How To: Rest for the Mountain Enthusiast

If you’re stumbling across this blog, odds are that you, like myself, are a mountain lover. Whether your passion is hiking, climbing, or chasing powder, there is nothing more that us mountain enthusiast’s love than a good day outside, adventuring here in the Rockies.

However, as I close in on calling the Bow Valley home for nearly seven years, chasing mountain adventures as often as I can, there is one important thing I’ve learned; balance. As much as our bodies and souls need adventure, they also need rest. They need different activities. They need recovery.  They need some self love. 

One summer I had a personal goal of doing 25 different summits. Throughout the season not only did I achieve that goal, but I somehow made it up 40 summits by the end of it all. While doing this, I worked not only a full time job, but a part time job on the weekends as well. Without a doubt it was one of the best, most rewarding summers of my life, however come September one morning when I woke up for work, I couldn’t get out of bed. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but I physically and truly could not move a muscle to get out of bed. I ended up being out sick for a week, barely being able to get up and get myself food and water. You’ve heard the term “burnt out”? Well I was the definition of it. I operated at such a physically demanding, high pace for so long that it was not sustainable long term. This was the teaching moment I needed to drive home the lesson of the importance of rest and self care. 

Being surrounded by such an incredible community of adventurous, driven, and active people, it’s easy to feel like we need to be go-go-go 100% of the time. The truth is, if we want to be active as much as we can, then we need to offer our bodies a chance to rest once in a while. Whether it’s active recovery, changing up your activities to target different areas of the body, spending a quiet night at home, or treating yourself to a day of pampering, give yourself the rest. Allow yourself to have a day, guilt-free, to give your body what it needs. 

If you, like myself, love spending your time in the mountains, then here are five great places here in the Bow Valley to treat yourself for your next day of self care.  

Photo: Pat Hoffman

Wildheart

At Wildheart they have one goal in mind; to create a space where people can gather and find movement. If you’re looking for a different way to move your body outside of the mountains or a place to stretch and treat your muscles, then this is the place for you. 

Wildheart offers four different styles of ballet inspired barre classes and yoga classes. The best part? They are designed for the active and adventurous individual (like you)! Their space is welcoming, warm, and peaceful. Whether you have an active yoga or barre practice or it’s your first time ever going to a studio, you will feel at home. 

Maybe you need a deep stretch, a clear mind, or a full body workout. Whatever it is your body needs, you will definitely find it here. As a bonus treat, they offer free mat rentals, citrus infused water, and some of the most comfortable merchandise for sale. 

Check out their weekly schedule online. If you want to get your legs prepped for the ski season that’s officially upon us, check out the Snow Flow class on Monday’s at 5:30pm. Your legs will feel the burn but will thank you later on a powder day. 

Photo: Sarah Magyar

Kananaskis Nordic Spa 

Hot. Warm. Cold. Rest. Repeat. If a day of true rest and recovery is what your body is craving, then look no further! Kananaskis Nordic Spa is inspired by Scandinavian wellness traditions and our beautiful rugged Rockies. Offering Hydrotherapy, the suggestion is to go from hot to warm to cold to rest, and then repeat in one of their many pools, saunas, and steam rooms. This is a traditional, Nordic sequence that stimulates blood flow throughout the body, eliminates toxins, reduces stress, and allows the mind to unwind. 

Surrounded by the incredible scenery of the Rockies, you can spend your day repeating this pattern as many times as you’d like. For your rest time, you can enjoy outdoor fires, cozy winter hammocks, and the delicious food they offer at Two Trees Bistro. 

Put on your cozy robe (think fleece and hoods), and spend your next rest day braving the elements and embracing your relaxation outdoors. Kananaskis Nordic Spa is open seven days a week, all four seasons (duh, it’s Canada), so whatever the weather you can cleanse your mind and restore your body. 

Photo: Sarah Magyar

Modern Wellness 

Overworked or over-trained (or maybe both)? Well this is exactly what you need. Modern Wellness was established to recharge and reboot your mind and body. Here, they combine modern technology with a holistic approach for a unique wellness experience. 

Including infrared saunas, whole body red light therapy, 3D body scanning, neurofeedback meditation and a recovery lounge, this is the place to give your body what it really needs. If you’re not sure exactly what your body needs, then they are ready to help you out by linking you to wellness products, information, and services that will you help you live a healthier life. 

I first stumbled across Modern Wellness when I was climbing at Elevation Place. They were giving a free demonstration of some of their services. I was intrigued by the compression massage. I tried it out for about ten minutes and instantly knew I wanted to try it again. Pressurized compression boots squeeze your leg all the way from your toes up. The purpose is to move blood lymphatic fluid and lactic acid. What I personally loved is that the results are immediate. 

If you’ve had a big day out in the mountains, this is the perfect way to help your body recover quickly with long-lasting benefits to keep your body healthy and well-rounded. 

Photo: Modern Wellness

Remedy

If there’s one thing most people notice instantly about living in the mountains, it’s that it is incredible hard on your skin. We live in a very dry climate and it certainly takes its toll on your skin. Lucky for us here in the Bow Valley, we have Remedy! 

Remedy is your go-to stop for all of your skincare needs and more. They offer a variety of facials, as well as peels, dermaplaning, micro needling, waxing and tinting, and lash lifts. If our mountain climate is giving you that dry, itchy skin, try treating yourself to a HydraFacial which is perfect for dry and dehydrated skin. 

If our Rockies weather and climate is being extra hard on your skin, Remedy offers products and services to advise you on the best skin care routine to suit your needs. Out of the blue this past year, I started dealing with Rosacea which for me is triggered by hot or cold weather and wind. Thanks to Remedy, I now have a good skincare routine and great products that help me manage it easily.

Remedy’s facials and services are the perfect way to give yourself a little self-love on your rest day. Relaxing and restoring, they are the perfect way to spend some time quieting your mind and giving yourself and your skin the pampering and love they need. 

Photo: Remedy

Park Distillery 

Alright, maybe you’re stubborn and rest days just won’t ever be your thing. I get it, I’ve been there, and I know it’s unlikely that I’ll convince you otherwise. If that’s you, then at least treat yourself to some rest after a big day in the mountains with the best après in town. 

Park Distillery was inspired by the campfire. At Park, you’re invited to gather round and enjoy locally sourced, campfire-inspired cooking and small batch spirits. Their spirits are distilled right here in Banff. Starting from a glacier, they end up in your glass for the perfect way to après ski. Their venue brings the backcountry and campfire vibe inside, AKA, the perfect place to curl up after a day in the mountains. 

Not only are the food, drinks, and vibes the perfect post-adventure spot, Park is also incredibly focused on sustainability. Their goal is to be the leading craft distillery in Canada for sustainable production, energy efficiency, and water conservation. They strive to reduce their footprint on the environment, specifically in regards to this beautiful place we play in and call home. 

Ready to sit back, gather together, and celebrate an adventurous day? Park Distillery is the place to be and kick up your feet after your big day skiing the resort or the backcountry.

Photo: Park Distillery

Whether your preference is stretching it out on your mat, relaxing and pampering your body, recovery, or celebrating après style, it’s important to give yourself that time to rest and relax. Us mountain folk chase adventure, chase the outdoors, chase new experiences, and we push ourself outside our comfort zones wholeheartedly and passionately. It’s one of the things I love most about living in this beautiful mountain town; the people. The people here not only dream big, but they live even bigger. With all of that though comes the need for a recharge. Keep yourself balanced and healthy, and keep yourself being able to chase those big mountain days for a long time to come by making enough time for rest. Rest doesn’t have to be boring, and with all of the places listed above, it will certainly be another day in the mountains you will enjoy.

Photo: Pat Hoffman

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