The Recovery Tool Your Body Needs
Written on January 20, 2017, by Pablo Matos, CSCS
In athletic performance, if you want to get the edge, you have to, without a doubt, be able to recover (regain normal health conditions). The faster you can recover and get ready for another explosive bout, the more success you will have on the field.
Think of it like a domino effect. If you recover more efficiently , you reduce the risk of injury. If you reduce the risk of injury, you can train more consistently throughout the year. When you can train more without becoming overly fatigued, you can get stronger and faster. If you… Starting to see the series of events? Recovery is where the money is.
Now, There are countless ways to recover. Ranging from anything like float tanks, ice baths, all the way to wine baths. Yeah, wine baths are a thing. However, many people overlook the method that gives a metric boat load of benefits, and is the cheapest to help you recover…
Our body is constantly being pumped full of stress, and stimuli during our daily lives. This causes our body to be in a constant fight or flight response. This is our sympathetic nervous system keeping us going throughout day to day activities. With our body in a constant sympathetic state. It eventually gets taxed, and guess what? We have to sleep.
This shifts our fight or flight to rest and digest, or the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system then restores our body back to a “normal state ” of health, so we can restart our sympathetic nervous system when we wake up. #Science
Sleep, specifically in the REM stages of sleep, is the time when the brain’s IT Technicians can run maintenance to restore our bodies functions to optimal conditions.
When we deny ourselves of multiple sleep cycles, it causes a detriment to our health and performance. Lack of sleep negatively affects our ability to make split second decisions, our memory, athletic performance, and even risk of injury. When we look at being a good athletes these are all qualities we want to improve on not make worse.
Here are some quick tips to help get better and more efficient sleep.
1. Put The Phone Down At Night
Why? that night time light that shines of the phone actually inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that aides our circadian rhythm, from being produced. In other words, your body believes the sun is still out, so it thinks you shouldn’t be sleeping. When you get home from school or work, be present. Share moments with your family, eat dinner, share thoughts. Leave the phone for work or before school. Once you get home at night put your phone down one hour before you go to bed. It will make a difference long term.
2. A lot of light early, A Lot Less At Night
Throughout the day starting from when you wake up, Get as much natural light as you possibly can. The at night when in bed, avoid light as much as possible. Remember, we are not nocturnal, we were meant to be out when the sun is out. There is a ton of reasons the sun is our friend, but to keep it short, vitamin D is one of the main reasons. It does the body a lot of good.
3. Get More Sleep
Pretty much a given, but its astounding how many people underestimate the amount of hours you sleep. Get at LEAST seven hours of sleep every night. Make it a habit. How do you feel after a long nights rest? Pretty awesome right? If more sleep makes you feel good , and less sleep makes you feel groggy… Sometimes common sense isn’t always so common.
If you want to perform better on the field, create better sleeping habits, avoid artificial light, and get more sleep. It will end up being more bang for your buck, than spending hundreds of dollars on massages, Therapies, and horse placenta. Yeah, that’s also a thing.
“Optimizing sleep to maximize performance: implications and recommendations for elite athletes.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.