Engaging in regular exercise increases your likelihood of overcoming illness, reducing pain, and provides countless other health benefits that contribute to improving your quality of life. To help guide you along the way, this article will focus on the incorporation and recovery from physical activity as a key component of sustained wellness.
Incorporating Fitness Into Your Routine
We understand that one of the most difficult aspects of adopting a new exercise routine is actually getting started! Fitness can be challenging, especially if you already live with painful conditions, but there are options. Consider low impact stretching, water-based exercises, or modified forms of strength/resistance training to keep physical strain to a minimum.
Mental obstacles are also common. If the idea of starting a new exercise routine makes you anxious, try going with a friend or attend a group fitness class like yoga, cycling, or boxing (while wearing a mask - should you read this before a Covid vaccine is available!) Many individuals find great benefit from exercising in social settings, so consider group classes as a way to guide and support you towards your fitness goals.
Another key to incorporating fitness into your daily routine is to start slow. This helps to mitigate the impact associated with new workouts and ultimately helps ensure that your participation in exercise is sustainable for the long-term. Once comfortable, begin adding new exercises to, or increasing the duration of each workout session. It is critical to respect that it takes time for your body to adjust. On average, it is suggested that most sedentary individuals need about four to eight weeks to feel they are getting stronger, and that their current exercises are getting easier.
Recovery From Exercise
Allowing your body to fully recover between exercise sessions will help prevent injuries as well as pain. It’s easy to go overboard or push yourself too hard when you’re first starting out, and although this may at first seem beneficial, the result will likely be burnout or injury. You may notice that you feel sore for a couple days after each workout. This is normal as your body is adjusting to greater levels of activity. For individuals who already live with pain, this can be discouraging, but it helps to remember that this temporary discomfort will lead to greater relief in the long term. To help aid recovery time, we suggest working a different muscle group (such as arms on Wednesday and legs on Thursday) or refraining from exercise until your body recovers fully. When first starting out, we recommend waiting two days between exercise sessions to allow for adequate recovery time. Once you’re more experienced and confident with your exercises, taking one day off in between workouts, or alternating muscle groups will allow you to increase the frequency of your sweat sessions.
A common misconception about recovery days (also called rest days), is that you can neglect your health during this time. Your body needs downtime to repair and recuperate! Although rest days are for you to relax, it's important that during this time you refrain from engaging in habits like overeating, being sedentary (lying in bed all day), and not drinking enough water as habits like these will only hinder your progress. Here are a few more tips on how to optimize your recovery and ensure you properly support your body while improving your fitness game:
When we don’t stretch our muscles actually get shorter and tighter. This may not seem like an issue until you go to perform a certain movement and realize you experience joint pain, muscle strain, or even muscle damage. Once you begin stretching you want to hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Foam rollers can also help with this and are great for stretching and massaging large muscle groups, like your lower limbs and back, and help stimulate blood flow while loosening tissue. You should feel a bit of tension, but it should not be painful. If you are experiencing pain during stretching, stop the stretch and visit your doctor to ensure there is no muscle damage. Remember, start slow. Do not try and force yourself to touch your toes or do the splits on your first go, as flexibility training takes time and consistency. Rushing the stretching process will only result in injury.
It can take time to see noticeable results when you first start exercising. For this reason, it’s important to acknowledge all forms of progress, such as participation frequency, changes in energy levels, and improvements in strength, balance and agility. Even if you can’t see visible changes, keep faith that they are coming! Don’t get discouraged. Many find once they start thinking positively, this optimistic state of mind can compound and grow to empower you towards reaching your goals. You got this!
Your body needs nutrient-rich foods to repair itself. This means you want to include fruits and vegetables, proteins like broccoli, turkey, or fish, and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, lentils, or sweet potatoes. Adding healthy fats to your diet like avocados, peanut butter, eggs, chia seeds, and yogurt, can also help to increase energy levels, plus high-fat meals have been shown to improve the effectiveness of CBD by increasing bioavailability!
Exercise depletes your body of water. Water is important for muscle function (and the function of every other body system) so the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day cannot be overstated. Coconut water is another great option as it offers both hydration and electrolytes/minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium to help your body function at its best. As a general recommendation, you want to drink at least 6-8 cups of water per day. If you struggle to drink enough water, caffeine-free herbal teas are another way to increase your intake.
Hot/Cold Therapy 🔥❄️
Alternating between hot and cold therapy can help reduce inflammation, soreness, or pain that result from increased physical activity. For hot therapy, we recommend using a heat pack, or warm towel to promote blood flow and help muscles relax. For cold therapy, try putting ice into a plastic bag or a cold pack into a cloth and apply it to inflamed areas. These techniques can be used on an “as needed” basis and are especially beneficial within the first 48 hours following strenuous exercise.
Take it Easy 🌴
Along with these other tips, one of the best things you can do is simply allow your body adequate time to repair itself. Give yourself a couple of days between sessions and enjoy your downtime when you have it! It's also important you find activities that help YOU relax, whether it be a hot bath or listening to music, this time is for you to pamper yourself and take it easy. Adequate downtime will also help reduce your risk of injury and assist you in implementing a positive mental state as discussed above.
CBD For Fitness Recovery
Cannabidoil (CBD) provides therapeutic benefits by mimicking your body’s natural endocannabinoids. It does this by influencing receptors within our body’s endocannabinoid system or ECS. By influencing ECS receptors, CBD can effectively help to manage both pain and inflammation at the source to keep you on top of your fitness goals. As a natural compound, CBD works harmoniously with your body, especially compared to pharmaceutical painkillers which can take a toll on organs like your liver, stomach and kidneys. CBD also carries fewer side effects next to traditional pain medications. If you’re looking for CBD designed specifically for fitness, check out our Lean and Relief CBD formulas available now across America.
One Last Thing
Exercise is a wonderful way to make substantial changes to your health. Physical activity can help your body and mind in numerous ways from reducing pain and inflammation, to increasing strength and confidence. We are so excited for you to get started, but we also want to make sure you go about it in a way that is safe and beneficial for your current health condition. For this reason, we recommend always speaking with your physician before adopting new physical activities. Your primary healthcare professional will also be able to provide greater insight regarding which exercises and fitness guidelines are best suited to your ability.