Just as important as raising your mental toughness is increasing your recovery quotient. Here are some ways I have found from personal experience to increase recovery. Try them out and let me know how they work for you.
1. Have a do nothing day
I originally got this idea from one of Bruce Lee’s books. In it Bruce is excited about a training idea he wants to try out and calls a wrestling coach to go over it. The wrestling coach replied that he would love to try it out, however it would have to be on another day as this was his “do nothing day.” Bruce liked the idea and mentions that he started adopting it. In our fast paced world we are doing multiple things at the same time while managing multiple roles. In my personal case I have to balance being an Active Duty Naval Officer, performing health experiments on myself, developing and implementing training and conditioning curriculums, being a good husband, being a good father, running a company, writing books and blogs, running seminars and filming them, etc into the “work week.” Once a week, sometimes it is once a month, it is good to have a “do nothing day” where I let all those roles and responsibilities take a back seat to and simply slow down to be with myself.
2. Soak in Epsom Salts for 15-20 minutes
When I was in track and field my coach would always tell his athletes when they got injured to soak the area in the hottest water they could tolerate for 15-20 minutes with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts. I have found that this is a great practice to incorporate on a regular basis to increase recovery. The body absorbs the magnesium through the skin and it relaxes the muscle. I also add essential oils of Jasmine, Geranium and Ylang Ylang and it serves to create a little mini-retreat in a house where four kids are always running around and being “rambunctious.” I started including my wife on this and it is a great time to be alone and share with each other.
3. Liver Cleanse
I recently did a Liver Cleanse which I will fully discuss in an upcoming blog all by itself. Cleaning the Liver will free up the ducts and if you do it right you will see the tangible proof. I will give all the details of the one I did and my results, for now realize that all cleanses give your body a chance to remove the toxins and allow you to recover faster while prolonging your life.
4. Colon Cleanse
This is a great way to get better increase in the uptake of nutrients from the food and supplements that you consume and prolong your life. My favorite Colon Cleanse is “three day cleanse” which I highly recommend because you can expect to lose 10lbs and remove anything that is in your large AND small intestine, which is different from all the other cleanses out there. Otherwise you can try any of the 30 day cleanses offered at your favorite health food store.
5. Joint Mobility
If there is one thing that can improve your recovery and longevity it is joint mobility. I do my FULL Mobility program EVERYDAY. It is that important. The more you train the more you need it. If you already know joint mobility and have chosen to ignore it then start doing it again, if not then order my FULL Mobility program today. You’ll thank me later.
6. Stretching/Foam Roller done together
Combining a stretching session with a foam roller session is almost magical when it comes to recovery. During my How to Raise YOUR Testosterone program, which you get FREE when you order my book Listen Up! I noticed it took me FIVE days to recover between workouts when I did nothing. When I started adding a stretching/roller session on my off days I could train hard again after THREE days. I did the “everyday stretches” on the Bob Anderson Stretching DVD and a Foam Roller routine from Mark Verstegen.
To really get to know ourselves requires introspection. To do this we need to take a “time-out” from the myriad things that demand our time and our attention. I have had more A-HA moments and interesting training ideas come from my times of solitude than all other things combined. Either wake up early or schedule some time to get away from it all and dedicate that time to the most important person in your life, YOU.
8. Meditation or Meditation CD’s
Doing meditation or Qigong grounds you and allows you to recover from everyday life as well as your workouts. Some people have a hard time meditating and that is where technology can sometimes help. There are all sorts of mediation CDs and machines with light and sounds to entrain your brain if the tried and true “focus on your breathing” or “count your breaths to 100” seems difficult for you.
While this is also a way to build your mental toughness and resolve it can be combines with #1 and while you are having your “do nothing day” also take the opportunity to give your digestive system a rest. I find I am stronger two days after my fast once I return to my normal eating regimen.
I know this can be an added cost if you intend to it on a regular basis, but it is worth it. I like deep tissue massage and notice that I have to take the following day off to really recover. You get physical and mental recovery from this tried and true ancient practice.
All my best,