You’re not an MMA fighter, stunt double or worker in a mine. So you may think you have no right for your body to feel beaten down or tired.
Do you workout? Is there good or bad stress in your life? Is sleep a problem for you?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, maybe you do have the right to feel out of balance…
So what do you ask of your body on a daily basis?
More importantly, what do you give to your body daily?
Inputs vs. Outputs
Inputs are influences on your body that help increase your ability to train. They assist in the adaptation to the physical stress of training. In laypeople’s terms, inputs are your recovery techniques.
Sleep, proper nutrition and hydration, stress reduction techniques and whatever your favorite form of meditation is can improve your ability to adapt to stress inside and outside of the gym.
Output is simply what you ask of your body. In this conversation we are talking about physical performance or how much you are able to do within a workout.
Do you want your gym performance to increase? Balance your inputs and outputs!
Now this seems easier said than done, right? Keep reading to learn how to keep the scales even...
1. Sleep Hygiene
What do you usually do to get ready for bed? Is there a routine or even a few rituals that you perform every night to make yourself sleepy?
Lights out - Turn off your phone, TV and any other electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you plan on falling asleep.
Tea - Try out a few sleepytime or calming teas to see which one works best for you. There’s something comforting about drinking a warm cup of tea right before bed. Make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before using any natural herbs or teas.
Breathing - Deep belly (diaphragmatic) breathing “turns on” the parasympathetic part of your nervous system. In other words, your PNS is at work when you’re at rest, and breathing is an easy way to access that. It’s difficult to get some Z’s if you’re not gearing down.
2. Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Do you fuel your body with the right amount of nutrients and water everyday?
Food - Stick to whole foods that are close to nature. Fresh produce, high quality meats and natural fats are a must. Keep processed foods (think wrappers, cans, packages and long ingredient lists) to a minimum.
Water - Gradually work yourself up to half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. It may take some time for your body to adjust to this change, so start small and increase until you’ve reached your goal.
3. Stress Reduction
What activities do you enjoy? How do you decompress? What makes you happy?
Practice - Stress relief takes practice. If you’re always on-the-go or have a demanding lifestyle, it’s easily overlooked. Take 15 minutes out of your day to do something you absolutely love. Once this becomes habit, you can start adding more time and reap the rewards.
Zone Out - Ah, television! Do you ever feel like your brain is shut off when watching some mindless (point proven) TV show? That’s because you’re not thinking of your to-do list, your hectic schedule, the bills sitting on the counter or who made your s*** list this week. It’s okay to turn off. It’s okay to not think! This can be as simple as watching a movie, singing in the car (hands on the wheel, please), hanging with your pet or even just closing your eyes for a few minutes.
Are you mindful? How often do you stop to just breathe?
Mindfulness - Staying present, living in the moment, being in your body. This can be viewed as the complete opposite of zoning out. It’s as easy as noticing how your body’s feeling without judgement or what’s happening outside of yourself. Mindfulness can be practised through movement or stillness. Either way, you’re aiming to be connected to your body.
Breath - A simple way to connect is through the breath. Again, diaphragmatic breathing will calm your nervous system, keep you conscious of yourself and surroundings and feeling balanced.
Whether you’re a parent, someone who works full-time or just someone who wants to stay balanced and perform well at the gym, you can put practices into place that allow you to feel good! Give your body all types of nourishment daily and benefit greatly.
Interested in more information? Want to give RD a try?
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