A 4-Step Routine to Recover from Moving Too Much or Too Little
In partnership with our friends at New Chapter
Whether you’ve been ramping things up in the movement department (say you’ve got a newfound penchant for backcountry backpacking) or aren’t fitting in the activities you might want to, sometimes it takes more than a little stretching to get your body feeling its best. That’s when it can help to hit tired, sore, or stiff muscles from all angles. Consider: gentle heat, restorative movement, and something that works from the inside out.
STEP 1 | Start from the inside
If your mission is whole-body soothing, it makes sense to start with something that will work behind the scenes while you run through the rest of your routine. Lately, we’ve been reaching for an herbal capsule called Zyflamend Whole Body: a blend of ten traditional herbs designed to support a healthy inflammation response in the body. It’s made to provide holistic help for healthy joints, including support for mobility and joint function. It contains ginger to support the body with occasional minor pain or soreness after exercise, plus extracts from rosemary, turmeric, holy basil, green tea, hu zhang, Chinese goldthread, barberry, oregano, and Chinese skullcap. It’s been clinically studied for herbal synergy: The herbs they’ve chosen (like turmeric and ginger) work better together.
The brand that makes Zyflamend, New Chapter, is offering 20 percent off all Zyflamend products through November 30. Just plug in the code GOOPZYF20 at checkout.
STEP 2 | Loosen up your muscles and fascia
We love a little heat to open up whatever feels physically stuck. If you have something on hand to warm up the body, like a heating mat, now’s the right time to bring it into play. We like the heat-therapy mat from Healthyline because it’s filled with gemstones like amethyst, tourmaline, obsidian, jade, and quartz, which makes it feel like you’re getting a hot-stone treatment at a fancy spa. The localized heat is great for muscle relaxation and temporary relief from occasional minor pains. (Exactly what we’re going for here.)
Some alternatives: A heating pad from the drugstore can work in a pinch, but it won’t cover as much of your body at once, so it’s best for more targeted relief. You can also hop in a warm shower for a few minutes until your muscles feel a little looser and ready to move.
What we’re looking for in a restorative practice are slow, deep, intentional movements and a feeling of total release. Which makes foam rolling a great candidate. We’re loyal to the LoRox aligned roller because it has just the right balance of firmness and give, which makes it comfortable but able to dig in deep where it counts the most. For guidance, we lean on LoRox herself: Lauren Roxburgh’s Aligned Life Studio is a subscription-based online platform for foam rolling routines. She has videos that focus on anything a foam roller is good for—from gently waking the body up in the morning to a full-on workout—but for a more restorative experience, we click right into anything Roxburgh has put into her “heal” category. (Roxburgh also will be teaching a master class on restorative
routines at the In goop Health virtual summit
on September 12—get passes here.)
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Pay special attention to the core and pelvic floor: Relieving excess tension and building strength in these areas sets your body up for better alignment and stability in the long run. Using a Pelvic Clock—a round stability tool inspired by Pilates and developed by an Olympic rhythmic gymnastics coach—can be helpful. You start by lying on your back and placing the pelvic clock under your pelvis. (Surprise.) Then you adjust the tilt of your hips until the device is level with the floor. From there, try rocking your hips from side to side or in a vertical line pointing up toward your head and down through to your toes. The device comes with a booklet of exercises, and you can find more on the Pelvic Clock website.
STEP 3 | Ease into a little yin
Yin yoga is a great way to sink into freshly rolled-out muscles, preserve joint mobility, and center the mind. While yin is restorative even without props, having a strap, a block, and a bolster on hand gives you the option of a little more stretch here, a little more support there. (We also think happy baby just feels better on a big cushy pillow.) You can tune in on a yoga-streaming platform like Glo for more formal instruction, or you can just use poses you know that feel relaxing to you—think child’s pose or legs up the wall, where you don’t have to hold yourself up too much—and hold for three to five minutes each.
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Now’s also a good time to break out an essential oil mix you love. ilapothecary’s Speak Your Truth blend—a mix of rose, sandalwood, and just a bit of sweet vanilla—comes in a tube with a rollerball for easy application. Two ways we like to use it: Swirl it into your palms, cup your hands around your nose, and breathe in deeply for a more intense experience or simply apply it to the pulse points at your wrists, neck, and temples for a light scent that sticks with you throughout your yin session.
STEP 4 | Soak and soothe
Mark the end of your practice with one final movement: dipping yourself into a warm tub. We made our Phys. Ed. Recovery Bath Soak precisely for days like these, when we want to give a tired body some extra love. Phys. Ed. uses pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, arnica, and essential oils from turmeric, ginger, wild-crafted frankincense, rosemary, lavender, and wintergreen. It smells like feeling better. We like to soak for about twenty minutes, follow it up with a good drink of water, and spend the rest of the day hanging out in a plush robe.