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The importance of recovery

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Making sure to plan for recovery during your week is a prerequisite to perform at work, build a strong body after training and staying healthy. The amount of recovery needed depends on what type of pressure your body has been under.

Sleep: everyone needs sleep. It has long been known that mice deprived of sleep will die. This has obviously not been tested on humans but we know that our health will be affected negatively after long periods of little sleep. How much is individual and for example shift work affects us all different. Some people are not affected at all while in others you can see increased blood pressure. At the same time how much sleep you need is also very individual. Short periods of deprived sleep is nothing to get alarmed about, but if you experience longer periods of disrupted sleep you should seek consultation by a physician.

Diet: our bodies need building blocks to repair cells and create new structures. We also need enough energy for our bodies to be able to perform. If you want a proper effect of your training, you need to make sure to eat carbohydrates. If you are healthy and eat a varied diet there is no need to eat any supplements, even if gyms, health stores and pharmacies market vitamins, protein and performance enhancing products aggressively.

Drink: in general, you only need to drink if you are thirsty. If you are training for a long period of time f.ex. 60-90 minutes you will loose so much liquid through sweat that your performance will go down if you do not replenish. If you are aiming to perform during an even longer period you will need to replenish with extra salts and energy, such as a sports drink.

Deep breathing: when you breathe deeply you will hinder the bodies stress system and stress hormones. That is why deep breathing is common in yoga, meditation and qigong.

Hands on tips for recovery:

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and don't compare your needs with others.

  • Stay out in the sunlight as it will regulate the sleep hormone melatonin which will improve your sleep. Also make sure your bedroom is dark.

  • Eat a varied and all-round diet. Don't decrease your carbohydrates as they are our most important source of energy. 

  • Drink when you are thirsty. Make sure to rehydrate if you are training more than 60-90 minutes. Sport drinks are recommended when it is warn and you are training for an extra-long period. 

  • Deep breathing.

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About the authors Jessica & Maria

Challengize health tips are written for us by Jessica Norrbom and Maria Ahlsén, both with PHDs in medicine. Since 2013 they run their own business Fortasana working mainly with diet, training and health from a scientific perspective. Maria and Jessica have written several books and regularly lecture focusing mainly on popular health myths and explain what is actually true from a scientific perspective when it comes to diets, trends and newspaper headlines.

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