Recovery is an important aspect of any workout, and it’s also something to consider in general each day. The demands of the activities and demands of our day-to-day lives are all things we need to make sure we recover from—and it’s not just our bodies that need to recover, our minds need to recover, too.
It’s important to take the time to do this; making time to take care of your OWN needs is good for you, and will enhance your ability to work hard and play hard every day. You can start by listening to your body to give it what it needs.
Examples of restorative actions that cause your body and mind to recover from daily activities:
- Get enough sleep—as much as you can.
- Stay positive! When you’re being self-critical, notice it and change that negative thought or comment into something positive.
- Focus on the bigger picture, instead of wondering and worrying about details.
- Meditate or do something else that you really enjoy that causes no stress whatsoever.
- Be proactive. Anticipate, plan and strategize things you can actively work on to be prepared and solve problems.
- If you need help, ask for it. Reach out to friends, family, or someone else you trust. (Yes, sometimes this is very difficult; do it anyway. The results may surprise you.)
- Keep moving. Move as often as you can, in as many different ways you can think of. Consider movement a treat for your body, rather than a chore. Mindset matters! That simple change of perspective can make a huge difference!
- Pay attention to your body and its signals. Pain, energy (or lack of it), digestive problems or your third migraine in a month are all signs your body is giving you that it needs something you aren’t giving it.
- Play! Yes, that’s still a thing, no matter how old you are. Have fun. It’s good for you!
Of course, there are a variety of things you can incorporate regularly into your day-to-day routine to help your body, mind and spirit recover on a consistent basis. In turn, your body and mind will be able to perform better with all of the demands and activities its subjected to each day.
Consistent recovery actions for your mind, body and soul can include:
- Eat lean protein at every meal
- Eat the proper amount of colourful fruits and vegetables each day
- Create a consistent sleep ritual—even if it includes a quick cat nap!
- Plan and prepare meals that are as nourishing as possible, containing whole foods
- Make time to do “non-exercise,” fun movements as often as possible. This could be a brisk walk, a bike ride, or playing catch with your child or dog. (Remember that “fun” thing mentioned earlier? Yeah, that!)
- Take a warm bath with Epsom salts (this is a great pre-bed ritual!)
- Get a massage—even if it’s just in the form of five minutes of foam rolling.
- Drink lots of fluids, especially water.
- Enjoy some quiet time out in nature.
- Take a break. Go for a walk, or take a dance break with a couple of your favourite tunes.
Take Recovery a Step Further with BCAAs
If you exercise often, you may want to consider taking your recovery a step further by using BCAAs. BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is required for nearly every function our bodies can perform. A great way to think of amino acids is like the Lego blocks for the body. BCAAs are available in most health food stores, or they can be ordered online in either powder form (to mix with water), or capsules. Be careful though, and make sure the BCAAs you choose have the following on the label:
- Leucine, valine and isoleucine. Any high quality BCAA supplement needs to contain these three items. (There may be a few others, but make sure these three are present.)
- No sugar. If a sugar or sugar derivative is listed on the label, choose a different brand.
- Free of chemicals. If impossible-to-pronounce, chemical junk is listed, choose a different brand.
The body can do some amazing things, and one of those things is that it can overcome stressors and make itself stronger, but in order to do this, it needs time to recover. “Down time” is an important factor in fitness for both mind and body.
I recently did a video in my Simply Fit with Lisa Austin Facebook group. You can watch it by clicking HERE. If you aren’t a member, you are welcome join us! Let’s keep the discussion going. 😉