How to optimize recovery

When it comes to seeing fitness results, recovery is one of the most critical components. Without proper recovery your body will not be able to adapt and improve over time. When you workout you’re giving your body a stressor, I know everyone says stress is a bad thing but the right kind of stress can be a good thing. When you workout hard you have stressed your body, and it’s going to need to recover from that stress. When your body is fully recovered after you have stressed it through a workout you will come back stronger and better.

So how do we optimize the recovery part of our lifestyle? There are multiple ways to help your body recover but the number one factor is going to be sleep. You see your body grows bigger muscles, releases proper hormones, increases metabolism, and overall is healthier when you get good quality sleep. Think about how good you feel after you’ve had a restful nights sleep, you’re energized, your mood is improved and you’re ready to take on the day!

In this article I’m going to share my top sleeping tips to help you get a restful night sleep, and be ready to crush it in your workout the next day!

Tip #1: as soon as you wake up in the morning go outside and take in the natural light. Make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses, look up into the sky and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t stare directly in the sun, but let your eyes adjust to the natural daylight. The reason this is so important is as soon as your eyes take in the natural light, This signals your brain to start producing melatonin (the sleepy hormone) exactly 12 hours after you take the light in. 

Tip #2: turn off electronic devices (tv, phone, computer, etc) two hours before bedtime. The problem with electronics is They are very stimulating to your brain. For example say you’re watching a TV show about a crime investigation, all that action is getting your brain riled up, and is not conducive to getting into a sleepy state. A better choice would be to do some reading, this will help you unwind and relax making it easier to fall asleep.

Tip #3: stretching and deep breathing. 5 to 10 minutes before you lay down for bed do some easy stretching and some deep breathing while you hold the poses. What we want to do is shift your nervous system from the fight or flight (sympathetic) system to the rest and digest (parasympathetic) system. The reason for this is because, when your nervous system is relaxed you will be able to drift off into a deep sleep more easily. Think about it, if you’re laying in bed stressing about something you have to do tomorrow it takes you way longer to fall asleep. So the deep breathing and stretching allows your body and mind to relax so you’re prepared for a restful night.

Tip #4: get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Put these blue light blocking glasses on two hours before bed. The reason being is blue light sends signals to your brain that it is still daytime and it does not need to produce melatonin yet. Back in cavemen times before we had artificial lights when the sun went down, all there was was fire and the nighttime sky. Fire does not produce blue light, and so for these early humans their brains produced melatonin as soon as the sun set. Our brands haven’t evolved yet to the blue light, so in order to get into the deepest sleep possible you should block out the blue light at least two hours before bed. 

Tip #5: Make your room as dark and cold as possible when you’re going to bed. Your eyes can still detect light even when they’re closed so this may throw off some of the signals in your brain to put you in a deeper sleep. As far as the temperature of the room, you want your room to be cold because your body has to bring its core temperature down in order to fall asleep. So if you’re in a cold room it’s going to be easier for your core temperature to go down.

These are my top five tips for getting the best night sleep possible. If you really want to be on top of your game and get into the best shape you possibly can, sleep is going to be imperative for you. Try out these tips and let me know which one helps you the most! If you need a workout program that’s going to get you into the best shape of your life click the link below: