Recovery, Rest and other things I’m noticing…
So I just wrapped up another day interning at my physical therapist’s office and as the day begins at 8am and the office closes at 6pm one thing remains very clear….we, that is to say, people over the age of 50 are really having a hard time getting older. Fake hips, fake knees, pins, rods and screws are holding some of these people together, literally!! The majority of these people were very active throughout their teens, 20’s and 30’s. By their 40’s, the effects of hiking, biking, weight training, and whatever else they did were/are starting to catch up.
Everybody has tight hips. Everybody has knees that ache. Everybody has neck issues. Everybody…..are you getting the picture yet?
Now, as a professional trainer it’s my duty to help people get stronger, faster and better balanced each and every session. However, one aspect that seems to be missing from all the people I saw today, and every day, was that they neglected one major thing….listen to your body!!! Since the advent of social media and all the information available today thru the internet it seems that inspiration is the one trait that everybody has picked up on. You know you’ve seen it….the posters, the banner ads, the advertising, the “be a better you” advertising that targets us each and every day on facebook, twitter, you tube, etc. Everybody is selling a bigger, badder program to take your training to the max. Crossfit has become the newest thing in exercise and if you aren’t doing it somebody you know is and I can tell you with 100% certainty that injury is not far behind for these folks. Circuit training, pilates, barre method, boxing classes, krav maga, or any martial art, and the list goes on forever. Exercise is as old as people have been on the earth and while science has shown us that certain methods work better than others the bottom line is that when your body responds with soreness and/or pain while engaging in an activity you should LISTEN!!!!
Far too often I have heard the “man up” phrase in the gyms and studios that I’ve been in business with and it’s almost laughable at this point. Energy drinks pump us up, our iPods fill our ears with uplifting music and EVERY magazine is pushing a new diet/exercise product that will make a better you in 30 days or less. It’s starting to make me wonder if people are actually getting any sleep at all! When is the body gets finished with an intense workout science has shown that the body will continue to burn calories and create deficits for up to two hours after the session. That time frame has been shown that the body is at its most beneficial point for uptake of nutrients and food and supplements. Its also a wonderful time for the body to begin to relax itself. In the current condition of our society its always bad when we have idle time with endless amounts of information, PS3 and iPad’s at fingertip’s reach but there is a breaking point and the body will always win that battle. People today are underslept, overbusy and for couples with children then time is certainly and always will be an issue. But, the body only knows one thing. To protect its current condition and when anything bad happens to it then it will make changes. Some very quickly, some instantly and some that take time to develop. In any case its always going to be a challenge day and night.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while its a great thing to be active and turn up the volume and intensity more than half the time that the other half should be spent protecting the body and that includes getting enough rest and listening to your body. It speaks to you every day and every second and if you stop paying attention to its signals then the body will tell you exactly when its time to stop and figure out another way.