Recovery is a practice that we must keep returning to. Just like exercise, the more we practice recovery, the better we become at it.
We are a culture that grinds. We live in a fast paced world where the speed of our technology is supersonic, productivity is the measure of success, and if you’re not always exercising intensely, what’s the point(?).
The messaging of the American workout scene rarely communicates the necessity of recovery, nor does it emphasize that this is a practice to return to in order to reap the benefits of exercise, as well as endure the mental challenges of day to day life.
At Upswell, the practice of recovery is what we specialize in. It’s a state of mind, a way to treat your body, and a routine that is deserving of prioritization and consistency.
We all know what muscular tension feels like. Whether it’s from a hard-workout, not moving well or enough, or a stressful day, week, month, or year, our muscular system has a way of losing pliability when the workload is hard.
When we consider what practices we can do to offset physical stress or be proactive in preventing it, a few things come to mind.
Foam Rolling is a self-massage practice that brings blood flow to stiff muscles, and addresses trigger points within the soft tissue that are restricting the efficiency of physical relaxation.
The increased blood flow leads to an initiation of the healing process to any torn muscles or tendons, and the redistribution of fluid back into the circulatory system.
Automated Recovery Equipment is gaining attention, and provides self-initiated manual therapy that reduces inflammation and revives muscles. Some of the available technology includes:
- Normatec compression sleeves for the shoulders, hips, and legs
- Hyperice heat, cold, and vibration devices for the knees and low back
- Hypervolt hand-held percussive massage tools for any area of the body
Infrared Saunas have been shown to decrease stiffness by enhancing blood flow and pliability to soft tissue, decreasing inflammatory cytokines within the muscles, and quieting the pain signal being sent back to the brain.
To read more about the benefits of infrared saunas, check out this Upswell blog.
What’s equally as important as implementing a total body recovery program, is having a regular practice that promotes recovery of the mind.
A current topic of trend in the wellness world is the vagus nerve, its involvement in parasympathetic nervous system function of rest and recovery (the opposite of “fight or flight”), and what we can do to strengthen our vagal tone and our ability to relax.
We know when our mind is good at relaxing, the body responds correspondingly. Here are a few things you can add to your weekly routine to strengthen your vagal tone, and enhance your mental (and physical!) recovery.
Meditation and breathwork is shown to stimulate the vagus nerve, downregulating the nervous system by slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing digestion.
This downregulation of the nervous system lends itself to the feeling of mental relaxation, and improves clarity and cognition.
Long, slow exhalations focused on using the belly instead of the neck muscles can stimulate the vagus nerve almost immediately, and send the body directly into recovery mode.
Yoga is the ideal blend of movement and breath, thereby stimulating a vagal response, and explaining the feeling of euphoric bliss.
This moving meditation is the perfect marriage of mind-body care, appealing to both aspects of what it is to truly recover. When trying to optimize the therapeutic effect of yoga, stick with restorative, yin, or vinyasa practices.
Our American culture, inclusive of the exercise industry, would have us believe that the only good work is hard work. What this messaging lacks is the importance and necessity of recovery for our minds and bodies.
Recovery is a practice that we must keep returning to. Just like exercise, the more we practice recovery, the better we become at it. Visit us at Upswell to recover well, and live your most vibrant life.
For more information about our fitness, longevity, and recovery offerings, or anything else related to living your most vibrant life, visit our website here or email us at email@example.com.