Whether you are in a stage of injury recovery, coming back to your body or experiencing life stress, this could be for you.
What I've learned the most is that life will change. Of course I knew this, but a part of me blindly believed that I could keep my fitness and health on a steady trajectory of up.
We all know that doesn't happen. Life happens.
Injury, life stress, illness, moving, job change, kids, emotional instability or anything that affects how you're moving your body can create a feeling of the unknown.
- Will my body ever feel the same again?
- Will I ever feel like me again?
- How can I expedite this part of the process?
- Why is this happening?
- How can I put all of this into my life?
And so on and so on.
Here are five things that have helped me to feel more like me after a year of LIFE happening (injury, family stress, and being unable to fully feel like myself).
Patience and Adaptability
This one is the most annoying. I wanted things to go faster, be at a different place sooner, be able to lift and run and frankly - pick up where I left off.
However, I was able to ask myself "how does the body feel today?" and honestly answer that question and tailor my movement to fit the day.
Sometimes it meant a walk instead of a jog, the bike instead of treadmill, non weight bearing movements instead of resistance training, but......
I was always doing something.
I adapted myself to where I was in the moment. And that wasn't just with exercise - that was with mindset, food, sleep and attitude.
Instead of being stuck in one way of thinking, I became curious about my body and asking questions.
- What does it need today?
- How is it moving?
- I wonder why it's doing that.
- How might it respond if I change and do a different movement?
- What are other options that I have?
I used to think of my fitness and health as pretty linear and I really liked the progress I was making and the way I felt and then came the covid shutdown.
We all had to adapt, change and I think it fundamentally changed all of us in different ways.
Over the last 3 years and mostly the last year I have decided to stay open and curious about my body and health. I try to stay in tune WITH it instead of forcing anything.
I was doing strength training. I was doing stretching. I was doing yoga. I was doing walking. I was doing running (trying). And my knee was still not great. I could feel the inside of the knee was fine but everything around the knee was so tight.
And then on Instagram I saw a video about knee mobility. I have started to learn about specific joint mobility, but it's not my expertise at all.
In the video he talked about how the knee needs to move and not just flex and extend. I did the exercises he suggested and WOW was my knee sore but it's almost like it unlocked my knee.
Check out the post from Instagram - Coach RT3 here.
Ok we are going to take a sharp turn from emotions and attitude into a couple very practical things I have done that have created a lot of improvement in my knee and my overall body function.
I have been on a shoe journey. From more minimal shoes 15+ years ago to a slightly less minimal but perfect for me shoe. Then they got discontinued and honestly, since then, it's been a mess.
I've tried a ton of shoes and as my physical therapist says "you're getting older and you need a little more cushion." She's correct.
I had been wearing Hoka for walking last year and then tried a New Balance running shoe. They seemed fine and I liked them but I was still getting a lot of knee pain/stiffness after trying to run or lift.
I stayed curious and realized that I am at home a lot - barefoot. Which means my toes really spread out (that's a good thing) and then I was shoving them into narrow running shoes.
I had previous purchased wide toe box lifting shoes and I loved those.
So I made the leap to Altra running shoes. What's funny is that I tried these on years ago and couldn't stand them. But now, the extra wide toe box paired with enough cushion seemed appealing.
I got the Altra Paradigm 6 - shop them HERE
(shop Twin Cities Running CO with the link)
Since wearing these shoes, my knee has felt SO MUCH BETTER.
Red Light Therapy and CBD Lotion
I was talking with my physical therapist Dr Molly (she's the greatest!) about my knee and how it wasn't feeling all the way back to normal. I told her I was doing all the things- strength, stretch, mobility, walking, etc.
I then mentioned to her that I was going to try red light therapy and had also been using CBD products.
I loved her response which was - adding these elements are a great supplement to an already solid program.
I have been using my red light therapy wrap daily - check it out here.
Red light has a myriad of benefits including reduced inflammation, better sleep, improved circulation, better injury healing and so much more. Read about the benefits and how red light therapy works HERE.
I love the wrap but you can also shop the full panel or larger wrap here.
AND the dogs absolutely LOVE the red light. Everyone has a session with it every night. Maybe it's helping our dog Peter grow more hair?? Even if it's not, they seem to really enjoy it and lay underneath it.
and lastly CBD Lotion. I have used a variety of products before and they work (I think). But in the last 3 weeks I have kept the red light constant, changed my shoes and added this lotion and my knee hasn't felt this good in a year.
Like I said, I have tried many products. This one seems to work differently and BETTER.
Shop your LOTION here.
SALE ON LOTIONS (until April 24th) BUY 2, GET 1 FREE - use code EarthHeals
It All Goes Together
If you're in a time of life where it feels like you can't grasp on to anything and your body/movement/fitness just feels like it's spiraling somewhere you don't want it to.......
Start with patience and adaptability and keep moving. Remember that a 5 minute stretch or a 10 minute walk is ALWAYS better than zero.
Your body is designed to move so even if it feels limited, there are things you can do. You have to be open to doing them and to adapt and change.
And then don't be afraid to be curious and look at other factors - mobility, shoes, additional resources like red light and cbd.
It all builds on each other. I thought of it like one brick at a time. All the effort, no matter how "small" I thought it was at the time - did and does matter.
You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Interested in working together? Check out my links below.
Life Adventure Collective
1-1 Life Coaching