Last year I posted about a number of recovery strategies, which can be found here.
Earlier this week we talked about a Weekly Recovery Plan. We now move onto strategies that should be included each day. Whether you are training hard or not, these strategies should be employed to recover from daily life, work, stressful situations or simply to help you feel more productive each day.
The Daily Recovery Plan requires you to hit at least 50 points each day while extra points will provide added benefits.
There is no special equipment or facilities required yet you do need to be mindful of setting/reaching daily targets in many of them.
Enjoy Great Sleep
I’m often asked about pre-workout and what’s best for giving you a ‘push’ before training but ideally you wouldn’t require anything if you got enough sleep. The emphasis should also be on quality sleep. Lying in bed, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram does not count as quality sleep and staring at the blue screen will detract from the quality of sleep you do get.
Setting a routine that helps you wind down from the day is key to making the most of your sleep. Putting the phone on flight mode, setting work aside in advance of bedtime, avoiding caffeine in the evening are all helpful in establishing a routine. I personally enjoy ZMA tablets about half an hour before bed and I know many more who sip a cup of chamomile tea or do some light stretching to help wind down.
It’s most important to establish a routine that suits you and helps maximise your own sleep.
I won’t go into too much detail here, as there have been countless articles and books written on how best to approach eating for performance, recovery and health. I have posted in the past about getting the right amount of calories here and macronutrients here that will go a long way in helping recovery. If you wish to go into further detail then contact me via email for an in-depth consultation.
Finding simple recipes that you enjoy preparing and eating will help get the nutrients you require while still having a healthy and positive relationship with food.
Plan some “YOU” Time
Training is usually spent doing what a coach or manager tells you. Work is often the same whether instruction comes from a boss or clients. It is very important that we spend some time with ourselves doing things we enjoy. This will be very specific to the individual but 10-20 minutes a day of book-reading, listening to music, watching Netflix or walking the dog provides a great chance to relax and be in control of our own thoughts and actions. Spending quality time with yourself will also benefit the quality of sleep you receive later that day.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
I often see people in shock when they get sick or injured, yet when we take a look backwards, many subtle signs are noticed:
- Feeling a bit tired or low on energy for a few days beforehand.
- Pains in the knee, lower back, shoulder or generally achey muscles.
- Weight is slightly reduced and finding it hard to eat as much.
- Feeling irritable or a little sadder than usual.
These are all signs that your body is not adapting to the stresses placed upon it due to changes in routine. These changes can be a combination of many things such as harder training, reduced sleep, harsher weather conditions, extra work responsibilities or stressful personal relationships.
I usually recommend that people monitor each point of wellbeing by rating it out of 10.
For example, if you are generally an 8-9 across the board then suddenly mood and energy levels drop to 5/6 then you are highly at risk of picking up an injury or becoming ill. This is a strong sign that you need to spend extra time recovering from whatever is causing you stress before it’s too late and you have to deal with a pulled hamstring or head-cold.
Whether increased sporting performance is your goal or you simply want to feel better in your general day-to-day life, I highly recommend this monitoring plan.
Feel free to share it with teammates, athletes, coaches or friends to help them perform better in whatever they are trying to achieve.
Any questions find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.