Enhancing recovery is key to tapping into not only a normal mental state, but also managing physical fatigue. If you’re aiming to increase stress levels through training and working out, you likewise need to manage the opposite end of that continuum, which involves learning to chill out.
With that in mind, here are a few points to consider when talking about the recovery game:
1. Sleep quality reigns supreme.
2. Nutrition is a great tool that can help or hinder your recovery ability.
3. Supplementing is just that – a supplement to your real food diet.
4. More coffee is, unfortunately, not the answer to most problems.
On that note, here are a few resources that have helped ground me in my understanding of how to recover better in the face of overwhelming stress levels.
1. Boosting Recovery: Solutions to the Most Common Recovery Problems via Kurtis Frank
2. 3 Powerful Recovery Strategies for Athletes via Kevin Neeld
I literally wake up before the sun rises, and go to sleep well after midnight most nights. I lift heavy almost every other day of the week. I don’t eat enough. But I still get things done, and despite working with kids almost every other day, I haven’t been sick, and if I have – I just get the terrible sniffles one day (often alleviated through a home remedy of kinds).
This post isn’t about a humblebrag, but rather pointing out that I’m still alive among other things. Essentially, recovery is a huge issue for me. If a candle could have three ends, I would be burning the candle at all of them. To put my recovery issues in a quick list:
1. I’m not getting enough sleep.
2. I’m probably not eating enough throughout my day.
3. I’m over-caffeinated.
4. I’m more likely overstressed than anything else.
Fortunately, I have the awareness that even if I am burning the candle at three ends, I can still increase my recovery ability through several ways.
1. I’m taking a Magnesium supplement (two pills) before bed every night. To take a note from Examine.com …
An improvement in sleep quality has been noted in persons with poor sleep quality, no studies assess persons with normal sleep function.
2. I’m more or less practicing intermittent fasting, which means I’m “stacking” my food more towards the night time, as opposed to the morning. (Essentially, I’m having a huge dinner at the end of the day, with snacks spread throughout my morning/afternoon as necessary.)
This more or less hinges on my whether or not I can cook during the day, along with having a little more free time towards the night to cook. This allows me to get more things done during the morning, and then subsequently relax towards the end of my day.
3. I do my best to limit caffeine intake on the weekends. I can make a few comments about putting my sympathetic nervous system (SNS) on overdrive (think “fight” or “flight” – SNS is the ability to regulate that reaction) – but at the end of the week, it comes down to learning to relax when I need to relax, and knowing when to #dowork and #getafterit. And yes, I just used hashtags on my blog.
(Admittedly, since this bulletpoint is largely subjective, there actually IS an app that can regulate your sympathetic response to stress – it is called BioForce HRV.)
4. Increase parasympathetic tone (think relaxing) through positional breathing exercises. With a recent seminar by the Postural Restoration Institute held at Endeavor Sports Performance this past weekend, the point was driven home further that through breathing in certain positions, lots of awesome stuff happens: namely tight muscles “let go” (sans the stretching), along with relaxing through breathing (think yoga breathing minus the Sanskrit names).
Long story short, and to take a line out of a Wu-Tang song: Diaphragm Rules Everything Around Me (D.R.E.A.M.), dolla, dolla, bill y’all.
While this post is mainly directed at those who are burning the midnight oil, these points can be made to help enhance recovery further as well.
Keep it funky.
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