This has been coming up in conversations with friends, family and clients lately. In this fast-paced world, we are often praised for productivity and the hustle to reach our goals. Yet if the Hustle is not balanced with proper rest, burnout comes crashing in to make us rest. There are three areas of importance when it comes to rest and recovery: Food, Sleep and Time.
What we eat is key to our recovery, and there are eating habits that impact our rest. When it comes to recovery, especially physical recovery, eating quality protein, carbs and fats is important. The food we eat is broken down and used to form new cells or re-fuel our muscles. If we don’t supply our bodies with the macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) that the body needs, it can slow our ability to recover from exercise and slow muscle growth and performance gains. This means that whether your goal is weight loss or an increase in athletic performance, eating properly is key to supplying your body with the building materials that are needed to recover.
Eating habits that are important for rest and recovery:
- Eating carbohydrates within 30 minutes after being active
- Avoid eating 2 hours before bed to encourage proper rest and prevent heartburn
- Avoid supper low-calorie diets, and eat the calories and macronutrients needed to properly fuel your body and recover from activity
Sleep is critical to your short and long-term health. In recent studies, sleep is the time when the brain rewires to learn new skills, clear out plaques that could be linked to Alzheimer’s, and necessary for your body to recover from the stresses of the day. Sleep also plays a role in skill development and physical recovery that is important to short-term health and achieving health goals, while also becoming shown to be vital for long-term physical and mental health.
Sleep habits that are important for rest and recovery:
- Regularly sleep for 7-9 hours each night.
- Having a nighttime routine that helps you wind down. Meditation, caffeine-free tea, and avoiding screen time before bed are some of my favourites.
While it would be amazing to say that it’s easy to balance rest and recovery in our busy lives, it’s not always that straightforward. Life tends to fill up quickly with our other priorities and responsibilities. Prioritizing rest can be challenging but it is well worth setting aside the time you need so that you can feel your best physically and mentally. This is different for everyone depending on your stress levels, your other priorities and your responsibilities.
Time habits that are important for rest and recovery:
- Include and plan for time to relax, unwind and destress
- Have a consistent morning and nighttime routine that will include other habits that encourage rest and recovery.
When setting up a healthy lifestyle it is important to include how you are going to rest and recover from the day-to-day stressors, activities that you are doing, and for long-term physical and mental health. Including and planning to regularly rest and recover will make achieving your goals more sustainable and achievable by avoiding burning yourself out and making sure you have the energy to do the habits that will help you in this fast-paced world.