If you’ve done any type of sports or rigorous physical activity before, you know the importance of recovery. From giving certain muscle groups ample time to rebuild between weight-lifting sessions to sitting out during your favorite CrossFit WOD because of joint pain, recovering can either be routine or annoying and concerning. Our bodies are actually superb healing machines, and there are many ways we can fuel them to be even more efficient and potent.
Ben Greenfield, one of WellnessFX’s valued practitioners, put together a free e-book that can be downloaded from his site that goes into ample detail about how to up your body’s healing power. The name? Recover From Your Workouts Like Wolverine From X-Men.
The e-book offers ten tips, from diet to supplements to workouts. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Vitamin C. Even if you don’t know exactly what this common vitamin does, you probably pop a couple tablets yourself when you feel a cold coming on, or before a big trip. So what makes this supplement so powerful? It plays a critical role in collagen formation, which is an important part of connective tissue and essential for repair and healing. It also assists in metabolism, acts as an antioxidant, and helps promote the production of connective tissue fibers and cartilage. Ben Greenfield warns, however, not to rely on orange juice as your sole source of Vitamin C. The acid-producing sugars can actually work against recovery.
- Iron. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the structure in your blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to every cell in your body. Without enough oxygen in your muscle tissues, for example, you could find yourself more fatigued during athletic activities. Fatigued muscles offer less support to joints (such as the knees and ankles), which can lead to more injuries. You can find iron in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, fortified cereals, and darkly colored vegetables. However, Ben Greenfield warns, very high levels of iron may be linked with an increased risk of heart attack. He suggests being mindful of iron levels and supplementing with ferritin, which is critical in the storage of iron.
- The Wolverine Diet. Ben Greenfield provides a lists of guidelines for tailoring your diet for maximum recovery. Here’s a sample day laid out based on his recommendations:
- Water Running. Exercise can improve blood flow to an injured area and facilitate healing. But, you might be thinking, if I’m injured, won’t exercise also make it worse?? Not exactly, not if you utilize low-impact aerobic activities. That’s where water running comes in. Quite a bit of detail about the activity can be found in the e-book, from equipment needed to proper technique.
- The Core. Having a developed and strong core can take some of the load off of other muscles in your body, therefore relieving certain joints and problem areas. The e-book offers a variety of core exercises that can be done while injured and links to video demonstrations and compilation workouts.
We know our readers work their bodies hard, whether it’s in sports, CrossFit, or just in trying to stay active and fit. So if the suggestions above sound right up your alley, be sure to check out the full e-book by heading over to Ben Greenfield Fitness.
Oh, and did we mention? IT’S FREE!