One of my biggest take-aways from re-entering the professional skiing world is how much the little things matter. In particular, the little self care and injury preventive actions, can truly make a difference. My goal for nearly 3 years now has been to train as smart and as much as I can which means recovering as smart and as much as I can in order to keep the cycle going. There is rarely a moment of the day I am not working towards this goal.
However, the other cycle competing against the recovery rhythm is the toll training takes on my energy level, so I hit snooze in the morning, then rush to training, skip a warm-up, put in high hours, come home tired and crash; all withOUT those little things. And this lapse in the body maintenance immediately results in a nagging hamstring issue, an inflamed rib issue, and an aching knee… Issues very difficult to overcome once present while training the maximum load I can.
Enough ranting, the importance of recovery, pre-hab, activation, stability strength and balanced training loads is obvious. Here are some of the key parts of the recovery habits and routine I have developed for taking care of my body and boy is it worth it! I hope all my friends and everyone I know take some of these habits into their skiing, hiking, kayaking, gardening, rafting, and everyday lives. You’ll feel better!
- Waking up at a consistent time and early enough to not be rushed in the morning.
- Taking 5 minutes to stretch once awake. Stretching and movement after sleeping is really nice for your body.
- Eating a good/clean (and large enough for those highly active) meal before starting the day. And maintaining adequate fuel and hydration throughout the day.
- Easing into physical activity, especially high heart rates and high movement activities. Not jumping into the steepest and deepest terrain on first chair, in non-nordic speak that is.
- Stretching or foam rolling or massaging stiff areas after activity. Quick warm baths/hot tubs/soaks have worked really well for me when dealing with an irritated area as well.
- Making sure to eat a good/clean dinner early enough in the evening to allow digestion before the need for sleep.
- My all time favorite: getting my legs up (usually up a wall, but at least above the heart) for a few minutes before I go to sleep to kick start the healing system (the parasympathetic nervous system) before sleeping allowing sleep to maximize healing and recovery from the day.
- And a few times a week taking 10-20 minutes to do some strengthening exercises. Such as the knee stability video from last month!!!
This months’ video is the morning movement and stretching routine I do all or part of each day, and sometimes multiple times a day. I hope you enjoy the video, and can incorporate some of these recovery and injury preventive steps into your everyday life’s. See you on the trails.