The following post was written by Olympic athlete and mom Kerri Walsh, two-time gold medalist in pairs beach volleyball.
I've been an athlete my whole life. I've been so lucky and blessed to have enjoyed a healthy and strong body for most of my days. Aside from a few shoulder surgeries, some busted ankles, a bad back here and there, and two pregnancies, I've managed to maintain a high fitness level and a healthy weight throughout my athletic career. I am truly grateful for this!
Now that I'm 32 and still fighting my way back into fighting shape (and into my favorite jeans!), I no longer take my health and fitness level for granted — to put it simply, I can't! The comeback trail, thus far, has been riddled with good times and positive strides, but also with newfound aches and pains and knick-knacky injuries. I'm still carrying some extra weight, which is humbling and has taken some of the figurative and literal pep out of my step.
To see how Kerri's taking care of herself, keep on reading.
I need to get my mojo back, and here are some things I'm doing daily to make that happen:
- Laying off the sugar: I'm trying to kick the unusually strong sweet tooth I have these days and I'm doing it one choice, one day at a time. Twenty-eight days to create or break a habit?! One day at a time!
- Weight lifting: I've been working really hard on the beach and in the gym cardio wise, but I haven't made lifting weights a priority until now! I love the feeling of gaining muscle and I love that having more muscle mass leads to a higher metabolism and more fat burned . . . Just what my body and mind needs!
- Sleep: Aside from feeling sluggish and grumpy when I'm tired, my constant sleep deprivation hasn't allowed my body to reap the rewards of all my hard work on the sand and in the gym. I'm trying my best to get as much sleep as possible at night. (Sundance is slowly getting to five hours straight at night!) And when my nighttime sleep is compromised, I try to make sure to get a lil' nap in. A well-rested body is a healthier, more efficient, more capable one. This could be the hardest thing to accomplish on my to-do list, but it always makes a difference.
- KT tape: I think I've mentioned this ridiculously wonderful product to you before, but I must mention it again because it's literally saving my body! I've had some foot issues and swelling problems with various body parts, and it's been KT tape to the rescue every time. Feet, shoulder, back, knee — you name the body part and it's been aided by the tape.
- Ice, ice, ice: As an athlete, I've learned how to deal with chronic pain. Ever since returning to the beach and returning to my daily aches and pains, I've been reminded of the power of a good ice bag. It doesn't take long. I'll ice for 10-12 minutes, but it ALWAYS does the trick. With some injuries it's better to stay away from ice or to use heat, so make sure to check that out before icing. If icing is called for, DO IT! It's such an easy way to feel better.
Be sure to catch up and read all of Kerri's great posts on FitSugar!