It’s been a while since you have heard from this WLS fitness enthusiast, I know. Let’s talk a little bit about what has been on my agenda and what I’ve put my body through in the last 4 weeks.
As you may recall, I left Portland OR on January 12th with three main goals ahead of me.
- Get to Anaheim, CA and run a half marathon.
- Get to Dallas to have some touch up work done on my arm.
- Complete a cross-country move to NC in time to start my new job on Feb. 3, 2013
I am happy to report that all three of these things were a success. Keeping up on blog writing and sharing the journey along the way; not so much. There were however several updates on my social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter (A good reason to follow me there).
While I will be writing more soon about the Run Disney, Tinker Bell half marathon experience, today I want to talk a bit about recovery. Understanding that when we put our bodies through something that is physically exerting or takes extra energy to do, something like say, running 13.1 miles or having surgery that requires our body work extra hard to heal, or even something as simple as a long extended car ride, it’s important to understand that we also need to give our body time to recover.
So you just ran 13.1 miles, you’re tired, you’re winded and your legs are exhausted. What do you do now? For some the answer might just be “Lie down on the ground and die.” But guess what, that is exactly the wrong thing to do. How you treat your body after pushing it, is just as important as how you treat it before you push it. Now is the time to walk around slowly, hydrate well, stretch out and grab a little something to eat. You’ll see lots of people doing just these things around you in the finishers corral if you are participating in an event. And of course, make sure you are eating and drinking the right things. Water, water, water, you can always use water additives like Mio, Crystal Light or other non-calorie products to spice things up if you’re not a water lover.
What you are putting in your face is just as important. Remember to choose foods that have a high pay off, bananas will help replenish potassium with 400 mg which is lost through sweating. But don’t forget they are high in sugar, have only 1 gram of protein and no fat whatsoever, so don’t overdo it. My go-to recovery foods are a half a banana and a protein bar. Replenishing protein after exercise is a must do for me, I need those muscles to recover fast and protein is essential to muscle recovery since it aids in the repair of exercise induced damage to muscle fibers.
So you just had surgery? Your body is recovering and what you eat can make a pretty big impact on how quickly your wounds heal, not to mention they can play a large role in preventing complications like constipation from pain medicine consumption. The best suggestion I can make for you when eating post-surgery, and I’ve done this a few times now, eat whole foods. Remember that whole food, which really means unprocessed foods, are higher in vitamins and nutrients. This should really be an everyday sort of thing but is especially important when your body is trying to heal. To prevent constipation, focus on food that is high in fiber like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. If constipation is an issue you want to avoid things that are dried or dehydrated, dairy products, things that are high in sugar and red meats.
Keep your protein intake up (Especially important for you WLS folks) with lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and seafood, or if you want a vegetarian approach, nuts, tofu and beans. If you are having problems getting that protein in remember you can always add a whey isolate based protein shake.
So you just put your body through something like a three-week long extended road trip. You’re stiff and sore and your body isn’t moving quite the way you want it too. What do you do? Staying in bed, staying still and letting your body rest might seem like a good idea, and you definitely want to get that sleep in; it’s essential to weight loss and weight management for sure. But you’d be amazed what a little recovery run will do for you. I’m not saying that you should run 5-6 miles on day-after-half-marathon legs, or even I’ve-been-sitting-in-the-car-for-8-10-hours legs, but movement is a good thing to loosen up muscles and speed up healing. Until I hit Dallas where I had minor surgery on my arm and got put on “no-exercise” restrictions. I was doing 1 mile recovery runs whenever I hit a new state on my trip. Ever notice that when you are sore the moment you stop moving for too long it hurts more when you move again? Just think of it as your body asking you to keep the blood flowing and you’ll be fine!
Today I am three weeks post my half marathon, two weeks post my little surgery, and one week into being in North Carolina and starting my new job as a weight management leader, wellness coach and membership sales manager and today is the first day that I’m allowed back on cardio equipment. Can you guess where Coach Pandora will be after work today? Utilizing her new work environment gym facility! Now I just need to find a couple of Wilmington, NC Ladies that want to have fun getting fit with me.