Who loves feeling great? I know I do but most of us miss out on that 'feel good' factor because we don't give our bodies the TLC it yearns. I guarantee you that dedicating additional time to four simple categories of sleep, stretching, hydration and nutrition will increase your energy levels, decrease your recovery time between workouts and most importantly, lower your risk of injury. So what are you waiting for? Kickass and hop onto the happy road of rest and recovery in just 4 simple steps.
Sleep is the most important time to recover in order to repair your muscles and to aid your mental and hormonal wellbeing. Everyone's got different needs based on our different lifestyles but try to get at least 7 hours of good kip per night.
This is key! You need enough flexibility to move well and remain pain and injury free before, during and after your workouts. Include dynamic stretching in your warm-ups while saving static stretching for after your workouts. Below are my favourites.
Standing Quad Stretch
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Front Crossover Stretch
Drinking more water is vital for your health, good energy levels, better sports performance and recovery. In fact it aids all of our functions, including our digestive system. The simplest way to check hydration is to look at your pee. If it is clear to pale yellow (without having drank alcohol) you are hydrated. The darker in colour of your urine the less hydrated you are and the more water you need to drink. Headaches and drowsiness are also tell tale signs of dehydration.
How much water you should drink depends on the level of activity that you engage in, your physical health, your height and weight and whether it’s a hot day or not but I would always recommend that drinking water little and often is the best way to stay hydrated.
Everything we eat has the ability to make us feel great or make us feel awful and whilst I don't like to recommend a specific diet, it's proven that eating clean and balanced meals in moderation is effective to remaining healthy, improving our sports performance and aiding our bodies recovery process.
I know eating well in our society is not always easy as we go out to dinner, we grab lunch on the go and most social events have food. The key is achieving balance so you get the results you want but can also enjoy life. So my advice is to plan your meals as much as possible, try to choose restaurants with healthy food choices when eating out and have a go at making my smoothie recipe below for healthy fats, nutrients and an energy boost as a post workout treat: