Refining Your Recovery
Tips to Maximize Your Outdoor Workout Recovery
Laurel Weaver is a Professional Beach Volleyball Player and a #NOWAmbassador
My early volleyball dreams first started to develop when I was 13 years old, and I quickly realized that in order to maximize my energy during my workouts, rest and recovery were key. So I made it my mission to gain more awareness of the role of nutrition, sleep, and daily behaviors in my daily routine, emulating older players and taking notes as to how they improved so quickly. I discovered the beauty of what it feels like to push my physical limits as a result of preparation. This newfound understanding has been tested, strengthened, and snowballed over the last 10 years as my athletic career has transitioned from youth player, to collegiate athlete, to professional!
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you too have faced a turning point in your interest to refine your recovery, and enhance your performance in sports or an active lifestyle.
Whether you’re going to be enduring the hot sun at the beach, or taking your daily run at high temperatures, read these steps below to customize your own recovery plan.
If you want to truly elevate your lifestyle, your recovery should start before your workout does! Prepare for your workout by:
- Adding a couple pinches of pink Himalayan salt to your water as an attempt to top off any electrolytes that you may be missing. If you plan to be active for longer than an hour or are exposed to temperatures that cause excessive fluid loss, it is also recommended to use an electrolyte drink for consumption during activity.
- My preworkout drink of choice is a mixture of electrolytes, NOW® Sports Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Glutamine!
- Or for some inspiration, here’s a hydration recipe that dates back to the Mexican Tarahumara Indians, who were known for their endurance running capabilities:
- 2½ cups of water
- 2 tablespoons NOW Real Food® Chia Seeds
- 1 juiced lime
- 1½ tablespoons honey
Add all of your ingredients together and refrigerate during the hours leading up to your workout! Enjoy!
Skin Care Keys
After hydration management, it is essential to prepare your skin for sun exposure by using a mineral-based sunscreen.
- Sunburns hamper athletic recovery by heightening caloric needs and diverting hydration from digestion to skin repair. Nobody has time for that!
- But, if by chance you do expose your skin too long, try using NOW® Solutions Aloe Soothing Gel to soothe and replenish your skin.
Stay Cool and Prepare for Post-Workout Needs
While working out in the heat, your body puts energy toward not just your activity of choice, but also bringing your core temperature down to a normal range.
Channel more energy into your workout by assisting in your own thermoregulation. Put ice towels on the back of your neck during water breaks, or soaking your t-shirt in cold water to stay refreshed and energized.
Post-Workout Wind Down
The end of your workout is actually just the beginning of your rest. While rest never came easy for me, it’s a habit that has proven to be one of the most effective.
- To activate the restful part of your nervous system, try implementing some slower breathing. This can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system. When coupled with stretching and light movement to flush your muscles, this breathing routine can help oxygenate and might boost your immune system.
- To top things off I use the NOW® Sports ZMA supplement daily. This combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 is designed to maximize absorption and to promote recovery from exercise.
The simplest practices are often the ones that work the best, as they can be implemented consistently with minimal time. If all of this is new to you, perhaps finding a single recovery step that you are drawn to and trying it out is the best way to start! Stay consistent with one habit at a time, as you work to build your own recovery routine. These steps have been highly beneficial in my own beach volleyball training, helping me bounce back after hours of unforgiving sun and blistering sand.