These days we are often bombarded with the latest fitness craze and fancy recovery tool, when 99% of us just need to focus on these 3 simple cost-effective strategies.
The amount of sleep that we need is individualised, however most people will benefit from sleeping until you feel refreshed, whether that means 7 hours or 10 hours get it in. Sleep is time when your body recovers. Some of the awesome benefits of sleep are:
- Blood pressure drops.
- Breathing becomes slower.
- Muscles are relaxed.
- Blood supply to muscles increases, which allows tissue growth and repair to occur.
- Energy is restored.
- Hormones are released; in particular: growth hormone and testosterone. Both are essential for muscle growth and development.
Taking naps throughout the day is a great way to increase your exposure to the benefits above. We feel sleep is the most important part of recovery and the cheapest and easiest strategies to implement.
“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.” — Carrie Snow, American Stand-Up Comic
Drinking water has a long list of health benefits….but that means drinking plenty of water between 2-3L a day.
Combining drinking plenty of water with proper nutrition, your body will be able to operate at peak performance.
- Improved metabolism
- Increased fat loss and growth of lean muscle mass.
- Improved energy and brain function.
- Assistance with health conditions such as constipation, UTI’s, kidney stones, skin hydration etc.
Without decent hydration, your body will store water for use by vital organ like the brain. Water is also necessary for optimal exercise; if you ever feel like you had a bad day in the gym, you might want to look back at how much water you drank that day. You will likely notice a correlation between optimal hydration and performance.
If you want to keep things simple, these guidelines should apply to most people:
- Drink often enough throughout the day for clear, pale urine.
- When you’re thirsty, drink.
- During high heat and exercise and other mentioned indications, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the lost or extra needed fluids.
- That’s it!
Nutrition just like sleep will differ from person to person, depending on many factors. CrossFit’s food recommendation is, “base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.” This simple approach has proven to be effective for many. Keeping your grocery shopping to the perimeter of the grocery store and avoiding the middle aisles is a great way to better your health.
Following the “CrossFit food recommendation” is a good starting point for most people. For those who exercise more than normal, you could add more starchy items such as rice and sweet potatoes to your diet.
By following these simple strategies, you will give your body the chance to recover and make improvements in both body composition and performance.