How well you recover is more important than how hard you work. Hmm that sounds a little backwards, but if we look at what training does - tears down, builds back up - that rebuilding can only happen in a state of recovery. Physical or mental - does not matter - rest and recovery are vital parts of all growth.
Recovery is about helping your body do its job. For most of us with busy and often-stressful lives, recovery won't happen by accident. It has to be actively chosen. And when we have decided that rebuilding and replenishing is a priority, we must take the actions to make it happen.
Choosing purposeful recovery
Think about all the things that could help your whole body and mind recover from the demands of your life and your activities. If you like, imagine a time when you felt most fully recovered, re-invigorated, and replenished. What were you doing?
Practicing active recovery could mean:
making sure you get lean protein at every meal, consistently
making sure you get enough colorful fruits and veggies everyday, consistently
working on your sleep ritual, consistently (maybe grabbing quick naps)
planning and preparing meals that are as nourishing as possible
doing "non-exercise", fun movement as often as possible, such as a brisk walk outside in the sunshine, a relaxed bike ride, or tossing the Frisbee around with your kid or dog (Remember playing? That's still a thing people are allowed to do even in Covid-19 days!)
doing an extra 5 minutes of mobility work before working out, or even to start and end your day
taking a warm bath with Epsom salts (a good pre-bed ritual option)
getting a massage, even if it's just 5 minutes of foam rolling
taking some quiet time out in nature, even if it's just sitting on a park bench watching the clouds for a few minutes
As always, work with your body not against it.
Figuring out the right recovery strategies for you means experimenting with new strategies, and paying attention to what's working for you. If you try a new strategy, how will you know if it's working? Maybe...
Fatigue and muscle soreness after workouts is less dramatic
You wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed and energized
You can get through a full afternoon feeling alert and focused
Paying attention to body cues like those is building your toolkit for sustainability and longevity of your new lifestyle. It's knowing what you need to perform your best, because you've proven to yourself that you know how to do that.
That's the opposite of blindly defaulting to familiar rules and routines.
But one thing remains the same: Keep it simple and do-able.
Try some form of purposeful recovery every day. Start by focusing on just a little bit more recovery - add it in!
DISCLAIMER: Information contained within this website or any resources not limited to videos and or eBooks, is not to be considered medical advice and is for informational purposes only. You are responsible for your own health. BK Kissinger, CHC, NASCM CT, Wolfpack Triathlon and Nutrition Coaching, Brave Soul Coaching, Jenniferlyn Kryvicky, M. Sc., LN, CFSP, CHC Shine Total Health, LLC and The Shine Lab are information only resources and you should always seek advice from your medical professional before starting any physical or nutritional program.