Want to increase your perfomance and get closer to your goals? In this post we share the benefits of embracing rest and recovery, how to navigate the red zone, plus the effects of water and alcohol on performance.
Increase performance with rest and recovery
Did you know sleep is super important for both mental and physical performance? A solid sleep routine assists in recovery and body composition changes. Whether your 6-week Challenge goal is weight loss, fat loss, strength or toning, getting adequate sleep can help you get closer to your goal.
To help you catch those much-needed Zs, some simple tips to improve your sleep and aid in your recovery include:
- Develop a sleep schedule: Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Have screen free time: 30 to 60 minutes of screen free time before bed is ideal to allow your mind time to wind down and become tired.
- Improve your sleep environment: Ensure your room is as dark and relaxing as possible. It’s no surprise that loud noises or light can disrupt the quality of our sleep
- Practice deep breathing or meditation: Much like screen free time, this will help settle your body and mind
- Prepare for the day ahead: Before going to sleep pack your gym bag, make your lunch, have breakfast ready to go. Do what you need to do to make the start of your day easier and you’ll sleep better knowing your morning is sorted.
Now that your sleep is covered, it’s time to schedule in a rest day. Why? Because your body is a very complex machine that wants to protect itself from danger. That danger in the context of health and fitness is overtraining. If you’re exercising more than four to five times in the week, having a rest day between your sessions, especially those that are high intensity is particularly important as your musculoskeletal and nervous systems require at least 24 hours to recover and repair. To get the most out of your rest day, go for a walk or treat yourself to a stretch at home with a foam roller to massage your muscles.
Get to know the red zone
Have you noticed that each Coaching Zone session is designed to take you in and then out of the red zone? As much as we want you to earn those extra MEPs, the yellow zone is
just as beneficial.
Have you struggled to get into the red zone during your sessions and wondered why? Did you know your ability to work at 90 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate can be affected by the frequency and duration of your workouts, muscle fatigue and nutrition?
These factors can all affect your ability to push yourself to the limit. The red zone is another stress on your body, so if you’re already juggling stress your body will resist the extra workload to protect itself. To get the most out of your Coaching Zone sessions ensure you’re adequately fueling your body, planning your week to include rest and recovery time, and focus on having more time in the yellow zone rather than the red zone in each of your workouts.
Up with water down with alcohol
We all know that water is good for us, but did you know, adequate water consumption aids in:
- Optimal joint, muscle, kidney, and digestive system operation
- Assisting weight loss, especially through controlling hunger signals
- Assisting muscle gain through increased performance.
To ensure you’re getting enough, try tracking your water intake by:
- Always carrying a water bottle with you
- Drinking a full glass before each meal
- Having a daily water target. Aim for one litre per 25 kilos bodyweight
While water has ample benefits, it comes as little surprise that the same cannot be said for alcohol, particularly when it comes to supporting our goals.
Alcohol can affect our ability to stay hydrated. It can also impact energy levels and the brains ability to function and focus. What’s more, alcohol can also influence protein synthesis, hindering our body’s growth and recovery time. You may notice this in your performance in the Zone on days following alcohol intake. Like anything, it’s all about balance and keeping the effects in mind when working toward your 6-week Challenge goals.
Knowledge is power
Now that you have a better understanding of what can affect your performance, we encourage you to plan your week with these tips in mind. Book your sessions, ensuring you have adequate rest days; develop a healthy sleep routine to aid your recovery, and set yourself a daily water target to keep you hydrated and on track towards your goals!