Why Recovery Is So Important
Without taking the proper time to recover, you will eventually burn out.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
Staying consistent with your habits and striving to achieve your goals is an effective mindset to maintain, however, have you ever considered the consequences of the non-stop grind? Without taking the proper time to recover, you will eventually burn out.
If you are feeling overworked and unable to get your energy back, turning to your habits in sleep, nutrition, movement, and stress management can be eye-opening as to why you may be feeling so drained. Let’s dive a little deeper…
The human body was made to sleep.
Yes, you read that correctly. The hours you spend sleeping is the “rest and digest” period that allows the body to slow down from the stimulation of the day, getting your body ready to tackle the new morning. Sleeping well has so many benefits, including:
- Boosting the immune system
- Strengthening your heart
- Improving your mood
- Improving focus and memory
- Supporting muscle recovery after exercise
Although often neglected for other tasks that seem more pressing, achieving adequate sleep should be a priority in order to promote longevity and good health throughout all areas of life. So, get your 8 hours!
We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase: “You are what you eat.”
The foods we eat are made of tiny building blocks that are utilized for structure, energy, and function throughout the body. The carbs you eat are utilized as the energy that allows you to think, move, and grow. The fats you eat support the function of the cells and allow for prolonged energy storage. The proteins you eat help build your muscles and are utilized for enzymatic reactions all throughout the body.
Integrating quality foods into the diet will work wonders in allowing your body to bounce back after periods of high-intensity exercise or labor. If you are hoping to achieve optimum performance in any area of your life, good nutrition is a key place to turn to.
Contrary to how stiff and sore your body may feel after exercise, letting your body be still may be the worst thing you can do to delay recovery. Instead, keeping your body moving is the best way to allow your muscles to restore themselves and prepare for new activities. This movement does not need to be intense nor strenuous – in fact, slow dynamic stretching and going for a walk can be great ways to keep the muscles loose without overworking them. No matter how sore you may feel, trust us when we say movement will make it better!
Everyone experiences moments of stress during their life – it’s all a part of the human experience. Although we cannot control the stressors that enter our lives, we can control how we respond to them.
Humans are social animals, so it is natural to sometimes find stress in relationships, interpersonal conflict, feeling a lack of community, social exclusion, or feelings of loneliness. One key aspect to remember is that everyone feels this way sometimes. Rather than letting the feelings consume you, take the time to reach out to an old friend or family member and make moves in a positive direction.
- Existential Stressors
Existential stress is also a universal human experience. If you have ever felt hopeless, lack meaning, or have difficulty coping with life transitions, remember that you are not alone. Acknowledge that your feelings are there and that they are valid and that it is okay to not feel okay sometimes. If you connect with a loved one, you’ll likely find that they feel the same.
- Mental Stressors
In a digital world where comparison is more accessible than ever, you may feel overwhelmed by decision fatigue, information overload, perfectionism, cognitive impairment, dealing with multiple tasks, or even switching languages. A great way to tackle these fears is to identify the cause of your distress and break it down. Usually, by pinpointing the cause of your feelings, you will better be able to overcome them.
- Environmental Stressors
Sometimes it isn’t the internal world creating stress in our lives, but rather the noise, light, pollution, temperature, discrimination, lack of safety, inaccessibility, or distractions of the environment we are placed in. Often our environment is not by choice and maybe less than ideal for our needs, but it is important to remember that you are in control of your reaction to the world outside.
- Emotional Stressors
Our emotions can be extremely powerful – especially the negative ones, such as grief, anger, shame, fear, and disgust. Sometimes our poor emotional self-regulation can lead to additional stress and guilt. Learning to take a breath and pause before reacting emotionally is easier said than done, but if you are mindful to be more stoic in your reaction to the external world, you can improve your happiness not just now, but throughout the rest of your life.
- Physical Stressors
Sometimes the stressors in your life can’t be ignored, such as physical stressors like injury, illness, overtraining, and poor toxic substances in the body. Physical stressors can be debilitating, but only to the extent that you let them. By having a positive mindset about your condition, not only will your body heal and recover faster, but the process will be more enjoyable for you – because you decided to make it that way.
Humans are not invincible. We are capable of achieving great things, but only when we respect our bodies and allow them to rest and recover. People sometimes neglect the recovery period because they feel too busy or stressed to take the time for themselves, when in reality, prioritizing recovery is the key to optimizing performance throughout all areas of life. If you want to learn more about optimizing your life, check out Outrun Gravity for actionable tips and tricks.