Are You Recovering?

3 Things to Ensure Maximum Recovery and Results

Some of you are finding that your new years goals are becoming harder and harder to follow. We spend so much time channeling our passion to improve and work harder that we can often forget the other side of the coin. This is a story of yin and yang. Our inner drive to get better is the yin and without an equally balance yang, or recovery strategies, you will find yourself burnt out and failing. The first step in recovery must be prioritizing sleep. Here are 3 things you can do to improve your sleep habits.

  1. Have a schedule. Go to bed and wake up within a 30 minute window every day. Waking up early during the week and sleeping in on the weekends is ruining your circadian rhythm, or biological clock that helps you recovery at night and be alert during the day. For example, John Doe goes to sleep between 10:00-10:30pm every night and wakes up between 6:00-6:30am. 
  2. Cut the screen time. Avoid all screens for 1 hour before bed time. Blue light from electronics blocks the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone, from the brain. You do not need to send that last email or check your Facebook feed for the 5th time. If you work late nights and screens are unavoidable, I recommend you invest in a quality pair of blue light blocking glasses.
  3. Get 30 minutes of sunlight or red light stimulation per day. Both of these types of light waves can increase the secretion of melatonin at night to result in deeper more restful sleep. 

Fueling Your Recovery

The next important thing for recovery is proper nutrition. Nutrition is often the last thing people worry about when thinking about an upcoming week. Here are some steps to help you make quality nutrition choices during a busy week.

Meal Prep:

  1. Choose 1 day out of the week to go to the store. This will soon become your schedule and you will have no problem sticking to this. 
  2. Choose 2 days out of the week that you will cook food for the upcoming days. My favorite days to prep meals are Sunday and Wednesday. If you do not have the time, there are many companies that will prep meals for you. 
  3. Always have meals ready. This will decrease the likelihood of quick meals, like fast food, that will leave you tired and unable to focus due to hormone and blood sugar crashes. 

Understanding that life requires balance is key to staying on track. You can only focus on the yin or drive for so long before the yang requires attention. Use the 6 steps we talked about to balance the yin and yang that is your life and, as always, keep moving.

HPC Doctors and Staff

Programming Your Progression

4 Key Concepts to Ensure Resolution Success

As Dr. Ian discussed last week in his vlog about goal setting (Guarantee Your Success), we must have a series of goals that help us achieve the ultimate goal. But that isn’t enough to keep us on target. We need to think about the process of goal accomplishment.

This segment will focus on the 4 Key Concepts that will help to Ensure Resolution Success. And though we will discuss physical fitness, these concepts should translate to any New Years resolution. They are as follows:

  • Frequency
  • Variance
  • Balance
  • Longevity

Frequency

How often you do something will dictate youf benefit, but there is no one size fits all approach. We always consult with our patients that exercising 2x/week will work to maintain your current level of health. While this may sound bad, it isn’t necessarily the wrong thought. Everyone is different and if 2x/week is all that you can fit in, then staying the same is always better than getting worse.

Training 3x/week is always a good place to start. And you will see great results in the first few weeks. Unfortunately, improvements start to stall and the slow and steady nature of improvement starts to sink in. This too isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The turtle won the race and if this is what you have to work with just remember to hang in for the long haul and remember that it will take time and consistency.

The sweet spot for fast improvements is found in training 4-5x/week. You will feel the exhilaration of the big improvements early on, but you will also see steady improvements that are noticeable either month to month or even week to week. Yet, this might not be the right frequency for everyone. Training this often without guidance can lead to premature overuse injuries. Something that can kill your progression. Be cautious if this is your intended frequency, especially if you are new to the game.

Variance

Variety is the spice of life and that is also true with your fitness progression. Nobody likes doing the same thing over and over again. In fact, that is part of the definition of hell. Don’t go down that path and don’t let your body suffer along the way.

Your body loves variance as much as your mind. If you are running, make sure to pick different routes, routines, distances, speeds, and cycles. That’s right, avoid doing the same thing over and over again. Your mind will stay engaged and your body will not get enraged!

Balance

Most people know you should eat a balanced diet. But many don’t realize that they should also have a balanced workout routine. For as much as you run you should strength train. For as much as you play a sport, you should do yoga or mobility exercises. For as much as you do sprint repeats, your should do circuit training.

If your mind just exploded, calm down. The idea here is to not get dialed in to one thing. Avoid being a specialist because most specialists have major issues and are riddled with vulnerabilities. Instead be competent in multiple areas so you are more protected and prepared for all the demands of life.

Longevity

The final concept is longevity and honestly it is the most important. You could select the perfect frequency for you. Your workout routine could be perfectly varied and balanced. Everything could be spot on and you could still fail. How can that be?

If your fitness routine can’t be sustained it doesn’t really matter. Written words can’t deliver a speech and a program that can’t be adhered to will never produce results. Start with a realistic routine that can be easily sustained and then build from there. Doing so will help you avoid the many pitfalls that kill the best of New Years Resolutions.

We hope this helps and we’ll be back soon with more content.

Until then good luck and #keepmoving

Dr.J

Guarantee Your Success

Key Goal Setting Strategies

Visit your local gym or organic food isle this week and you will be amazed at the magical increase in human beings that were not there just last week. No, they aren’t fake, and they are likely taking up your favorite treadmill or eating all your special treats. Each one of those humans has made a conscious choice to change something in their life, whether exercises or diet related, to improve their health. They have made a ‘New Year’s Resolution’. 

A ‘New Year’s Resolution’ does not have to be health related, as many people will focus on job or family related targets. But, for those of you who are accepting the turn of the year as your chance to finally get in shape or shed those extra pounds and are unsure of how to start, keep reading because we will lay out some key goal setting strategies that will almost guarantee your success this year. 

Superordinate Goals

First, you need to have an idea of what race you want to run in your before you can enter the competition. For example, “this year I want to be more healthy” is a good start. This statement is intentionally vague and should create a concept of where you are currently and what you hope to become. This is called a superordinate goal. Now that you have created a superordinate goal, you have enrolled in a race. You should have an idea based on knowing your own body about if this race you’ve entered in a marathon or a sprint. 

Intermediate Goals

Second, you are going to break down this superordinate goal into slightly less vague steps, called intermediate goals. In order to “be more healthy”, I need to: get better sleep, exercise regularly and eat less fast food. Intermediate goals are slightly more specific steps that, if adhered to, will allow for the superordinate goal to be met and at this point you are getting ready to take the starting positions for the race. However, intermediate goals are still not specific enough. They must be further broken down into subordinate goals. 

Subordinate Goals

Subordinate goals are specific changes to your day/week that you can check ‘yes or no’ to at the end of the day/week. A subordinate goal for the intermediate target of exercise regularly would be to do 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill once per week. Now that you have created a specific, attainable goal for each week you are in the starting blocks and the race is about to begin. 

The race that you are about to start is not against your friends, or your boss, or your family. This race is against yourself. This race is about understanding where you are currently and accepting that you would like to be somewhere else. This race is the very essence of human nature. We are not stagnant in our being. We are either improving or worsening and you have made the noble commitment to improve yourself. 

Good luck to you on your race this year and know that everyone here at Health & Performance Center is cheering for you and is committed to helping you in whatever way we can. As always, keep moving.