focuses on low-impact, high-intensity movements designed to strengthen your body in ways that few other workouts can.” Read the full article here. Check out this free online barre workout.
What about traditional stretching?
Here are benefits and examples of what most of us think of when talking about stretching.
There’s an app for that: Stretching Apps
And of course, there’s an app for that…well several really. Here are a few top-rated to name a few:
- Stretch & Flexibility at Home
- Start Stretching
- Pilates Anytime
So don’t let the DOMS get you down (and make you wince the whole way back up)! Recover well by taking your achy muscles to the next recovery level with daily stretching and stretch-focused workouts. Because recovery doesn’t just mean that your soreness disappears, but it implies that your muscles have been trained, rested, and improved.
Finish the last week of this month by restocking food essentials at home, jotting down recipes you enjoyed from this month that are worth repeating, and swapping and gathering recipes for the next month. While you’re at it, pull out your planner for March and identify any particularly stressful, busy, or slow days to get a glimpse of your outlook for the month. Then plan food, workouts, support from family and friends, etc. around the way March looks so far. Remember, it’s just as they say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Ouch.
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By Victoria Emmitt RD