Runners have long favored a holistic approach to recovery—not just the occasional ice bath or light stretch after a hard workout, but also nutrition, sleep, warmup and cooldown routines, and even how you approach easy days. What the current moment has spotlighted is the importance of balance.
Everything in this new normal requires balance—your time, resources, relationships, and energy. So your recovery routine now needs to help your body recharge as much as your mind and soul so you can perform your best as an athlete and in every other aspect of your life. Here are four steps you can take toward a well-balanced routine that’ll help you recover from the trials of miles or just another–What day is today again?
Give yourself a massage
A nice self-massage after a tough workout always hits the spot. What’s more, it can have serious calming effects, from the muscles in your toes right up to your brain. Study after study shows that a little intentional pressure via a foam roller or your own two hands can help increase the speed of muscle recovery and improve joint mobility, as well as give a long-lasting soothing effect.
Add CBD to the mix
Many runners and endurance athletes have started experimenting with adding cannabidiol, better known as CBD, to their routines. CBD, you may know, is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis plants that advocates claim can help reduce occasional inflammation, stress, and even anxiety. And it’s available in yummy gummy form as well, like this Charlotte’s Web CBD Recovery Gummy. The gummy also acts as a recovery double whammy as it’s formulated with turmeric and ginger, which help support exercise-induced inflammation, making for a well-rounded, and delicious recovery regimen.
Getting in a few minutes a day of peace and quiet with meditation can do wonders for your racing mind and tired body. As The Cleveland Clinic explains, when a person is stressed physically, mentally, or emotionally, the body releases stress hormones, which can cause inflammation and lead to joint pain.
Rather than reach for a bottle of pain killers, the clinic suggests trying a bit of at-home meditation. It points to a 2016 study showing that “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” or a combination of meditation and yoga, was even more effective in reducing chronic lower back pain than drugs and surgery. The clinic also notes that meditation can help increase pain tolerance and deepen respiration, both of which are pretty handy for endurance athletes.
Get better sleep
Want to feel better by tomorrow? Get some rest—some real rest—tonight. Sleep affects countless body parts and systems ranging from growth to stress hormones, the immune system, appetite, heart health, and more. Of particular note to runners, some recent research even suggests more sleep could reduce injury risk.
As for total mind and body restoration, the National Institute of Health (NIH) explains that sleep can help people feel more relaxed and even have faster reflexes, allowing them to function on an entirely different level than a tired person.
It’s best to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, the NIH recommends. Sorry, but “catching up” on sleep on the weekends is a myth. Set a bedtime and stick to it. If you need some extra assistance, pop a Charlotte’s Web CBD Sleep Gummy before you crawl under the covers. The CBD is paired with melatonin to support quality sleep while helping to harmonize your sleep cycles.
Redefine the rest day
Taking a rest day can go far beyond simply skipping a workout. Sure, we know those rest days are a crucial part of a fitness routine as they allow the body to repair micro-tears in the muscles and reduce inflammation. However, it’s important to take these days for our minds, too.
As the World Health Organization noted in 2019, depression and anxiety costs the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Paying attention to your mental state and taking important steps—like swapping a workout for another easy day, or taking an extra day off completely—could help in more profound ways than we give it credit for. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself really is to do nothing at all.
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