Recovery is the new buzz word in the fitness industry. The science supports that, as we age, it takes our muscles, fascia and bone longer to recover from intense exercise. This means understanding the most effective ways to stimulate healing in our bodies is extremely valuable when it comes to being able to perform at the highest level at any age.
We have read the articles about “no pain no gain” in the past, but that idea is being replaced with the “train smarter” concept. This is because both professional and everyday athletes are getting better results when incorporating proven recovery techniques. If you want to train for life and perform better at any age you have to consider many factors. The secret is understanding your body’s blueprint, longevity map and aligning you with your goals.
Both your blueprint and longevity map include your basic structural makeup, mindset, healing spectrum, holistic lifestyle habits, nutritional needs and microbiome. These are integral human elements that make up who we are and how we live.
The three major blueprint/ longevity map sectors are:
Structural makeup: tissue density, tissue personality, joint alignment, bone position, functional muscle length
Mindset: intent, emotions, coping and stress management
Lifestyle habits: sleep, nutrition, rest, digest, recovery
Within each of these sectors are other variables that play a major role. Each variable can be explored to its most basic element. For each of us one recovery sector may be more prone to draining energy and slower recovery than others. It’s important for us to get to know ourselves so we can take specific actions, create specific habits and focus our attention on the factors which we need the most help. The truth is, to get sufficient recovery we need to use our knowledge of ourselves and which stressors in our everyday life might be building up and affecting our rate of recovery.
Here are Nimble’s top recovery tips!
Mindset: You have to have a recovery mindset to design the program and life that will leave you feeling fresh for high performance sport or life events.
Breathe and Meditation: Think of your breath and meditation practice as the foundation to your holistic training program! A consistent practice can be transformative to us humans and deepen our connection to our souls/spirit. Beyond our incessant thoughts lies the path to love, creativity and happiness. Being still and quiet stimulates the parasympathetic system which helps our bodies de-stress and heal. The benefits to a healthy breath and meditation practice are too many to mention in this short article but I challenge you to see for yourself and feel the evolution of your mind, body and soul.
Sleep: Sleep is the king of recovery! I’m sure you’re not surprised by this one but, the question is, are you nailing it?
Prevention: Being mindful to not let fatigue accumulate is far more effective than having to take a month to reset your hormone balance.
Organization: Build in sessions that are dedicated solely to working on mobility that is focused on joint function, posture and flexibility with strength.
Love your fascia: Your myofascial web is the fabric that holds your posture, can elevate or limit your movement and intelligently informs our bodies of every move me make and so much more. Getting body work, performing self-myofascial release and moving through all planes/vectors will keep your fascial web healthy and youthful.
Hydration: This seems simple but so many people are still missing the importance of this one habit. We are 70% water and every cell in our body utilizes it to remain healthy and alive. As we age, we are fighting the battle of not drying out! This done by taking a holistic approach to your training and self-care program and that program begins with water. It only takes 5% dehydration to affect your neuromuscular system. In Nimble Fitness we suggest drinking half your body weight in ounces and assessing your urine color. Your urine should be close to clear but not completely. Start your day with ten to fifteen ounces and then drink between meals throughout the day. You can add a pinch of sea salt, lemon or minerals to add structure to your water. This will assist with the body’s ability to utilize the intake and not simply flush through the system. Remember, you’re the expert on you, so listen to your body. If you have low energy, pain in your body and dis-ease, start with the low hanging fruit to support your health-hydration!
Nutrition: Honestly, we could write an entire piece on nutrition as it relates to recovery. Your relationship with food will either assist or slow your recovery from challenging workouts or events. Many foods create inflammation, and they should be the first to go. Eliminate the sugar, processed foods and foods that affect your digestion negatively. Your gut health is vital to your ability to restore and rebuild itself. You should be eating whole foods, with a good balance of micro-nutrients and be aware of whether you need more or less carbohydrates on any given day. We could go on extensively, but I hope this helps shift your mindset and actions to seeing recovery principles as a major part of your strength and conditioning results.
Start this year off with giving time to yourself! Your body will love you back for it.