Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching

The Strange Science of Recovery: Slaying the Sacred Cows (Christie Aschwanden) - #037

June 10, 2019 Best-selling author Christie Aschwanden Season 2 Episode 21
Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
The Strange Science of Recovery: Slaying the Sacred Cows (Christie Aschwanden) - #037
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Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
The Strange Science of Recovery: Slaying the Sacred Cows (Christie Aschwanden) - #037
Jun 10, 2019 Season 2 Episode 21
Best-selling author Christie Aschwanden

Ice baths, ibuprofen, foam rollers, massage and beer? An entire industry has been created in recent years around the (supposed) science behind recovery. Best-selling author, athlete and science journalist Christie Aschwanden takes them all on by examining the ACTUAL science behind the marketing claims. Whether you're an elite athlete, a weekend warrior, or a coach looking to help your clients make the most of their precious time and money, this is an intriguing discussion about the strange science of recovery!

Show Notes Transcript

Ice baths, ibuprofen, foam rollers, massage and beer? An entire industry has been created in recent years around the (supposed) science behind recovery. Best-selling author, athlete and science journalist Christie Aschwanden takes them all on by examining the ACTUAL science behind the marketing claims. Whether you're an elite athlete, a weekend warrior, or a coach looking to help your clients make the most of their precious time and money, this is an intriguing discussion about the strange science of recovery!

Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the latest episode of the catalyst, health and wellness coaching podcast. My name is Brad Cooper, and I'll be your host and today's episode. You're just gonna have fun with this. Uh , Christie Aschwanden is the guest today. She's the author of the book. Good to go. This thing, sleighs every sacred cow when it comes to recovery that you've ever heard. I mean, she really does a great job. Look a little bit about her in terms of her background. She's the lead science writer for five 38 former health columnist for the Washington post. She was actually a finalist for the national magazine award in her writing has appeared in outside magazine, discover Smithsonian and O the Oprah magazine. She was a high school state champion , 1600 meter, a national collegiate cycling champion, and an elite cross country skier with team Rossignol. She lives in occasionally, still races in Western Colorado. And so she brings this incredible background as an athlete, a curiosity of somebody who is wanting that recovery, and yet the scientific mind to say, but what really works? How about ice? How about ibuprofen? How about all these different things that you're hearing about reading about? She talks about all of them. It's a great book. If you haven't read it, you definitely want to get it. We'll talk through a lot of the highlights from it, but you're gonna have fun with this one. As a coach, you're going to be hearing a lot of these things from your clients are going to be asking you about this. They're gonna be talking about, Oh, I need to do this and this. And now you have the data to say, well, do you really, as an athlete, same thing, just a quick reminder, brand new [email protected] You just missed the last fast track training. If you're listening to this in kind of mid June, but our next one is coming up in August. We actually have one in New Jersey and one in Colorado. So you can check those [email protected] We're happy to chat about anything. You'd like, career-wise where things are heading. What this coaching certification is all about. Drop us a note to [email protected] We'll set up some time to talk now on with the latest episode of the catalyst, health and wellness coaching podcast,

Speaker 1:

Christie ,

Speaker 2:

It is so good to have you on the podcast today. The audience knows your background from the introduction. Thank you for joining us. This is fun. Thank you so much for having me now. Recovery love it, by the way, just loved your book. Everybody that's listening will have the title and , and hopefully they'll all be out there picking up a copy very soon, but this whole idea of recovery, the timing is so good because we're just, we're going down a lot of crazy trails and you kind of took care of most of those forests , but how did you decide to run down that, of chasing down these sacred cows we've been fallen for so long?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I guess the thing that really interested me is, yeah, I'm a science journalist by vocation and I, you know, a lot of what I do is , is look at scientific evidence and write about it. And what I've really been noticing is sort of the rise of what I like to think of as the recovery industrial complex marketing of all of these products. But I write in the book that when I was a really serious athlete , um, you know, more than a decade ago now , um, recovery was a now and it was something, you know, you waited to attain and most of it was, you know, the things you weren't doing, but now recovery has been turned into a verb. It's all of these things now that people are expected to do and products to buy and rituals to partake in. And so it's no longer sort of the simple thing that I knew it as. And it becomes something that's almost its own source of stress.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. And I think you , you talked a little bit about the fact that that fits in so nicely with all of a psychotic endurance athletes that feel like we need to be doing something and if we're not doing something, then we're not optimizing the outcome. Do you want to talk about that just a little bit?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I think, you know, we're really at this moment in our society where we've been convinced that we're all sort of, there's this idealized version of ourselves, that's just one weird trick away. And people popping up everywhere promising to show us this one weird trick that will make everything perfect. And, you know, it's, it's almost like, you know, we were looking for shortcuts, but we're also , um, have this vision of ourselves as being, you know , almost like sort of weirdly fragile where just one little thing done, improperly can mess up everything. And so , so we're always sort of looking for ways. Um, we have this whole industry and it's not just the sports stuff . This is also true for a lot of the wellness industry too , where we're really, it's almost like they're trying to convince healthy people that there's something wrong with them. And, you know, if you feel healthy, you can't trust that because there might be something wrong. And, you know, we have all of these tests and things that are marketed now to healthy, similarly, healthy people to try and help them find ways in which they may not be healthy. And I think that, yeah , that's part of what's happening here is that we're convinced, you know, we have this population of worried well or among athletes, people that are really looking for whatever edge they can get. And that's totally understandable. Um, but , but we've sort of been convinced by a lot of marketing, frankly. Um, you know, that there are special tricks out there that can sort of circumvent our basic physiology.

Speaker 2:

One of the things I loved just loved about your book. And I mentioned you before we started, one of the reasons I was so excited to have you on this podcast is we try to really bring focus in on evidence-based practices and not just going after headlines or chasing the fads, that kind of thing. And you, you did that. I mean, your , your background was perfect for it , but you really dialed that in with this book of saying, okay, yes, we've heard this. Yes, we've done that . Like ice. We'll talk about that a minute. We've done that for 40 years, but is there any evidence to do that? So I love how you did that. Can you walk our audience through how they could do that? So let's say that they come across something, one of their clients mentions it, they see a newspaper article about it and it's not covered in your book. And so they need to do a little bit, a little of that research on their own. Can you walk them through how they might go about that on a little smaller scale regarding some of their own practices or some of their clients' practices?

Speaker 3:

Sure, sure. And I'll just stop here to say that know , I really hope one of my purposes in writing this book is that I hope that people who read it will walk away with some of these skills that you're talking about, you know, a better understanding of how scientific studies work , um, how to evaluate evidence and sort of red flags to be looking for that sort of signal that a study is unreliable. Um, but I guess I would say the first thing is learn how to search the scientific literature. Um , it's not that difficult. We now have Google scholar, there's pub med that anyone can access. Um, you know, don't look at the marketing claims, go and look at the primary literature. You want to see the thing that's published in a journal. You know, that said, it can be really tricky because we have this problem now, which I discussed in the book about predatory publishers and, you know , a lot of journals that look like they're on the up and up, but may in fact be funded by companies making some of these things that they're testing. And, you know, you can't just assume that because something is published in a scientific journal that it's true and that makes it really tricky. Um, yeah, I think another thing is just learning , um, some of the signs to look for one thing that I found , um , while looking at this exercise science stuff is that the studies in this field tend to be of sort of a different kind of quality than you would see in some of the other fields that I've also written about, for instance, clinical medicine and , and, you know , the study is in this field tend to be very, very small and, you know, there are some very good reasons for this, and it's not just a matter of scientists, not trying to do a good job, but it's difficult to do the large scale studies you need to do if you want to get more definitive answers. But what it means is that we're sort of stuck with these small sample sizes that are really just offering sort of hints about what, you know , the answers to these questions that they're trying to find. They can't provide definitive answers because they're just simply too small and they don't have some of the statistical methods and things that are necessary to get more definitive answers. And of course, you know , science does not provide definitive answers. Anyway, it's really a process of uncertainty reduction. So you never want to look at a single study and think that that's the answer. You have to look at all of the evidence in aggregate. And I guess I would also say that people who are really interested in this stuff, I would highly recommend that they look into this. Um, so do group it's called stork, which is society for transparency, openness, and replication and kinesiology. They're really doing some great work. This is a membership organization, but they're really trying to push forward with some , um, better methodology to address some of these problems. But I think even just taking a look at their , their website and some of the things that they're doing, there's a lot of information there that can help people sort of better evaluate studies and understand what's going on. Um, but I would be wary of, of studies that are funded by industry. You know, when , uh , the producer of a product is telling you, you know, Oh, studies show this, you want to go find those studies and sort of see how they were done . You'll look at the methodology, give it a gut check. You know, if the methods seems sort of lanky, they probably are.

Speaker 2:

Excellent. Excellent. Do you want to give us a little tea ? I loved how you started your book talking through this , this study on how beer can help your time to exhaustion running tests you want to , without going into the whole detail, you want to give folks a little teaser and another reason for them to pick up your book and learn about that. Cause I think that sets the scene so nicely for all of the things you just said about the critical nature of evidence-based practices and sample sizes, methodology, et cetera, et cetera.

Speaker 3:

So the first chapter of my book is about beer and running. And I set about to answer what seems like a really simple question, which is, yeah, there are different ways you can state it is beer, the ideal recovery beverage. Um , but really I was trying to look at this question of whether drinking a beer and I'm really, I'm talking just about one or two and not going out and getting drunk beer after a hard workout. Is that going to impair recovery, you know, will that alter recovery? So we put together a study and found a really enticing results , uh, which was that beer seemed to be a performance enhancing and women. Um , but in , in the book, this is probably too detailed for this podcast, but I sort of walk readers through why I'm as much as I truly did want to believe that and why it sort of showed me and they'd be much more skeptical than I probably had been before them about how to interpret these studies and why , you know, we need to be very careful at how we interpret them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . I actually think it was perfect for this audience because this is an audience that is not happy. Just going with the headlines are chasing the fads and you really take that and you say, Hey, I wanted to believe it. I kind of show it statistically. But when you do dive into the methodology, you can see where it falls short. And then that story sets up so much of the different cows that you go after the rest of the book. So. Great, great job. Well done. Talk to us a little bit about surprises were some of the biggest surprises you went in and maybe I should take a step back and say, were you expecting to find this many things falling flat when you went into this? Or what were your kind of pre-writing expectations as you pursued this?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I did, you know, going into it. I didn't expect that I was going to find, you know, 50 new things that were really great and amazing and worth doing, but I did sort of expect that some of these new fangled things, particularly some of the things that were new in the last few years and that have really gained in popularity. I really expected that there must be some science there. I mean, we're , we're really part of the reason that this marketing is so successful is that we are at a time where people do have a lot of faith in science. And so much of this marketing uses scientific language because that lends it credibility and people do trust in science as we should. Um, but what , what so often was happening, I discovered as I was researching the book is that items that were being marketed to athletes were really being sort of given us a veneer of scientific rigor that they didn't really have. And so things were being described in scientific terms that really didn't hold up. And a lot of this was really pseudoscience . You're using physics terms for ordinary phenomenon . It's not body heat, it's infrared radiation, really space age. And so I did expect that there would be more science to some of this. So I guess I was kind of, I was a little bit surprised at some of the lack of rigor behind a lot of the claims and a lot of the things. And some of this goes back to , um, to just finding, you know , how the methodology in this field is , is different than a lot of others and that, you know, realizing that, wow, it's just going to be kind of hard to get reliable answers, you know, with, with these kinds of small studies.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Were there, well, let's ask you this, ask it this way. Was there anything that you went into it saying, well, I know this one will prove itself.

Speaker 3:

I think I was really surprised, but I think like I've always despised. I think it hurts. It's unpleasant. I've just never liked it, but I did. Yeah. There's good evidence. I have a whole chapter in that book about placebos, but there's good evidence that painful placebos are more effective than painless ones and, you know , placebo shot is more effective than a placebo pill. And so, yeah, I guess maybe that was part of my expectation here, but I just sort of assumed that icing must really work because so many people have done it and it's so in pleasant that if it wasn't having some benefit, people wouldn't continue doing it. That wasn't what I found

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think that's a good example. And we'll, we'll dive a little bit more into that one in a minute, but I've, as I've been talking to folks about this interview coming up, I've mentioned that as one of the ones that you discovered, and it's so intriguing, and maybe you've seen this too, as you've talked to folks about your book is even the evidence has presented, Oh, here's what it shows about. Icing the responses . Yeah. But for me it works. It's just,

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it really is. And I think this is something that I've encountered in my , my other , uh , work, particularly writing about , uh, medical evidence , um, where people just really, really believe in something because of personal experience. And it's really hard to overturn personal experience with scientific evidence because if someone experienced something it's real , um, even though that experience may not , um, you know, you ice and then, you know how sore you are, but you don't actually know how store you would have been had you not iced . And so, you know, it's really hard to do that experiment of one. And so personal experience can be incredibly misleading, but this is sort of hard to see if you aren't considering the bigger picture and looking at the scientific studies to see that. I mean, I had on my book talks about how , um , there's really no good evidence that there's contrary evidence to this idea that stretching can prevent injuries and that it can reduce soreness. And yet people really believe this. And I had someone contact me to say, look, I stretch every day. I know, you know, I hardly ever get injured. I know that it's because of the stretching and you know, that's that person's experience. Um , but that person has not gone all those years, not stretching. And so, you know, it's really hard to say that that's the reason, but what we know is that women researchers have done and here we actually have some pretty large scale studies with like thousands of people. A lot of them done in the military where they can really control and watch what people are doing. Um, showing that people, you know , stretching, comparing large groups of people who are stretching or not stretching and comparing to see what happens to them in these instances is stretching. Isn't having this purported benefit. And so, you know, some of it comes down to what you consider to be evidence.

Speaker 2:

And one of those things is not professional athletes saying it works, as you mentioned in your book.

Speaker 3:

Right? Right. I mean, there's a lot of, you know, look sport is run athletes. Professional athletes are generally paid by sponsors. They're getting paid to endorse products. They're getting paid to save these things. So you have to really take that stuff with a grain of salt too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. All right . So I mentioned that the vegetarians are going to love this episode because we are going to kill all the sacred cows. Let's hit some of the highlights. You mentioned ice before. Let's, let's jump into that. Talk us through ice, ice Baz , you've touched on it, but let's, let's take a deeper dive. What's the history of that and why people thought it worked or , or where that came from. And then what did you find when it came to ice or ice baths ?

Speaker 3:

So the idea here is really that, you know, when you ice, you know, Elim your legs say , um, your body shunts blood to the core. If you get really cold or you're going to be reducing blood flow to that area. And the idea here is that it will reduce inflammation. And there's kind of two things here. One is that well, so if you're temporarily icing the slim, you're reducing the blood flow. But as soon as you stop the blood flow reserve resumed. So you're really just sort of delaying whatever things are going to be happening here. Um , but the other thing is this idea that inflammation is the enemy and we have to really address it and get rid of it. But it turns out that inflammation is actually a really important part of the training response. I mean, that's how your muscles get stronger and you get better. That's how you make improvements from trading. And so you really don't want to reduce inflammation. And there are some studies, one that I sat in a book where they actually , um, they put people through strength training programs and they, I used one limb, but not the other it's like one arm or one leg, but not the other. And what they saw is that the limb that was iced actually had fewer strength gains than the one that wasn't. So it's not just a matter of, you know, not, not doing it the way it's supposed to. It might actually impede , uh , this trading response that you want .

Speaker 2:

Interesting. So for all of these, especially high school college kids that have been icing every day after practice, it's part of the routine. They believe in it to the nth degree, what would you say to them?

Speaker 3:

Hey kid, I'm going to save you. You can go home from practice a half hour early. You don't have to, you know, put yourself through that horrible experience. You know , and I think really the key here is that the message has to come from someone that they consider credible. Um , but the evidence on this is there. I think it's pretty strong and this is , this is something that's being, I mean, I'm not the only one saying this, there are studies, but I, I do consider this kind of good dues . I understand that it's hard to give up, you know , uh , practices with a long tradition. But I do think that a lot of people, I I've gotten lots of letters actually from people saying, Oh, thank God I loved your book. And you know , you've really approved.

Speaker 2:

Oh , I love it, love it. All right, let's talk ibuprofen. Or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatories , uh, talk us through that one. Cause that's another one that people like, Oh, you know, I finished my workout and I take my anti-inflammatories and then I'm better the next day. What's, what's the evidence on that one?

Speaker 3:

Well, so MSA is our great pain relievers. Um, I get headaches sometimes they work great for that. Um, but they are not great. There's actually a pretty good evidence now that they can actually hinder , uh , injury recovery and sort of , uh, tissue repair. And so they actually look there they're very good pain relievers. If you have a terribly sprained ankle, like they're probably a good thing to do there circumstances in which, you know, the pain relieving benefits outweigh any , um, you know, downtime that it could have, but you should absolutely not be taking these things prophylactically. You should not be taking this like, Oh, I just did a hard workout. I'm going prevent myself from being sore by taking this. Um , it turns out that it actually doesn't , it won't work for that. It won't reduce your soreness. It won't prevent you from getting sore ups. Doesn't seem to make a dent in that there's studies on that. Um, but also , um , you know, again, it can reduce this injury repair, which, you know , that's sorta the last thing that you want to do. And then finally, if you're doing endurance exercise in particular , um, and say it's particularly ibuprofen seems to be very, very popular, particularly among ultra endurance runners or long distance runners. And, and these cases , um , when your body's kind of being stressed like that, it can really be hard on your body and it can increase the risk of some , some other , um , effects that you don't want to have, like rhabdomyolysis and other things like that. It's not a cause, but when your body's kind of under that stress, it can be a really hard thing on your body. So you really should just avoid taking these particularly during rigorous exercise.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. Very well said. All right. Another big one, the fueling window, especially with protein and we need to get it in within 20 minutes, you got to finish your workout and get that, get that fuel in talk us through that because we've been hearing that for about a decade now.

Speaker 3:

So this is really a great , um, a great example of how science moves on and moves forward. I mean, there were some initial studies that really did seem to suggest that fueling right away after exercise, particularly with , with protein. And at some point there was like, there are all these scientific formulas about the ratio of carbs to protein and all this, but it turns out, and this has come from up studies and more research that it's not, you know , initially it looked like the timing was really the secret here, but it turns out that the timing is not, what's important. That's the nutrients themselves. And so, you know , as long as you're getting a meal in , after your workout, it can be hours later and your body will recover fine unless you're going to be performing at a high level or exercising again in short order. And in short order, I mean, before you would eat again , um, it really, the timing is not so important and you are not going to hamper your recovery by waiting. Um, there's really no compelling reason to need to down some huge protein shake immediately following a workout. Now that said, if you work out and you're hungry then, and you know, it's perfectly reasonable to eat then, then , um , protein is definitely something that's important for athletes, but it seems now it's looking like it's actually more important to just sort of be getting it throughout the day, instead of, you know, you don't need to have it in one huge dose, right after a workout, it's actually probably a little bit better to be getting some protein and all of your , your meals throughout the day. And so yeah , this idea that there's this magic window that has to be hit, that's pretty much been debunked.

Speaker 2:

And it seems like in general, not just for the feeling window, but in general for recovery, it seems, I remember you mentioned you're if you've got a 800 heat at eight in the morning, and then you're going to be in the finals at 10 30 or noon, well then some of these things might pay off, but if your next workout, your next session, your next race is 24 hours or more out. There's really no difference with the majority of these. Is that, am I remembering that correctly?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right. And even you run in the afternoon, you then go and have dinner, you know, an hour or two later, you're going to be fine if you're for your next run the next morning.

Speaker 2:

Perfect. So let's start Gatorade. This is a , it's a fun story for those who haven't heard it, if you can give us the brief version of that, but that story, and then leading into you need this certain drink. You've got to have this thing when you're working out or racing or else. Can you talk us through that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's, there's just so much marketing here. And I think this goes back to this idea that our bodies, they're such complicated things and you need a scientist standing by telling you exactly how to do things and getting everything in the right amount or else, you know, everything will go to hell, which just isn't the case at all. Our bodies are extremely adaptable. Um, we're actually very well adapted to exercising and, you know , losing some fluids through sweat, during exercise, which is not to say that you shouldn't ever drink during exercise and particularly after. Um, but it really is just fine to drink to thirst. We've been told again and again, that by the time you're thirsty, it's too late. Well, this is nonsense. Our bodies have these really sophisticated feedback mechanisms , um , that work to ensure that, you know, you don't go into some sort of emergency because you know, it's been a little little while before, you know , you're able to replace every single drop that you sweat out, you know, during exercise , um, there's this actually your best gauge of how much fluid you need. I mean, it's important to pay attention to it, but what's really happened here is as we have, you know , industries, and it's not just a sports drinks, it's also, you know, bottled water and all those mean now we have people walking around all day, carrying water, water bottles, and feeling like they need to be drinking at every moment. And this is just ridiculous. I mean, it may be great for , uh , you know, the toilet paper industry. I don't know what the interests are, but yeah , you really, you, you don't need to be drinking all the time. Drinking to thirst is the best way to go. We've been told that electrolytes are so important and these can only be found in these sports drinks, but electrolytes, that's just the scientific word for salt in your blood. These are things that we get from our food all the time. There's no need to take them in some sort of special pill or drink. As long as you're sort of eating a normal diet, you're already getting them. You don't need to drink them. You know , the one thing I think here that could be important is if you are doing long bouts of an endurance exercise and by law , I'd been like over an hour, probably more than, than 90 minutes. Um, if this is at high intensity , um, it may be helpful to be getting some carbohydrates and to be getting some fuel. And that's where a smart shrink can help, but it's not the electrolytes and all this other stuff. It's really the energy. It's the sugar that you're taking him. That's helpful. Um, and it , it , you know, you could drink some water and also, you know, eat a piece of fruit or something like that, too . This idea that there , you know, that these formulated products are somehow superior or essential. You know , most of that's just marketing one thing quickly, though, I just said , I wanted to add, you had this idea that you have to drink early and often is actually, it's not just misguided. It can actually be really deadly. I mean, the people who are dying during marathons because they drink too much water drink too much fluids, whether it's sports drink or water, it doesn't really both of these things can be linked to this. Um , you know, they're drinking beyond thirst. They've been told that they need to drink at every aid station they need to drink. And this is particularly true for people who are running at a slower pace, not necessarily because of the pacing itself, but because they can end up being out there for many hours. And if they're drinking at a , some sort of programmed rate, so it's really important in these, in these situations that if you're drinking and you don't feel it, if you're not, if you're having to choke down that drink, it's a sign that your body doesn't need it. And probably shouldn't be having it because the medical term for this is hyponatremia. And it , it kills people, you know, your blood becomes too dilute and you could get swelling in the brain and it's, it's a really , uh , dangerous condition. And it exists because of this marketing. It's really too bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Thanks for jumping in on that one. Cause that's such a big issue and obviously research around that it's been eye for a lot of folks and you , you do a good job of bringing that out. The opposite of ice bath is massage. We all love that massage, but through, okay , it's fine . If you love it, keep doing it. But in terms of actual recovery enhancement, what does massage too ?

Speaker 3:

So it's really interesting. There are a lot of claims that are thrown around one of the most common claims and this isn't just for massage, but for all sorts of these things is that it's flushing lactic acid. And it turns out that lactic acid is produced during strenuous exercise. Um , but it is not the thing that makes you sore . So flushing it out, won't reduce your soreness, but even more important is that it it's actually cleared pretty quickly by your body itself from your muscles. So by the time you're, you're getting a massage or something that lactic acid is probably gone anyway. So that claim is just a bunch of nonsense. Um , but the thing that's really interesting about massage is we don't have a lot of good scientific evidence for mechanistic, you know, from a physiological sense of how it's helping people. But it's something where I think that the benefits are, are real and they're just a little less tangible, like with massage, it really comes down to, it is an amazing relaxation techniques . And it turns out that anything that promotes relaxation, anything that reduces stress like that is absolutely wonderful for recovery. So many of these things that people really love for recovery , um, they're given all these pseudoscientific explanations, but I think at the end of the day, what they're really doing is helping people do something that's become increasingly hard to do, which is relax . And so, yeah, if you have something that you're doing, whether it's massage or something else that's making you feel good, it's making you take time out of your day to , to rest. That's good. That's , that's working. That's something you can feel good about. Yeah. I wouldn't , um , promote, you know, making people go out and spend a lot of money or put a lot of energy into these things. But if you can find some kind of ritual or some kind of thing that makes you feel good , um , and also reduce the stress. That's another really important thing that came out of my research. And that is that I don't think tend to really discount or under appreciate the role that stress plays in recovery , um , to your body . Stress is stress. Whether it's coming from your exercise, your workouts, or from life stress, if you're experiencing a lot of life stress, that's sort of uncontrolled and unmanaged, that's going to really cut into your recovery. You're not going to have optimal recovery as long as you're in that state of stress. And so it's really, really important to find some sort of method of managing your life. Stress, not re not eliminating that can't be done. I mean, life is stressful and that's okay, but you need to find a way to manage it. And it needs to be like a daily way. It's not something that you do once a month to try and address it. You need some sort of daily ritual or reducing stress

Speaker 2:

Thinking through all the emails you're getting from people who love the things that you're saying, don't work, whether they're selling that thing or using that thing. If you had a pie chart of the number of letters saying, thank you so much, your book is awesome. And the people complaining and griping at you. Can you give us a little behind the scenes picture of that?

Speaker 3:

I have to say I've been really surprised that the mail , the feedback I've been getting has been overwhelmingly positive. I've had just an incredible number of people. Tell me, thank you so much. Um, I've heard again and again, that my book has helped people sort of let go of some of the worries and the things that they were stressed about. And so, like a very typical thing would be to say, thank you for writing this. I now know that the thing that had really been stressing you out, or that I've been worried, I was getting wrong, or I wasn't doing right, or I needed to do more of now. I know that that's not the thing to worry about and I can stop that and save me time. You've helped me reduce stress and that's been really gratifying. I don't think I really expected the extent to which that was going to happen.

Speaker 2:

Okay , cool. So other side of the coin, were there any recovery methods that are worthwhile, you discovered where our audience can utilize them either with their, or in their own life that might be worth at least a second. Look, maybe it's not dialed in. Absolutely. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it's worth a look.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I mean, I think it goes back to anything that helps people relax, anything that reduces stress. And I think this is pretty individual. Some people, you know, for some people that might be yoga, it might be meditation. It might be, you know, spending an hour before bed, you know, kicking back and reading, you know, not a tablet, but an actual book, you know, unwinding , uh , unplugging, but some sort of thing to relax. And I think this can be extremely low tech. It doesn't have to be something high tech. Um, but on the other, on the other hand, you know, for some people, it may be a meditation app or maybe, you know, something that does have some technology with it, but it doesn't need to be. But the important part is that it's just helping people relax. I mean, at the end of the day, recovery is just RNR, rest and relaxation. You've got to put that in your life.

Speaker 2:

Very nice. All right. Let's flip the mirror a little bit. We'll step away from recovery. And if you don't mind, since our audiences is folks that are in the wellness industry, can you talk about your current journey a little bit, maybe an area that you're struggling with and what that's looked like in the path that you're pursuing? Just kind of let us know that you're like all the rest of us.

Speaker 3:

Sure. I mean, I'd pick the most obvious thing here is this cold I've been fighting for over two weeks now. And I think what I saw you in Denver, I was just beginning. It was just coming on and I was in the midst of some travel. And yeah, what I found here is that you just can't wish yourself. Well, like that's always sort of the thing that we want to do or pretend that this isn't happening and what I've really been trying to practice in my own life is something I kind of think of as radical acceptance. So it's like, I can accept that I'm sick and I can't train, you know , you can accept that that's the case, or I can make it worse by not giving myself the rest that I need. And yeah , it's been, I just, this morning went for my first run in , uh , over two weeks and it was a very short run, 30 minutes. Um, but I, you know, I waited until I really felt like my body was up for it. And then instead of thinking, well, okay, I've had two weeks off. I got to make up for that lost time. I'm going to go run 12 miles. I said, okay. You know, my body's really still recovering. I need to be very gentle. And so I went for a short run. It felt great. I got all of the , you know, great mental health benefits of being outdoors , um, doing some exercise. And that, that was great. And just accepting that, okay, it's going to take me a little while. Right before I got sick, I was like, I had been training for a trail run and I was starting to feel like I was getting a little bit of fitness and this is a setback, but yeah, I just have to accept that. I can't, I can't , um , be in denial, you know, it's sort of like, yeah , sometimes I have this hamstring that will act up and I can either accept that it's acting up and I need to take a few or even a week off, or I could be in denial and basically turn it into a season long hindrance. And so I've really been working a lot and focusing a lot on that kind of radical acceptance and just, you know , when things happen, they happen and I have to accept it and be realistic about how I can come back.

Speaker 2:

I like that a lot. Can we dive into that a little bit more in terms of the practical side? So the hamstring thing, yes . It's nagging you a little bit in the pen. You're a great runner. Again, folks know your background. You're , you're a stud athlete. The hamstring is slowing you down, but you've got to race in six weeks. And you know, if you take two weeks, so what, on a practical level, what do you say to yourself? What do you do that you didn't use to do when you would get in that constant cycle?

Speaker 3:

Um, well, so the race is this weekend and there's just, I know there's no way I know that there's no way for me to do it and meet sort of what I want, which is just to feel, you know, I wanted to race it, which isn't necessarily going to feel great because if you're going hard, you know, it's kind of hard, but to finish feeling good and to not basically not wreck myself, I realized this is a hard, it was a, it's a six mile Hill climb that I'm signed up to do. And I realized I'm just , I'm going to have to skip it. I'm signed up, it's sunk costs , but that's just how it is. Because even though I could probably go and finish , um, chances are best case scenario. You know, I'm just really slow. It takes me a long time and then I'm really tired. And it's like a little bit beyond where I'm at right now. And so that instead of making more progress next week towards fitness, I'm going to have a setback because I'm going to be so wasted pregnant from that race. Right . You know , I won't be able to , to train too much training for a few days. So yeah . It's just accepting that , um, I've been really prioritizing sleep because I know that that's really important and that's helped a lot. It's probably helped. Um, the thing that I have has been going around, I know other people have had it. I mean, I know someone who's had it just sort of almost a month now. Um , and he's coming back from it. So it's like, okay. You know, because I've been taking care of myself, this is going to be two, two and a half weeks instead of four or five weeks. And so there are benefits to that and yeah, just making sure I'm eating well, getting enough sleep , um , trying to do, I've been traveling, which is sort of inherently stressful, but I've been making sure to have a little , uh , I was doing some travel where I was giving a lot of talks and really being around a lot of people where they were asking me questions and I was teaching and things like this. And so making sure that every day I had some time to myself to recharge really prioritizing that, which meant sometimes, you know, there was one time when I had an offer to do something social that I said, no, I need to go back to my hotel and just rest up and read a book for a little while and get to bed early. And so yeah, sometimes there are sacrifices, but I know that I'm taking care of myself.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Congratulations. I struggled to do that. So I'm listening for gurus here. What , um , it sounds like you're, you didn't use to do that. What, was there a moment where you said from now on this is the approach I'm taking or is it just, you're trying to do it slightly different every year? Any other pointers in there?

Speaker 3:

Uh, no , I think it just, you know, when I started researching this book, one of my motivations for doing it is that I knew that when I was an athlete, I never quite mastered recovery. And so I said, okay, as part of my research for this, I'm going to walk the walk and I'm going to do all these things that I'm learning and I'm just gonna really make a concerted effort. And so, yeah, at this point, I think it's just, it's become a habit and it's become sort of my approach. And I can't point to, you know , an aha moment. It was more of just, you know, a gradual awakening, I guess, looking at all the research.

Speaker 2:

Very cool. Last question. Any final words, wisdom, a question that you wished I would have asked anything for the health and wellness coaches that are either looking for clues or ideas or practical advice for their own life or for clients that work .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I mean, I think sort of my three rules for recovery are number one, sleep. You just absolutely have to prioritize it. And it's amazing to me. I mean, we sort of all know this, but it's amazing to me, the extent to which people are willing to skimp on , on sleep, where it becomes this thing. I mean, there's even a term now called bedtime procrastination. People are like binge watching Netflix and they're up. So one or two instead of you . And it's like, if you have a lifestyle where you have to get up at a certain time in the morning to get to work or to do whatever it is you , you need to do, that means that you are going, you need to have a hard, like, okay, I bet bet in bed at this time, no matter what. And you just have to think about sleep is so much of it is just prioritizing it. And that's where I see so many people just making the mistake of not doing that. So , so sleep is number one. I think number two is finding a way to relax, like finding some sort of methods that you're doing, that this can come in alternative forms. I already sort of talked about this, but just making that a priority as well. And then third, just making sure that on a daily basis, you have a stress reducing ritual, some way of, you know, checking out from work from whatever life stresses you have. Um, and this can be a lot of different things. I mean, for me, it's walking my dog in the morning. It's just a really nice, relaxing way to sort of not be thinking about work and things like this, sort of connecting with my place. Um , doing a little bit of exercise. It's very easy, but it's sort of making me feel good being part of my surroundings. Um, for some people it's meditation. I think that can be a really good, good way. Um, I like to, at the end of the day, sort of finish up by reading a book or doing something that's not thinking about work, not thinking about whatever other stressful things might be going on in my life, but just really giving myself some

Speaker 1:

That also helps me fall asleep better way to sum

Speaker 2:

It up. Thank you so much. Chrissy is great having

Speaker 1:

You. My pleasure. Thanks for the invitation

Speaker 2:

Great insights. If you want to take a deeper dive, the book is titled good to go by Christie Aschwanden and the insights, just so many different levels. And again, the biggest thing I want to hammer home here is how important it is for us in the health and wellness industry to keep the focus on the evidence-based practices. Headlines do not equal health fads do not equal facts, and we've got to help keep that groundswell of keeping it on the evidence in our industry. It's absolutely critical. One big reminder, the Rocky mountain coaching retreat, September 6th to the eighth in Estes park, Colorado. It's going to be awesome, but the big early registration discount that's about to close. So if you've been pondering, it don't ponder it too much longer. If that's something you want to do, the website is catalyst coaching institute.com, just click the retreat tab. You'll see all the details there, an extra thank you to all of you who have actually hit the subscribe button for the podcast. Again, I don't understand how all this stuff works, but I'm told that's a really valuable thing. So thank you. If you have any questions about wellness coaching, either as a career or even as a side business, we're happy to chat about it. We're happy to talk you through all the details around that email is [email protected] [email protected] until next time let's keep pursuing better. Best self. Yeah, we talk about that all the time, but sometimes it just feels out of reach, but better. We can all do that and we can help our clients, our friends, our family, and even our community do the same. So thanks again for joining us. And I'll talk with you soon on the next episode of the catalyst, health and wellness coaching package .

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .