When it comes to taking care of my body, I like to following the same approach as in most other endeavors in life: aiming for the minimum effective dose and staying minimalistic at all times.
Thus, in practice, this really comes down to sleep and diet.
These are the 2 big players in rejuvenating the body and making growth happen. Yes, growth is stimulated during a phase of demand – e.g. during a workout – but without proper rest, growth can’t manifest. I’ve been working out in the gym for over a year know and don’t experience muscle soreness much anymore (other than when I take a break for a week or two).
Recovery is mainly about the physical part, yet the mind always has the power of veto. Meaning, without taking care of the mental health, fundamental things such as sleep issues can tear you up.
However, using proven ways to rest body and mind, life can certainly be experienced at a higher level, and so can productivity.
Obviously, in order to improve anything here, routines need to be established for the following:
Once these 3 are taken care of, I really do stick to the basics.
For the physical part, it’s pretty straight-forward and I do a variety of these.
- Cold Bath/Shower
- Supplements + Vitamins
- Epson Salt Bath
- Proper Hydration
My Body, My Temple
Sleep obviously is the most important part, with the criteria being length, depth and consistency. Once these are taken care of, it’s all about fine tuning the rest. (Sleep can often be an issue, which is most likely mind-related – see suggestions later in this article.)
I honestly can’t be bothered doing a lot on rest days – most of it would probably be counter-productive anyway. As a cheap alternative to massages, I am using my BlackRoll, which I’ve found to be a great investment.
Cold Baths? Yeah, here and there.
Cardio? Nope. I actually considered this one, but talking to a couple of coaches, I’ve learned that it isn’t recommended during recovery between weight lifting days.
Water is another big item on my list, on a typical day that can amount to up to 5 liters (170 oz.). I’ve used a rebounder occasionally in the past, but wasn’t quite convinced. It’s a great way to getting started in the morning and supposed to be very healthy. I recommend everyone giving it a try though, since a low-end rebounder only sets you back around $40.
Epson salt is also pretty cheap – I’ve done these baths regularly a while ago and want to get started again. Cheap, painless and great to release stress and detox the body.
Control Center: Shutdown
Getting the mind to calm down can
sometimes always be tricky.
Even before meditation, I feel the most important strategy is getting stuff out of my head. That means planning (goal planning and daily scheduling), journaling and consistently putting ideas and thoughts on paper. There should be nothing bothering me that I haven’t written down already before going to bed.
Right after that, meditation has it’s place to calm the mind and ground myself in the present moment. It can quickly seem like a huge waste of time, but is actually quite productive given the overwhelming amount of benefits related to meditation.
There are various ways such as simply sitting still and focusing each breath, TM meditation and countless others. I simply set the timer for 20 minutes and count breaths. (At this point, I sometimes do it without the timer and simply count breaths to 250+, which is 20+ minutes anyway.)
Nonetheless, to stay sane, I’ve also found that there needs to be a certain amount of social engagements and/or variety. Socializing or simply talking to friends also helps getting my mind off things and change focus. Especially when I’ve worked at something for an extended period of time – it helps going back at it refreshed!