My Top 3 Unconventional Ways to Recover
Burnout. You’ve heard the term before- whether it is referring to a high school junkie or a stressed out colleague at work who quits his job cold turkey to move to the mountains of Peru. I am not proud to say it but I have been there. With the craziness of my job as a trainer, my own personal workouts (which are nothing less than kick ass), family and social stress, I was once in a place where everything was just too much. At this point, about a year ago, I started to get injured and I wasn’t getting any stronger, I felt more fatigued and overall, my quality of life was just a stress ball. My body wasn’t able to fully recover from my workouts.
When it comes to training, recovery is just as important as the workout itself. If you do not allow the body to recover fully, you will never see the results that you want. The human body works like a symphony. When each part is working together, the outcome will be optimal and flawless. But the second a component is missing, the results will stop.
Recovery- “a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength”.
When you add up the stress from your 30 clean and press for time workout, meeting with your boss, relationships and probably the craziest of all, your mental stress of everything running through your brain, you have a hell of a lot to recover from. Even good stress from things you love to do (like working out) is still perceived by the body as a stressor. In order to rebuild and regenerate to get stronger and stay healthy, your body needs to shut down to rebuild.
It is essential and often overlooked. If your results are slowed, you’re feeling low in energy or are starting to lose motivation, these are signs that your body needs a break. I’ve been there before and it is challenging to take a step back. But in the end, the extra recovery time will get you ahead in your strength and training results.
Here are my top 3 unconventional ways to recover:
Find a state of meditation.
This doesn’t mean that you have to sit in lotus position for an hour. The practice of meditation is something that can be applied almost anywhere and is unique to the individual. It is the act of shutting off your thoughts and slowing down the mind. Giving your brain and central nervous system time to unwind and relax, just like your muscles need to do. This can be through sitting quietly outside in nature, deep breathing, slow paced yoga or even just taking a long, hot shower. Allowing the body to slow down through these practices will kick in the recovery hormones to rebuild your muscles and restore your body.
Fuel your body.
Fueling your body correctly is essential to recovery. The foods we ingest are going to be the building blocks for our muscles to grow. If we do not feed it well, our body will not respond positively to the anabolic stress put on it. Hydration, green vegetables, healthy fats and grassfed, organic proteins are going to be your best bet. Spend the extra money, take the extra time to prepare. It’s always worth it.
Now you have a reason to get into bed early. Being intimate with someone is one of the best ways to recover for many reasons. It releases hormones that lower cortisol which when elevated will lead to inflammation. Having sex and connecting with someone you love is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating acts that we can partake in as human beings. With pleasure comes relaxation of the body and mind- exactly what we are aiming for. And of course, we all need more love in our lives.
Listen to your body and pick up on its’ cues. If you are having trouble bouncing back from your workouts or you are feeling fatigued and unmotivated, take a look at your recovery. Is there any in your day? It may be helpful to schedule specific recovery activities to be sure you actually do them. Show your body love- you only get one.