I have been active and fit for my entire life. I have been training hard and playing sports since Elementary school. I have been cycling, hiking, running, working out in the gym since I was 14.
Sore muscles have plagued me for at least the last 4-5 years. I don’t so much remember being sore in high school, even though I exercised a lot. It seemed to only start to happen more recently.
When I say sore, I mean sometimes REALLY SORE. I mean like 3-4 days after a long hike not being able to squat on the toilet. 2-4 days after a heavy lower body workout not being able to go down stairs. 2-4 days after a big upper body workout not being able to take a shirt off easily. This was ‘relatively normal’ for me. I just thought I was SO AWESOME for always pushing myself so hard and getting fitter and stronger. Just an fyi, being gently sore is not an issue (like you can feel the next day that your body has done some heavy exercise the day before), but the extreme level and enduring level of my soreness was not good! I used to go hiking with people I assumed were less fit then me, and they wouldn’t be sore the next day, but I would! It never made sense to me! I never realized that perhaps there was something more to look at here!
In the past two months I have made some major changes in my life, but 2 changes in particular have had an effect on my soreness (among other things).
When I am talking I am not sore anymore, let me give you some examples.
- Recently I ran, deadlifted (my usual weight), along with a few other high intense exercises, and had no soreness at all after (this would have made me sore for days before).
- I can EASILY exercise 5-7 days a week with NO Soreness (I would have had to cut it back to 3-5 before to take days off when I was feeling too sore.
- I rock climbed for the first time in years and felt nothing afterwards (when I got back into rock climbing previously I couldn’t push myself out of bed after).
I have almost felt 0 % soreness compared to what I felt before 2 months ago.
Now, when I start talking about these two changes I have made I know 50 % of you are going to FREAK OUT. You are going to get defensive, you aren’t going to believe it, you aren’t going to want to read my blog anymore, you might not even trust me anymore! But I am ok with it, because I feel as a health professional it is my job to speak only the truth from what I have experienced in my own body, and seen in my clients bodies.
So I figured before I talk about the changes, let me first list the reasons I KNOW you are going to be mad by this post.
#1- Our North American society and mindset is so deeply rooted in Western beliefs (research, proof, evidence, medications, government regulations such as Canada’s food guide). It is extremely hard for people in our society to trust, believe in, and respect something a little more out of the ordinary. Something like Chinese medicine, hypnotherapy, breathing and meditation, energy healing, eating a paleo diet, eating a vegan diet, curing a disease through vitamin and minerals, I am sure you can name a few more. So many of these alternative methods are seen as ‘pseudo science’, not backed with research and evidence, ‘quackery’, etc. I know how closed minded people are. At the same time, I also know how open minded I am. I know how my life looks COMPLETELY different now than it did 8 years ago, and I have taken all the non traditional routes (as well as some conventional routes).
On the same topic we should probably also have a discussion about research, the issues with research, the issues around the idea of research, and why we don’t have substantial research for the things that are working for people. Before I tell you about one of the changes I have made I want to first post another blog on this topic for you (coming soon)!
#2- NUTRITION IS CRAZY CONFUSING, AND A HIGHLY EMOTIONAL TOPIC.
When it comes to diet there are 100 reasons why people get so worked up about their food intake. First of all we have the government suggesting a certain diet (eating all foods in moderation and appropriate calories), we have a group of researchers and authors suggesting another diet (The Paleo diet, with a heavy following of people it has ‘worked’ for), and we have a third researched and authored group (The vegan diet, with a heavy following of people this has ‘worked for’). So what the heck are we supposed to believe? Who do we follow? No matter what camp you are in you are most likely very passionate about your choices and beliefs behind your decisions. When you live in a ‘camp’ of nutritional beliefs it is often very hard for you to see how a different diet or way of life could POSSIBLY work for you.
At the end of the day, you can’t be in a ‘camp’ and promote that other people eat the way you do. Nutritional needs are so complex and so variant between all people that I feel it is wrong to recommend another person eat a certain diet. What I do believe in is guiding a person to find the right diet for them. Help them find a diet that promotes energy, happiness, good body function, mental clarity and focus, fitness, and disease prevention. This is going to look different for everyone. If you currently reside in a ‘Paleo’ camp or “No foods are bad foods” camp, or another other highly charged nutritional beliefs, you might not like what I have to say about one of the changes I’ve made.
#3: I am not a ‘medical’ professional.
Here’s the thing, technically only a medical professional is trained and experienced to give you medical advice. I don’t have any fancy letters in front of my name, so I can’t do that for you. But what I can do is be a friendly voice on the internet, sharing my open beliefs systems and encouraging you to do your best to try new things to find your Optimal Health. DISEASE RATES ARE RISING, RISING, RISING and this worries me. I think that means there is a role for someone like me, with some experience working with people’s bodies to be talking about things that maybe your medical professionals aren’t taking about. That doesn’t mean you read what I write on my blog and you bow down to it and implement every change I tell you to make. It also doesn’t mean you take my advice to your doctor and they shut you down so you don’t do it. It means you start to expand your awareness about what else is out there. Use a team of doctors and other professionals to find your solutions, ask questions, get answers. But most of all- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Any ‘sign’ from your body means something is ‘talking’ to you from within. It means we need to figure out why you are experiencing that symptom and you need to find the solution (not just mask the pain). So listen to your body, be open to learning that perhaps that pain in your shoulder is from some other completely crazy reason than you could have never imagined. Or alternatively be in pain, and be ok with it, that’s ok too if you want!
#4: When I tell you the two changes I made recently I don’t want you to suddenly adopt those changes. I don’t want you to assume those changes worked for me, and therefore they will work for you. I want you to take home the main message I deliver in all of my blogs: There are solutions out there- it’s up to you to be an investigator and find them!
After all that, I want you to sit with these ideas until I get around the telling you about my changes!
What do you think it is that I changed recently? Post in the comments below and give some thought as to what you think is helping me recover better from exercise.
Here’s a hint:
- I have also had more energy lately (I used to nap 1-3 hours a day, now I nap once a week).
- I feel ‘lighter’, happier, more connected and more engaged in conversation
- I feel more sensitive, emotional, empathetic, and concerned about many issues in our society.
- I sudden found an intense interest in politics, elections, reading the newspaper, and social justice in our society.
- I feel kinder, more relaxed, and more easy going.
- My Cholesterol has cut itself in half, my LDL Cholesterol is significantly lower, my triglycerides have dropped.
- My protein in my blood has increased significantly (for the first time in the history of my kidney disease).
- My Ferritin doubled itself.
- Among many other changes that aren’t so much ‘health’ related, or I am not quite ready to share them yet 🙂
So let’s leave it at that for now, I am very excited for my next post to you- STAY TUNED!
PS- The photo is from Yellowstone National Park- a beautiful sunset! I title this photo “change is on the horizon” to fit the bill for this blog post 🙂