When you’re jogging from Bondi to Bronte, shirt tucked jauntily into your shorts, Nikes sparkling in the sun, you may think yourself the picture of health. But looks can be deceiving – though we’re known as a nation of tanned triathletes, Australians are lacking in exercise knowledge.
At least, that’s according to research by Blackmores, which has found significant room for improvement when it comes to Australians’ attitudes towards recovery.
“Blackmores is encouraging all Australians to focus more on rest and recovery as part of their fitness routine, with the latest consumer research revealing the majority of us aren’t taking the time to support our bodies post-exercise, despite knowing the benefits,” the Australian health supplements company announced on Sunday.
“With nearly 19 million Australians (95%) stating recovery after physical exercise is at least somewhat important to them, it is surprising that only 38% will always include this as part of their regular exercise routine,” (Blackmores).
The main reason for this ‘recovery black hole’? According to Blackmores, we don’t think we exercise hard enough to justify it, or we simply don’t think about it at all.
Younger Australians are more likely to say there isn’t enough time to focus on recovery, while older Australians are more likely to think they just don’t exercise hard enough, Blackmores found.
“Overall, only a third of Australians will focus on rest and recovery if they feel sore and are more likely to get their car serviced regularly (80%) than take the time to focus on their rest and recovery.”
While some Australians may not consider rest and recovery as valuable as exercise itself to their overall physical health, 77% say it takes them longer to recover from exercise if they don’t take the time to rest properly.
The result? As Blackmores discovered in 2019, 15 million Australians (79%) are typically experiencing some type of pain or niggle, whether this be a sore neck, stiff joint or cramping muscles.
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Ice baths 🧊 Wanna see your pictures posted in our account? Apply for a feature on worlderunners.com/feature (link in my bio: @worlderunners) They are one of the important procedures used immediately after training or during! They are called one of the most effective ways to compensate for the harm done during training. Immersion in cold water suppresses inflammation and fever in the muscles, since low temperatures restrict blood cells and reduce metabolic activity, which means I can not avoid it 😉 (📷: @gulnaz_gubaydullina)
Unsurprisingly, in 2020, more than a quarter of exercising Australians say they often feel their niggles get worse or are prolonged when they don’t include rest and recovery after exercise.
This is something Blackmores ambassador, Ash London, is familiar with: “When I was younger, I definitely didn’t take the time to focus on my rest and recovery, even though I knew it was important long term. But when I hit 30 my body changed significantly, so I had to listen and make some changes. I learned to see food as medicine, I fell completely in love with yoga and the exercises that I really enjoy such as regular ocean swims.”
“These changes have meant I am kinder to myself and my body and has allowed me to focus more on understanding what my body is telling me.”
Blackmores ambassador, Tash Sefton said: “My body was so broken after having kids and I needed to rebuild it. It’s taken time but I make sure to really listen to my body when it comes to what agrees with me and what doesn’t, so I don’t over complicate my exercise or recovery routine. I like to keep it simple and achievable, while also ensuring I factor in time to allow my body to effectively rest and recover. It’s one of the biggest priorities in my life now.”
Connecting the research to this turbulent year, Managing Director, Blackmores Australia and New Zealand, Ayumi Uyeda said: “2020 has shown we are living in a new and unique world, where now more than ever we need to be checking in with ourselves, and how our bodies are feeling. At Blackmores we’re passionate about supporting our bodies to keep them moving at their best, even as we age.”
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“This research shows that we know adequate rest and recovery is beneficial for us, but we aren’t prioritising it even when our body is showing prolonged niggles as a result. We need Australians to understand that what they do after exercise is just as important as the exercise itself when it comes to overall wellbeing and maintaining our health now and into the future.” Uyeda added.
If you’re looking for a goal to help get your legs back in gear, if you (like us) have let things slide a little with excuses like “lockdown” and “winter,” Ash London, Tash Sefton and Blackmores are asking Aussies to join them in keeping their bodies moving by taking part in their own run, jog or walk with the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Virtual Run.
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Whilst the official race (which normally sees crowds of people streaming over the harbour bridge and the botanical gardens, then finishing up at the Opera House) will not be taking place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Blackmores is still excited to see all Aussies taking part in their own version of the 3KM, 10KM, half or full marathon with friends and family. The virtual event is open for participants from 20 September until 8 November 2020.