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Day 12 of 12 Days of VB&F - Daily Inspiration

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:31 pm
by robert
12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - December 20-31, 2011

Vision: To create a structure and formula for success in a health and fitness program, providing helpful tools, resources, and guidance to turn goals into reality, making New Year’s Resolutions come true.

Follow the 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions! This 12-Day Formula For Success is the platform you need to finally make your health and fitness goals a reality.

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Day 12 of The 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - Daily Inspiration

From Robert Cheeke's Best-Selling book Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - The Complete Guide To Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet:

Post-exercise suggestions and recommendations to better health and fitness

In addition to exercise itself, there are other great ways of supporting your fitness lifestyle that are recommended. Incorporating some of these modalities can help improve your overall level of health.

Massage Therapy

As someone who worked as a licensed massage therapist for years specializing in sports massage therapy, I recommend getting a massage on a fairly regular basis to greatly benefit you in a variety of ways. Massage therapy helps increase circulation throughout the body, helps soften tense and tight muscles, helps prevent injury, and helps with greater range of motion and flexibility. Getting a deep-tissue or sports massage every month, if not more frequently, is a great way to keep your body in top form so it can perform at a high level while you exercise and compete. It will also allow you to reduce stress, focus on breathing and relaxation, improve posture, reduce chronic pain, and even improve muscle tone. I have had the opportunity throughout my career as a massage therapist to work with the US Olympic Speed Skating Team, with professional athletes, and with avid weekend warriors who were relieved from their chronic pain after working with me. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the great work that massage therapy can do for athletes and non-athletes alike. I currently get bodywork from Jen Fichter, LMT in Portland, OR who is an outstanding therapist and a friend for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect.

Hydrotherapy, Cryotherapy, and Alternating Temperature Therapies

The use of heat and ice after exercise, before exercise, or during off days from exercise is another healthy way to keep your body functioning well. Heat from saunas, steam rooms, or hot tubs helps muscles loosen and stay soft; it allows the body to sweat, increases circulation, and brings blood to an area that is directly in contact with the heat which allows greater flexibility and greater range of motion. An excellent time to stretch muscles is while in a sauna or steam room. Cryotherapy, the use of ice, is a great way to reduce inflammation to an area of the body that has had some sort of trauma. Cryotherapy treats swelling and cools sore, inflamed muscles. Using heat and ice treatments in conjunction with massage therapy is an excellent way to keep your body healthy, strong, and injury free. I use hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, and alternating heat therapies on a regular basis. I enjoy steam rooms and saunas the most and find it beneficial to my overall health and wellness. I also relied heavily on ice for hours a day when I had major lower back soreness, and it helped out dramatically.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Physical activity may cause the body to fall out of alignment. Chiropractic work can adjust it back to normal. Chiropractic work helped me through some specific circumstances in 2001, 2008, and 2009. I received some chiropractic adjustments from Dr. Ron Six in Phoenix, AZ in 2001 when I injured my back doing squats while training for a bodybuilding competition. I was in Hawaii in November 2008 competing at the Raw Games (, and I threw my back out in such a way that I could barely walk or sit. While in Hawaii, some of the coordinators at the Raw Games spotted my injury and drove me up to one of the resort cabins, and a massage therapist worked on my muscles for ten to fifteen minutes. Chiropractic Doctor John Peck, who was heading up the surfing competition at the Raw Games, manipulated my spine, explaining his actions every step of the way. He informed me that two of my lower lumbar vertebrae had been rotated causing nerve tendon damage which was leading to all of my pain and limited range of motion. Dr. Peck voluntarily worked with me for about an hour, adjusting my entire spine and informing me of what he was doing through the entire process to ease my worries and to create a comforting environment. When he completed his work, I slowly sat up, and then stood up and walked around feeling incredible. Just an hour earlier I could barely bend over to sit and was in a great deal of pain. Hours later I was dancing out on the grass jamming with musicians Cipes and the People and Singing Bear. Normally it takes weeks or months to get comfortable again with exercise, especially lifting weights when I injure my back in that way, but I was back in action immediately, and I appreciate the work that Dr. Peck volunteered to help me recover.

I have a whole new respect for Chiropractic work and will be incorporating it into my current bodybuilding competition preparation more often in the future. Just recently, in the spring of 2009, I again injured my back. I was unable to walk, and it was in fact more severe than my injury in Hawaii that left me barely able to walk. Just climbing in and out of the front seat of my car took minutes and walking from my car to my front door (about 20 feet), was not possible without a rest in between. I worked with multiple Portland-based chiropractors including Dr. Jason Lindekugel. I went from not being able to walk to getting up on the bodybuilding stage eight days later and becoming the 2009 INBA Northwestern USA Natural Bodybuilding Champion. It was an incredible feeling. I still have some lower back issues stemming back from my teenage years of athletic injuries and from painful weight lifting accident injuries in 2001 and 2003, but with the help of some chiropractic doctors, I have been able to overcome the pain and injuries and have experienced athletic success and achievement.

Give chiropractors a try; they could really take a load off your back.

Yoga – Pilates - Meditation

Though there are books with great lengths that talk about these topics individually, I’m grouping them together because I don’t know a whole lot about them individually. However, I have experienced all of them and know that they are great additions to any fitness program. These forms of relaxation, training, stretching, and focus help the mind and body get to a relaxed place and a place of better health through the movements involved in their practice. If you haven’t tried any of them or the many other forms of alternative exercise and post-exercise conditioning, I suggest you give each a try and find out which one resonates the best with you and incorporate it into your lifestyle on occasion. It’s a great way to add more variety and balance to your wellness program. One of my best friends who inspired me to be a successful writer, Ravi Raman, is a Yoga teacher, and you can read about his experiences on You will also be highly motivated because he is a motivational teacher and a seasoned personal development student. If you’re already an athlete, it’s no big stretch to give yoga a try.

Now that you are armed with a plethora of fitness suggestions, it is time to put your arms into action. Experiment with a variety of programs and find comfort in the ones that suit you best. Have fun feeling well and being fit!

Feel free to use my website as a resource for bodybuilding and fitness, plant-based nutrition, and motivation and inspiration as you begin or continue on your journey to improved health.

Quote of the Day

From Robert Cheeke's Best-Selling book Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - The Complete Guide To Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet:

“So what if you’re like me and you don’t exactly have the best résumé to get your career off to a flying start? Well, you do what anyone needs to do if they hope to excel at something: believe in your abilities wholeheartedly; apply yourself deliberately; dig deep into your heart to fuel your passion to become great. Anyone can do it; you just have to find what matters most in your life and apply a series of principles sequentially. If you do this, success naturally follows.” – Robert Cheeke

Success Tip of the Day

From Robert Cheeke's new book Think Differently, due out in 2012:

"Find ways to be productive at all times. When you’re getting an oil change for your car, write a letter. When waiting for a bus or train, read a book. When in line at the grocery store, do calf raises. Don’t let time slide by. Make the most of it." -Robert Cheeke

Video Trailer for Robert's Book: ... r_embedded

-Robert Cheeke
@RobertCheeke on Twitter