I've been on the "injured list" for a week (more on that tomorrow), and admittedly, it's starting to drive me kinda batty. If you've been reading Badass Fitness for any length of time, you probably get that I am not exactly the type to sit still for long.
I walk fast, I run and cycle fast, I write fast, I talk fast. I don't do much sitting around unless it involves sitting at a computer working and writing (or meeting friends for a drink on a Saturday night, as I did this past weekend).
This is wonderful for work productivity and time management. Unfortunately, it makes me an impatient patient. My surgery was Thursday, and here I am antsy and wondering when I will be cleared to get fully back to my Badass ways.
But I am working at this whole recovery thing, and reacquainting myself with the art of walking. Just walking. (Cue the sound of me sighing...oh, and check out how my eyes roll with dramatic flair!) Not cycling, not running sprints, not bounding up and down Doak Campbell Stadium.
Oh, these are the things I WANT to be doing. My quads are screaming for more action. My hamstrings want to feel the tension of cycling up a steep mountain. My back wants to do pull-ups. But I am telling them all to just shush and wait.
All the while, I keep walking. Every day this week, I've been walk for an hour to 90 minutes in the morning and sometimes half an hour or more in the evening. I still miss the endorphin rush of teaching cycling, but I'll be back in the saddle soon enough. And I'm reminded during these walks of the importance of active recovery.
At some point, we all get sidelined. Injuries happen, and they stink. But buck up, Badasses, and welcome to life. The Badass solution is to take care of our Badasses even as we keep them active, if only at a much slower pace.
There is a lot to be said for walking, especially outside on a beautiful night as the sun starts to set. There is clarity to be found during these walks, as the chaos of the day falls back.
Physically, walking can help us maintain weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve circulation, and boost our mood.
There are also some bootylicious strength benefits to walking on a treadmill with a steep incline at a slower pace. Hello, glutes and hamstrings!!!
This week, I've been at the gym as usual before dawn -- but instead of sprinting I am methodically hiking up my own imaginary, Badass-created mountain trail.
I share it with all of you Badass Army soldiers as a go-to workout for when you are taking an "active rest ay" from weight training and intense cardio, or for when you're recovering from an injury or the flu or a cold. Whatever it is that has slowed you down, use this routine to get back into the swing of things, even as you're letting your body heal. If you're just starting out on the Badass journey, start here and work your way up to jogging and running.
Adjust the speed here and there to challenge yourselves as needed, but remember: This is an active RECOVERY workout, key word being RECOVERY.
I actually broke a sweat on this one, and my glutes felt a lot tighter at the end of the hourlong routine. Which is, well ... Badass!
Down but not Out Badass Hike
First 5 minutes: Warmup at 3.0 mph, zero incline
Next two minutes: Bump to a 5.0 incline, 3.0 mph
Next two minutes: Bump to a 7.0 incline, 3.0 mph
Next two minutes: Bump to 9.0 incline, 3.2 mph
Next two minutes: Bump to 11.0 incline, 3.4 mph
Next two minutes: Bump to 13.0 incline, 3.4 mph
Next two minutes: Bump to 15.0 incline, 3.5 mph
Now: Go down the way you climbed up, decreasing the incline by 2.0 every 2 minutes until you get back to a 5.0 incline.
Next: Go back up, increasing the incline by 2.0 every 2 minutes until you get back to a 15.0 incline.
Repeat this up and down climbing pattern for 60 minutes, or as much time as you have.
Coming tomorrow: About that surgery...And the importance of rewards.