What does it actually mean to recover and how do you recover in the best way possible? Flowlife has put together the ultimate guide on how to proceed. The recovery guide contains headings that apply to man's most basic needs but also sections that deal with which of our products you can use to achieve the best recovery.
You can at any time when reading the blog post click on the product mentioned to get to its information page.
Steps for recovery
Recovery is a process containing elements that are all important individually. Each recovery element goes “hand in hand” and compliment each other. The different steps together complete the fundamental circle for you and your body to recover in the best way. We have categorized recovery in 4 steps: sleep, diet, recovery tools and stress reduction.
What happens to your body when you sleep?
In short, you can describe it as your body is repairing itself while it sleeps. When you sleep, the brain (the entire body actually) is given a chance to recover since blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and stress hormones go down and the muscles relax. The immune system is activated and growth hormones are released.
Why is sleep important for recovery?
The better your sleep, the more prepared your mind and body will be to meet the next day. As previously mentioned, the body repairs itself while it sleeps, which means that it recharges the central nervous system. The central nervous system is responsible for muscle contractions, your reaction time and critical thinking.
Lack of sleep affects the body's ability to heal itself. Sleeping poorly for a period of time is not dangerous. The body is usually good at compensating for the lack of sleep the very next night by making it deeper and thus qualitative. If you sleep poorly for a long time you should take it seriously and address the problem. The primary signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation include:
- Slower muscle recovery
- Change in mood
- Increase level of stress hormones, including cortisol
- Decrease restoration of energy
How to improve sleep
You can improve your sleep by creating and maintaining good routines. Below is a list of strategies on what you can do to improve your sleep:
Set a curfew for blue light. Blue light such as sunlight is what helps you stay alert and improves your mood. Our brain is built to work on a circadian system which means we are awake when the sun is out and we rest when it is dark. The brain does not know the difference between blue light from the sun or from you watching Netflix. Blue light will block a hormone that makes you sleepy called melatonin which is supposed to prepare you for sleep. Trade your cell phone screen time for a book which does not contain blue light.
Reduce your caffeine intake or set a caffeine curfew at a specific time of the day. The recommendation is to stop drinking caffeine around 1 or 2 o'clock, but the break time for drinking coffee varies since different people are also affected differently.
To know what time suits you best, it's good if you're aware of how long the caffeine stays in the blood. Experts claim that the caffeine peak is reached 30-50 minutes after the caffeine has been consumed and that half of the caffeine has been eliminated after 3-5 hours, then it decreases with each passing hour. Based on this, you should drink the last sip of caffeine six hours before you plan going to bed.
Good quality sleep starts in the morning. A regular wake up pattern can help you set up a routine. Going back to the circadian system, we are built to be awake when the sun is up. We recommend you to buy a light therapy lamp to use during the darker parts of the year to keep your morning routine consistent. You’ve probably heard of the saying ”breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, right? It’s because what you eat in the morning sets the hormonal schedule for the rest of the day.
Sleeping environment is key. In the bedroom, light (or darkness...) and temperature play a major role. Black-out curtains can be very helpful. They not only darken the room, they also block out the sun's rays, which makes it cooler in the room. There are several benefits to sleeping in a room with a lower temperature. Among other things, it reduces the risk of metabolic diseases.
How does nutrition affects recovery?
Getting the right amount of food helps replenish energy (glycogen) lost and provides good nutrients for the body to repair muscle tissue.
Nutrition will also impact the way we sleep. Getting the right amount of micronutrients throughout the day such as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D can help guide the body to a restful night of sleep.
Majority of our body is made of water so you would assume hydration is very important to recovery. It helps transport good nutrients and flushes out toxins from the body. Hydration assists with regulating body temperature.
How much water should you drink? It depends. People are very unique with different body sizes. Some people may sweat more than others.
Recovery with tools
Tools such as the Flowlife recovery products can be beneficial to recovery. It gives you the opportunity to get a massage at the convenience of your own home. A massage helps calm the nervous system and relaxes the mind and body. The Flowgun is commonly used to help improve muscle soreness, mobility and recovery.
There are different ways to use the products.
- Passively: massaging your muscles with a Flowgun or Flowpillow, holding a static stretch or just relaxing in the Flowfeet.
- Actively: Self-myofascial release with a Trigger Ball or dynamic stretching with a Roller.
Here is a link to some ways to use our products.
Let’s be real, there is no such thing as stress-free. Stress comes in all kinds of forms that can be good or bad. Exercise is a physical stress which when we recover from, we increase our physical abilities.
High amount of stress can have a negative impact on not just your mind but your body as well. Stress releases hormones such as cortisol which helps us wake up in the morning. Too much of it can affect our healing process in the body. Constant stress can affect the way the body normally balances hormones which are supposed to help regulate body functions such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
Understanding that a high amount of stress can be negative is the first step to managing stress. There are many ways to decrease stress. Passively, lying down to read a book or watch tv is a form of recovery. Actively, like laughing, going for a walk, or playing with your dog is an active form of recovery.
Understanding each part can help you improve your overall recovery. Many of the steps compliment each other.