I get it, you know you should be doing that “extra” training session but your body is saying “I don’t feel like it”! In this article we aim to provide some easy to apply tools that you can implement into your routine, so hopefully you will “feel” like doing that extra session.
I am giving you these hacks from my own experience. I choose the sport of Fitness, Crossfit as my sport. I am 50 (whoops 51!) and train 5-6 times a week. I would find it hard to do this many sessions or would not enjoy them as much if I did not implement these “hacks” into my routine.
You knew this was going to be on top of the list! You lose a lot of fluid during exercise, more than you think, and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating. A good guide is to check out the colour of your urine after you train, if it’s relatively clear that is good, if it is more yellow then drink up. For more information on Hydration in general read this awesome article.
- Healthy recovery foods
Depending on what your exercise goals are will depend on when you eat after training. We have written about the benefits of intermittent fasting here. If you train in the morning and you do not eat before training and delay it as long as possible afterwards the body will look for fuel to burn and that will be fat. So if you goal is to lose weight, try this. When you do eat, whether it be before or after exercise, it’s fairly simple, stick with whole foods, not processed food. Your body will absorb the macro and micro nutrients much faster and allow those nutrients to go to work on helping you recover.
We are designed to be moving most of the time while we are awake. I know this is hard for people with desk jobs, we will address that. First let’s talk about stretching. As a more mature athlete I know I do not perform at my best if I miss my morning stretching routine. I have a routine that moves most joints in the body and takes less than 10 mins, I learnt this from Br Ryan DeBell click here for a tutorial. It’s so important for recovery and to help prevent injury.
If you work at desk or don’t move much with your job, here are a couple of tips (you have probably heard these before, sometimes we need a reminder!) 1. Don’t sit for longer than 45 mins, just get up, walk to the water filter top up your glass and get back to it, take some deep breaths while you do it. 2. Even while seated, rotate your hands and feet every now and then, stretch your arms over head, move your feet up and down while seated, all of this will help with the blood flow to the muscles.
If I genuinely need a rest from training I love going for an easy walk, taking some deep breaths and getting the blood flowing, try it you will feel great afterwards and ready to get back to training the next day.
- Get good quality sleep
We have written a great article on sleep that you can read here. Follow these simple steps, it makes a difference. The better quality your sleep the better your body will recover. While we are in deep sleep the body produces human growth hormones to aid in the recovery. And if you have the time and you have been training hard, you may require a 15min “nana” nap a couple of times a week, that’s OK.
- Far Infrared Sauna
Using the sauna straight after training will help the body pump around fresh oxygenated blood this will aid with muscle recovery and repair. It can also be used as warm up prior to training, if the body is warm and the blood flowing before you get into your session this will help recovery. The sauna will also help manage pain in 2 ways. The deep penetrating heat therapy promotes blood flow and provides relief in the short term and by helping the body reduce the toxic load it helps reduce the inflammation. So get saunaing.
Importantly, listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs, when it needs it. The problem for many of us is that we don't listen to those warnings or we dismiss them with our own self-talk ("I can't be tired, I didn't run my best yesterday" or "No one else needs two rest days after that workout; they'll think I'm a wimp if I go slow today."). On the flip side be honest with yourself and don’t miss a session just because you don’t “feel” like it.