What are you doing during the 23 other hours of your day when you do not have all of us coaches breathing down your neck? Are you still living healthy and well outside of Elite Fitness Plus? The other 23 hours Mike Davis spoke about in the beginning of this newsletter are so important. Now, looking at the 1 hour a day you do and should be working out, recovery is the most important aspect of your fitness routine. Without recovering properly, those hours of busting your tail in our facility are not maximized.
The “Big Three” of recovery consists of Sleep, Hydration and Nutrition. By now, you all should have a pretty firm grasp on Nutrition. We have spoken about it several times in previous Newsletters, and have had 1 on 1 conversations in person about it. However, the timing of your meals also plays a very important part in recovery. Other than breakfast, your pre and post-workout meals are the most important meals of the day. You need to give your body the proper, healthy fuel before your workout to ensure you can maximize your exercises. A car cannot run without gas; neither can your body. Your post-workout meal is equally as important. A well balanced meal consisting primarily of carbohydrates and proteins is vital within 1.5 hours of your workout. This is termed the “anabolic window”. This timeframe is when your body is in overdrive, looking for all the macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) it can find and putting them towards the rebuilding process. Carbohydrates will replenish your body’s energy stores and proteins will rebuild the broken down muscle tissue. If you do not have time for a full meal, we recommend a post-workout protein shake which gives you the necessary carbs and proteins to recover. OK. OK. Enough about nutrition, don’t go falling asleep on me just yet.
Are you awake?! WAKE UP! We’re going to talk about sleep! Mom always said to get 8 hours a night, and she was right. Moms do always know best. The best way for you to recover is sleep. Bottom line. Working out, working, spending time with family, cleaning house, and preparing food are all very, very wearing. If you add lack of sleep on top of this, you are burning the candle at both ends. Personally, I feel that 6 hours is the minimum I need to function properly. There are numerous studies and research projects that have been done on sleep and sleep cycles, and it appears that we sleep in 90 minute cycles. This cycle gives us a full 20 minutes of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which is expected to be the most restorative type of sleep. If you are looking to get the most restorative sleep possible, try for 6-9 hours per night. If you cannot get a full 6 hours at night, supplementing with a nap during the day has also been shown to improve mental alertness, sleep quality, and mood. A nap of 10-20 minutes is the perfect length. Anything longer than 20 minutes of sleep time, and your body starts to transition into another phase of sleep which may leave you feeling groggy and even more tired when you wake up. The term is called sleep inertia, and it may cause you to function at a reduced capacity for 15-30 minutes after waking. Your body doesn’t like to leave jobs half-done. If you are going to supplement with a nap, take a quick cat nap of 10-20 minutes or take a full-cycle power nap of 90 minutes!
Last but not least, let’s talk water. Water is your lifeline, more important than food. Your body needs water to digest carbs, proteins and fats. Your body needs water to cool you down. Your body needs water to pump your blood. Your body is 60% water! I hope you know water is important! The average male needs about 3 liters (13 cups) of water per day while the average female needs 2.2 liters (9 cups). Of course, these numbers vary based on outside temperature, activity level, nutritional intake. The most consistent way to tell is by the color of your urine. The color should be clear to the color of straw at the darkest. Anything darker and you need to drink more water! While exercising, the best way to keep track of water lost (sweat) is your weight. Weigh yourself before exercise and after, the lost weight is all water weight and should be replaced accordingly, especially during the hot summer months. One cup of water is about 8 ounces. So for every pound lost during exercise, you need to drink 16 ounces of water!
Remember, consistency and balance is key with everything in life! Finding the right balance for you is the fun part! As far as exercise and wellness goes, please do yourself a favor and recover properly! It will help you feel better, perform better, look better and BE better! Sleep, nutrition, hydration. The “Big 3.” If you would like additional help locking down proper habits, feel free to ask a Coach. That’s what we’re here for!
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