Recovery is one the most important elements to a fitness program that a lot of people overlook. Proper recovery can allow you to perform better, decrease your chance for injury, and create a sustainable fitness regime that will avoid burn out.
Natural ways we can ensure proper recovery are:
- Sleeping better
- A proper warm up and cool down
- Managing mental health/stress
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Managing your training days/loads.
Secondary ways we can recover are:
- Cold Therapy
- Compression Therapy
- Float Tanks
- Chiropractic Care
Try to start out with the aspects of recovery that are in your control and affordable. Let’s talk about sleep, nutrition, and hydration.
SLEEP: Sleep plays an enormous role in allowing your body to recover properly. The first reason relates to blood flow. As you fall into the deeper stages of sleep, your muscles will see an increase in blood flow, which brings along oxygen and nutrients that help recover and repair muscles and regenerate cells.
Hormones play a role, too. When the body enters its deep sleep stage known as non-REM sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth. When the body doesn’t get enough rest, the secretion of this growth hormone declines, and it can become harder for your body to recover.
The hormone prolactin, which helps regulate inflammation, is also released while sleeping. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to experience inflammation in the body, which can make injury recovery more difficult while also putting you at risk of further injury.
Many of us don’t prioritize our sleep. We grind out each day in hopes doing the same regime will lead to us waking up feeling different but that doesn’t happen. Try to set an alarm at the same time each night to remind yourself to “unplug”. This means 20 minutes before bed you are not looking at your phone, computer, tv, etc. Also, try to
NUTRITION: You may have heard the saying, “You can’t outtrain a bad diet” and that is absolutely true. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or perform better, your body runs optimally when you give it the fuel that it needs to move and move well.
CrossFit HQ says it best, in their nutrition guidelines, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” You don’t have to change your entire diet right away to this style of eating but start with one element at a time, for example, eat one protein at each meal. Then try to add half your plate full of veggies and over time you will begin to be a healthier version of yourself.
This is a great aspect to your recovery to focus on if you are not seeing the results you desire.
HYDRATION: Drink H20. Try for 2-3 glasses at each meal and see how you feel.
Recovery is multi-faceted. There are many variables to consider but the key is to start somewhere. Consider the following aspects of recovery 1 credit,
- Protein at 3 meals in a day = 1 Credit
- 8 Glasses of H20 in a day = 1 Credit
- 7-8 Hours of Sleep= 1 Credit
- 1 Meditation Session = 1 Credit
Start by trying to accumulate 2-3 of these in a day. See how you feel. See how your training goes. If you need help, the best way to make improvements is to find a coach to help guide you through the areas that need the most help. At Thrive Fitness, we have coaches who are certified in fitness, mindset coaching, nutrition counseling and much more. Reach out to us when you are read to make a change!