Over the last few weeks I’ve been forced to stop doing high impact exercise for medical reasons. As I’m sure you can imagine telling someone who lives and breathes exercise, a training plan and race goal focus, suddenly telling them they need put the brakes on, is going to be a shock to the system! The frustration of not being able to grab my trainers and head off on a run, or cycle to the pool, started to get to me, so I needed an alternative. What exercise promotes active rest and recovery? I hadn’t a clue, but I needed to find out.
What is rest and recovery!?
I would love to tell you after getting the news I needed to pull back on workouts, I sprung into gear and found an alternative, or that I was content sitting for a while. This was definitely not the case. With it being winter I found it extremely hard to motivate myself. I didn’t know what I could do that would allow me a balance. I did attempt to sit and relax for a week, but by the end of it I was craving exercise. It wasn’t even about getting a sweat on, I use exercise as a mental release. What was going to offer me that? It was clear I hadn’t done a lot of rest and recovery!
Low impact recovery
After realising that I could introduce active recovery, but ensuring I had plenty of sitting and chill time, I began researching what was out there. The first thing I thought was dog walking. The dog needed her walk on a daily basis, why not stretch out that walk and make it longer? I always walk the dog but because I don’t normally track it on my watch, I guess I forget that it is still exercise. Winnie and are now taking longer weekend walks where we’ll stop for a coffee, that right there, gives me that headspace.
Yoga and headspace
On my list of what I could do was yoga. I normally go to a hot pod yoga class, but for my situation I can’t do that, so I decided to create a chilled space in my own home. Yoga is so incredible on many levels, because you can take it as slow as you need to. Instead of a rapid yoga flow, I decided to adapt and look to incorporate plenty of relaxation.
It might not seem like a big deal but I actually found getting myself some new kit to workout in really helped inspire me. I got motivated to move slowly. This kit is from Nike at Very, and the matching set is perfect for my new low impact workouts. Get it here.
Rest and Meditation
Much like yoga I’ve added in meditation. Using the Garmin watch, I not only can track my yoga, but it has programmed breath work for you to follow. If like me you’re busy and don’t ever give yourself a moment, I highly recommend utilising this. It’s 5 minutes a day.
Over the last few weeks I have come to realise that I’ve been neglecting low impact workouts or mindful workouts in my normal training plans. Bizarrely, I’ve always felt like I had to be hot and sweaty to deem something a training session! What about the importance of stretching? Or breath work? It can make me a positive impact on high impact training too. Breath work can significantly help with run efficiency, swimming, even pre-race nerves! As for stretching?
At the start of this I was extremely frustrated that high impact exercise was off the menu and that I haven’t been able to follow my triathlon training plan right now. However, I must say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed adapting to include rest and recovery. Yoga, stretching, walking the dog and breath work have all been welcomed with open arms, (especially as I can still track everything on my watch). I really do hope to continue including them in my training plan when I am able to exercise properly again.
*Post in collaboration with Very – Gifted items are clothing and watch