I would like to say thank you all of your hard work and support and hope we will have a fantastic year in 2012! God bless!
It’s almost a new year and many of us are looking back on the previous one, reflecting on what we’ve accomplished and what we want for the future. For many of you, that means learning how to incorporate an exercise program to lose weight and get in better shape. If you made a resolution last year to lose weight and didn’t reach it, now’s the time to do it right.
When you’re sore during the days following a workout, you’re most sore when you’ve spent a lot of time NOT moving, like when you wake up in the morning (after hours of lying in bed) or when you take a break at work (after hours of sitting still). These are the times that you notice that soreness the most. But the more you move, the more your muscles loosen up and feel better. That’s the idea behind active recovery—get moving, get that blood pumping, warm up your muscles and break up that soreness.
Put simply, active recovery or “active rest” is sort of a hybrid between resting and exercising. It involves purposely exercising at a low-intensity as a means of helping your body recover from competition, high-intensity exercise, or muscle soreness. And a growing body of research shows that active recovery is more beneficial than passive recovery (completely resting from exercise).
Compared to passive recovery, active recovery can:
And active recovery is simple. You can do pretty much any type of exercise, as long as you keep your intensity lower than what you’d do in a normal workout. Personally, when I get really sore, I like to walk, use the elliptical, or even bike at a comfortable intensity (about 55% to 70% MHR) for at least 30 minutes. Then, I follow up my “recovery” workout with an extended stretching session. It feels good to get moving and really stretch well, and a light workout is a nice change of pace, both mentally and physically.
BONUS FACT: The cool down you do after every workout is actually a form of active recovery. Cooling down does a lot more than help the body return to its resting heart rate and breathing rate. It also prevents post-workout lightheadedness (which can lead to fainting), speeds the removal of lactic acid from the muscles, and helps prevent muscle soreness in the hours and days following a workout. Now I know that most people tend to skip the cool down (and keep in mind that stretching is NOT the same thing as cooling down), but when you know that five minutes is well-spent to help you recover faster and prevent soreness, you might think again before skipping it.
So the next time you’re facing sore muscles that make you want to skip your workout, think again! While you don’t have to go all out when you’re not feeling up to it, a light walk or easy yoga class may be just what your muscles need!
Are you more likely to recovery actively or passively? Now that you know the difference, will you cool down and try active recovery from now on?
Written by Peter Clemens
I made the point that it is your days that define your life. In this article, I want to challenge the common perception that it is only possible to enjoy your leisure time. In particular, this article is targeted at the professional stuck in the 9 to 5 grind who longs for the weekend and, in the process, has given up on trying to find pleasure in the ordinary experiences we have every day.
1. Appreciate Beauty. Each day we come across beauty in a number of shapes and forms. It’s a shame, then, that many people have become so accustomed to this beauty that it largely goes unappreciated. I suggest looking again at the people, plants, gadgets, and buildings (to name but a few examples) around you and taking a moment to appreciate what makes them so special.
2. Connect With Nature. Nature is an amazing healer for the stresses and strains of modern life. Eating lunch in the park, attending to a vegetable garden in your backyard, or watching the sunset are just a few simple ideas for how you can enjoy the outdoors on a daily basis.
3. Laugh. E. E. Cummings once said “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” How very true. Never be too busy to laugh, or too serious to smile. Instead, surround yourself with fun people and don’t get caught up in your own sense of importance.
4. Have Simple Pleasures. A good cup of coffee when I first wake. Time spent playing with my 8 month old son. Cooking a nice meal in the evening. These may not seem terribly exciting, but they are some of the simple pleasures I enjoy in life. If you slow down for just a moment and take the time to appreciate these ordinary events, life becomes instantly more enjoyable.
5. Connect With People. In so many ways, it is our relationships with people that give us the most happiness in life. Perhaps, then, the best way to enjoy your work more is not to get a raise or a promotion, but rather to build rewarding relationships with your co-workers.
6. Learn. There is a strong link between learning and happiness. Given this, there is no excuse not to be stimulating your brain and learning something new each day. My favorite way to find time for learning is to make the most of the commute to and from work. Audiobooks and podcasts are great for this purpose.
7. Rethink Your Mornings and Evenings. Are the mornings a mad rush for you to get out the door? Do you switch off the TV at night and go straight to bed? I have personally experienced the profound benefits of establishing a routine in the morning and evening. For example, in the morning you may choose to wake an hour earlier and spend the time working on yourself, whether it be reading, writing or exercising. In the evening, consider spending some time just before bed reviewing your day or in meditation.
8. Celebrate Your Successes. During a normal day we are sure to have some minor successes. Perhaps you have successfully dealt with a difficult customer, made a sale, or received a nice compliment for your work. These aren’t events worth throwing a party for, but why not take a moment to celebrate your success? Share the experience with someone else, reward yourself with a nice lunch, or just give yourself a mental pat on the back.
There are many benefits to using a sauna, and post workout the main one is to relax and congratulate yourself for a job well done. It is nice heat treatment for your muscles that just worked hard. Since the heat of the sauna makes you sweat, it is also a good way to detox, since sweating is one way to remove impurities from the body. Sweating in a sauna or steam room increases the circulation to the skin by dilating the blood vessels, which also reduces blood pressure. Make sure you drink enough water while using a sauna, especially after exercise, because you don’t want to become dehydrated.
If it is acceptable to use the sauna nude, make sure to sit on a towel for hygienic reasons. It is good etiquette to shower before entering a sauna to get rid of any body odor (stink you worked up while working out) or smell of chlorine (I love to sauna after swimming laps). I am not sure why people are wearing sweats into the sauna since this will just increase the amount that they sweat and sounds uncomfortably hot. If they are wearing clothes in the sauna to promote weight loss, they are only losing “water weight” which they will regain as soon as they drink.
Since saunas are used for relaxation keep chatter to a minimum and make room for new comers if the sauna is crowded. Meaning if you are lying down, sit up to create space.
Many people like to finish their sauna experience with a cold shower or plunging into a cold pool. This is exhilarating, but can make your heart race. So do this with caution. If you have high blood pressure or a heart problem, be sure to check with your physician before going to a sauna or steam room.
Have fun and don’t forget to replenish lost fluids.