Exercise or any other physical exertion causes changes in the body including muscle tissue breakdown, depletion of energy stores, and fluid loss. Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. If you do not care for yourself, you will have a difficult time recovering from training, and you will not get the results you want to see.
Sleep improves mental health, muscular recovery, and hormonal balance. Most athletes need around seven to ten hours of sleep each night. The amount of required sleep also depends on your lifestyle, workouts, and your genetic makeup.
- Sleep in natural light
- Fresh air and cooler temperatures improve quality of sleep
- Go to bed before midnight
- Use a white background noise
I don’t know about you, but I’m a very sweaty gal when I workout, which means I lose a lot of water. Water helps regulate your body temperature, cushions vital organs, lubricates joints and transports nutrients to keep you healthy. I drink 2-3L of water a day, and try to drink 3-4L on a day that I exercise. I keep it simple and stick to plain water, but if I feel very thirsty/dehydrated, I will drink 1 cup of organic coconut water.
- Stick with water
- Coconut water contains natural electrolytes
- Drink water 15 minutes before eating
- Always carry a water bottle
It’s easy to forget to stretch, but you should seriously prioritize it. Stretching improves blood flow, reduces risk of injury, improves range of motion, decreases stress, and improves posture. I like to include dynamic (moving) stretches into my warm-up and commit to 15 minutes of static stretches after my workout.
- Don’t stretch cold muscles – warm up first
- Hold each stretch 15-30 seconds
- Try to stretch a minimum 15 minutes
- Don’t hold your breath – breathe regularly
- Don’t bounce while stretching
- Foam roll
Everything you eat has the ability to heal or poison your body. You really are what you eat. You should try to eat balanced meals consisting of whole foods. I try to buy organic, in season and local whenever possible. Remember that food is fuel, and depriving yourself of fuel will not get you to where you want to go. I always consume a meal containing protein and both simple and complex carbs as my pre and post workout meal. A bowl of oatmeal, with a scoop of protein powder and mashed banana is a great pre workout meal.
- Buy organic, in season, and local when possible
- Eat whole foods
- Invest in a multivitamin and Omega 3 supplement
- Carbs are your friend – Eat them pre/post workout
- Eat the rainbow – different coloured fruits/vegetables provide different nutrients