Balance. It’s one of those often neglected life principles that we all know is important… but don’t always respect as we live our day to day lives. This is particularly true for Western society. And NYers. And overachievers. And young aspiring fitness guru/entrepreneur types.
But every yang needs its yin. Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song. And while we’ve got to kill it in the gym to create the stimulus for our body to adapt in healthy and hot ways, we’ve got to be mindful that our killin’ it needs to be balanced by chillin’ … it. Okay, that didn’t really rhyme, but you get the point.
The harder you train, the more you have to make sure you’re providing your body with a chance to recover. Unfortunately most recovery modalities are distinctly NOT sexy. Squatting big weight, or flinging around a kettlebell, or running from killer robots trying to imprison mankind all have a certain allure that can’t be matched by the simplicity of recovery strategies. But without the appropriate yin, your yang is not going to have the desired effect on your health and hotness.
Maybe recovery IS sexy after all.
Recovery means getting proper sleep. It means taking care of your soft tissue work, either via foam rollers and lacrosse balls, or by getting regular massages. It means making sure you’re doing the necessary stretching and/or mobility work so you stay limber. It means making sure you are staying properly hydrated by consistently getting adequate water intake. It means making sure you’re eating your fruits and vegetables and supplementing if appropriate for your goals. And yes, my friends, it means chilling the hell out and just taking some time to do nothing and let your brain turn off sometimes.
(That last one is definitely an area I personally could be doing a better job. I never said I was perfect!)
It’s also worth noting for those of you seeking to burn body fat, this all becomes MORE important. If you’re in a caloric deficit (taking in less calories than you need to maintain bodyweight), you’re already stressing your body. If you’re adding in training on top of this deficit, you’re stressing it further. If you want the best results from any fat loss regime, you have to be very mindful of making sure you’re taking care of your body as best you can.
It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of recovery in our go go go society. Even in the fitness industry, it remains an often under-appreciated element on the journey to health and hotness. So do yourself a favor; balance your fitness bad-assery with some down time and t.l.c. for your body and your brain.