In an industry that has a strong focus on exercise and nutrition, the subject of recovery is often underestimated. We already know that our movement habits and eating habits, can significantly impact our ability to recover; however, optimal recovery is more than just manipulation of movement and nutrition alone.
At EVO, we believe that the foundation for recovery health should be built on three main principles, each of which should be practiced alongside good movement and eating habits. These principles are: physical rest, stress management and light exposure.
- PHYSICAL REST – most of us consider sleep as physical rest; while this is true, it’s also important to consider quality of sleep. Deep sleep patterns are associated with better recovery and increased performance. Physical rest doesn’t always mean sitting still, and may also include light activities such as walking. Finally, meditation can also offer a form of physical (and mental/emotional) rest when practiced daily.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT – short and long term stress is now widely accepted as having a negative impact on health. Chronic anxiety or depression can lead to poor recovery, despite regular exercise and good eating habits. This is often compounded by the fast culture of modern living, leaving little time to address stress, until it starts to affect our bodies. Simple stress management techniques may include meditation, breath control, and frequent work breaks.
- LIGHT EXPOSURE – one of the biggest factors that affects our physical (and mental) recovery is over-exposure to light. From mobile phones and tablets to laptops and TVs, modern environments are full of light. While there is nothing wrong with light, over-exposure to light beyond later in the day can disrupt sleep patterns and reduce ability to recover optimally. Where possible, look for opportunities to dim lights later at night, and reduce your use of any light-emitting gadgets.
Kesh Patel, Fitness Director EVO Europe