Happy Hump Day guys 🙂
I thought i’d take it back to basics for this weeks post and get you to ask yourselves a few questions..
Are you really getting enough?
Water, Sleep and Recovery that is… 😉
It’s a new (school) year for me which means a dramatic increase in work load along side setting myself new personal goals, and if like me you’re ready to make some small changes which will have huge effects on your health & fitness, then read on..
So ask yourself this, are you giving your body the adequate amount of rest & recovery it really needs that allow you to see the results you thrive so hard to achieve? And are you staying properly hydrated regardless of what activity you’re doing?
Believe it or not, these three basic elements could be affecting your goals more than you think.
Let’s start with water…
We all understand the fundamental requirements of water in order for our organs to function properly, in simple terms, adequate hydration is essential to keep you alive and functioning because it is needed for basic metabolic reactions to occur. The better your organ systems function, the better you can perform and recover.
During exercise, your muscles release heat as they contract and this heat is released as sweat. The more you sweat, the more water you loose till you become dehydrated and start to impair your muscle’s ‘work capacity’ ..
A simple 2% reduction in body fluid actually reduces your performance by up to 20%!
So how much should you be drinking?
Well it’s still a matter of debate as are most topics in the fitness industry but the common ball mark we hear about is the ‘8 to 12’ cups per day.
Obviously this varies on your sex, size and activity level but it’s a good starting point.
Are you getting enough sleep and recovery?
A common problem a lot of people experience is lack of sleep related to over training.
Taking adequate rest is essential to allow your muscles and central nervous system to repair, recover and replenish its energy stores. When you overtrain, your body is subjected to even more stress, which results in hormone imbalances that can affect your sleep.
A key sign of overtraining is waking up at night, but why does this happen?
Your body is stressed and your levels of cortisol are elevated.
Cortisol is the commonly known ‘stress hormone’ which is released under both physical and mental stresses to the body.
Now, it’s important to be aware of the significance weight training places on your central nervous system, without adequate rest this can have detrimental effects to your health. By over training, your body in fact will;
*reduce protein synthesis
*increase muscle and bone breakdown
*alter thyroid function
All of which result in loss of muscle, increase fat storage and hormone imbalances
The effect recovery has upon your hormones and central nervous system is crucial, In order to optimize muscle repair and growth you simply must learn to relax in order to drop cortisol levels.
So what can you do to make sure you’re rested and getting good quality deep sleep?
- Firstly, it’s important to understand that there is nothing wrong with taking rest days!
- Learn to listen to your body- if you can’t lift/run/cycle as fast or far as normal your body is trying to tell your something.
- Do not underestimate the value of adequate rest, I guarantee you, you’ll feel stronger, physically and mentally refreshed if you make sure you’re giving yourself adequate recovery from your training.
And what about sleep?
It’s not just the hours, it needs to be good quality sleep of which the hours between 12am and 5am are most important.
Find & make time to relax and wind down in the hour before you sleep;
*Put your phone on flight mode
*Stop scrolling through social media
*Turn off Netflix
All things I know i’m guilty of too! 😛
If you really have problems sleeping then have a look at these factors;
*How much caffeine are you drinking throughout the day?
*Are you really eating enough?
Personally, I love lighting candles or incense and absolutely swear by supplementing with ZMA, which you may also consider, but that’s a topic for a different day…
If you’d like any help or advice in the mean time, feel free to message me or tweet me @vii240 🙂
So guys, make sure you listen to your body, keep hydrated and learn that it’s okay to rest.
Most importantly, do what works for you and no one else 🙂
Lots of Love,