Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. As a Stonyfield YoGetter, I am compensated and receive products such as these shorts. All opinions expressed are my own.
Let’s chat for a moment about relaxation.
We runners will push ourselves hard in training, whether in 20 mile long runs in marathon training or a grueling speed workout. And we want those workouts to lead to improvements, not injury or overtraining – which is why proper recovery is essential.
Sleep, nutrition, hydration, and stretching/myofascial release all contribute to recovery. And so does one other key factor – simple rest and relaxation.
Leisure time is beneficial for runners because mental relaxation is as important for recovery as physical relaxation. Stress raises cortisol levels and detracts from the physical recovery process. Runners who have high-stress levels or put too little emphasis on recovery are more likely to suffer from overtraining – which is why relaxing is so beneficial if you want to improve as a runner.
In order to mentally and physically relax after a hard workout or on a rest day, I rely on comfortable clothing. It’s hard to fully relax when constricted by a tight skirt or high heels. Comfortable clothing facilitates a relaxed state of mind and less stress, which means my body can recover better from training. I’m able to unwind mentally and relax more physically in comfortable clothing, such as these Tess shorts from PrAna.
PrAna makes, in my opinion, the most comfortable shorts, pants, and jeans for casual and active wear. Their Meme pants are my go-to for hiking and snowshoeing and their Kara jeans are my daily staple. Their pants bridge the gap of functional and stylish, so that I don’t have to sacrifice comfort and movement for a pair of flattering shorts.
Even with my high expectations of PrAna pants, the Tess shorts did not disappoint: they offered a comfy, stretchy fit that moves with me, whether I’m working at my home office or out on a walk. The shorts feature a 5-inch inseam, which is long enough to be modest, functional, and comfortable without looking like Bermuda shorts circa 2005. The organic cotton fabric is lightweight and breathable yet durable. The Tess shorts are, essentially, the perfect summer short – whether you’re taking a shake-out walk after a run or lounging on your rest day.
(Sizing note: These shorts are true to size but do have a looser, more relaxed fit.)
I can relax even better when I know that my clothing and my food come from sustainable, organic sources. When I shop for new clothes, I favor companies that use sustainable fabrics and fair trade practices, such as PrAna. The same when I shop for groceries – I don’t have to worry about Frankenfood ingredients in my food when I opt for Stonyfield yogurt.
Cotton can be a dirty industry, as pesticides and insecticides deplete the soil and threaten the health of farmers. Organic cotton production eliminates the use of deleterious fertilizers and pesticides that promote biodiversity of the soil and the well-being of the farmers. These Tess shorts are made from 97% organic cotton – not only do they look good, but they are good for the environment.
Stonyfield takes the same approach to their yogurt, choosing organic farming processes to promote sustainability of the earth and the health of its farmers, the cows, and consumers. Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt is made without any toxic pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, or growth hormones. The result is a thicker, creamier, more flavorful yogurt that you can feel good about eating.
Whether my training plan calls for an easy run, speedwork, or a rest day, I reach for Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek yogurt as my afternoon snack. The calcium and protein are essential for recovery and building a stronger runner’s body and the combination of protein and fat satiates my appetite. I can work towards recovery from hard runs by giving my body the nutrients it needs to adapt and become stronger – without having to stress about what’s in my food.
Improving as a runner means taking care of the whole you. Workouts are only one aspect; nourishing your body with nutritious foods and taking the time to relax helps you recover better from this workouts, along with taking care of yourself mentally. Without looking at the whole picture, from training to recovery, you won’t improve as a runner. By taking care of the whole you – from comfortable clothes to nutritious snacks – you can improve as a runner and in many other areas of life.
How do you relax and prioritize recovery?
What’s your go-to recovery snack?
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