Better Me: Recovery

How do you know when you are physically recovered?

Before exercise…

Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

  1. Check RHR first thing in the morning (easy: count heart rate on wrist for 15 seconds, multiply by 4)
  2. Normal = 60-80 beats per minute (BPM)
  3. Well-trained athletes = 40-60 BPM
  4. If your normal RHR is above average by > 20 BPM you are not recovered physically (or had a poor night’s sleep)

From this data, taking RHR is a great strategy for athletes to figure out if today should be an off or training day.

During exercise…

Recovery Breathing Technique

  1. When out of breath and want to see if you are ready to perform the next exercise set, try breathing three full consecutive breaths in and out of your nose without opening your mouth.
  2. If you need to open your mouth before three breaths, you are not yet recovered and should take a little more time before starting up the next set.

After exercise …

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

  1. Leave about 2-3 days in between very intense training sessions — especially if weight training full body.  It takes two full days for the body to fully recuperate from muscle fiber damages occurred naturally with exercise.  The soreness you feel (DOMS) sets in around two days post exercise session.
  2. Recover the day after with a light training session of cardio.  If weight training, work areas not used the previous day.
  3. Active recovery can be helpful to maintain flexibility and fitness as the body rests up from a hard session.  Some ideas: (a) walking or jogging on the treadmill, (b) yoga or pilates session, (c) 20-30 minutes of bike or elliptical.

What about my mental(ness)?

If you want to see if you are mentally prepared, try this simple exercise.

Band of Tolerance (level of 1-10)

  1. At any point of the day, give yourself a score on a scale of 1-10 on the following emotions:
  • i.      Happy
  • ii.      Anger
  • iii.      Anxious
  • iv.      Excited
  • v.      Energetic
  • vi.      Lonely
  • vii.      Tired

Simply being aware of these emotions allow for (1) emotions not to interfere with tasks, (2) better self-efficacy to solve for a problem.


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