Train to increase athletic longevity
Recovery may not be completely in your head, but a lot of it is.
The brain is one of the more complex organs of the body. And in modern-day athletic training, we remain on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to treating the brain with the repute that it deserves. It is becoming more apparent however, that to perform at peak following training stresses, one must to rest and reset the brain properly.
Overlooking brain-care, can actually shorten the amount of time the body will remain resilient in sport. Mental wear-n-tear can eventually lead to physiological stress, and believe it or not, physical pain. By increasing mental resiliency, more mature athletes can remain competitive, continue to learn from, and replicate the incredible positive experiences that sport presents. This is important to improve training experiences for not only current, but future athletes. The key for starters is to focus on the stress + rest = growth method.
Start by understanding your zone
Some days in life are more challenging than others. Certain situations may become overwhelming, and lead our brain to find various, sometimes undesirable coping mechanisms (such as quitting). To combat becoming overwhelmed, it is helpful to find your work recovery balance. Another words, take time to understand your perception of stress, learn how much you can tolerate, and then choose appropriate recovery methods.
For example, my athletes and I sit down and make a personal T-chart titled: things in my control, and things out of my control. This allows a visual reference of when to crank it up and handle it, versus when to let go.
Whether it is Headspace, Smiling Minds, or just simply taking a deep breath and releasing the tension that builds in your head, neck, and shoulders, making it a ritual several times per day (say 4) to allow oxygen to get where it needs to — heart, lungs, brain, and muscles — is key. Doing this seems like a minor task, yet the benefits annually add up to at least 1,460 chances to think more clearly and give your body, mind, and spirit, a chance to reboot.
Define digital downtime
With many things in life it is about defining your healthy limits. Define digital downtime on your schedule, and notify friends and family. There are several digital downtime apps that are on the rise. These may help with establishing consistency to the habit. Stick with us for more information (coming soon) about pinpointing parameters to enhance your performance under pressure.
You can also contact Aspire for an individualized brain-recovery plan. :)