3 R’s for Better Performance from a PhD: RECOVERY, REST and ROUTINE.
Sleep is an essential part of recovery, and at WILL PERFORM, that’s what we’re all about! March is sleep awareness month, so we’ve enlisted our very own Chief Product Officer, Alexia Lundberg, Ph.D., on the importance of sleep and its impact on performance.
If we spend more of our lives off the court than on one, where do the wins really happen? That’s a line from our manifesto that hits home for us and what ultimately led us to create a new category, Performance Care.
In the words of our co-founder, Serena Williams, “Recovery is a big word”. Recovery is a process of bringing our bodies back to a steady state after we’ve stressed them. At WILL PERFORM we like to think about recovery holistically: from top to bottom, inside and out. Here are some tips on building a recovery regimen.
- Take a look at your nutrition. Protein, omega-3’s from fish oil, and water are 3 essential nutrients that should be a part of your recovery plan. Aim for 0.5g of protein for every 1lb of body weight, at least 2 servings of fatty fish a week (or a supplement with DHA and EPA), and at least 64 oz of water a day to ensure your body has the appropriate foundation it needs to repair and rebuild.
- Massage is another tool that helps with recovery. It brings nutrients into muscles and may stimulate muscle cells to heal faster and stronger. Set aside 5 minutes a few days a week to massage the muscles you use the most. Tip: You can even do this while you watch TV or read your email!
- Mental fatigue is real and is a sign our brain needs a break! Give your mind time to recover by avoiding important decisions after a tough day and by getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is a tried and true way to help restore your brain power, so go ahead and catch those z’s!
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Sleep is our body’s restorative time and it’s necessary to keep our immune systems healthy, ensure our metabolism is firing on all cylinders and give our muscles time to repair and rebuild. We know falling asleep and staying asleep isn’t always easy, so here are some ideas to help!
- Take a warm bath or shower (or even just soak your feet) an hour before bed. A warm shower ironically can help your body cool down, which is great for sleeping. Plus, who doesn’t love a good nighttime ritual?
- Breathe in relaxing scents like lavender and geranium which have been shown to help calm the mind and de-stress. You’re in luck because we created a product that has both! Try our NEW WILL Rest - link out
- Use a sound machine while you fall asleep to help block noise, but make sure it turns off so it doesn’t disrupt you once you are asleep.
- Try to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day, even if it’s chasing your dog or kids! Getting your heart rate up during the day will in turn, help you sleep better at night. If you exercise at night, give yourself enough time to cool down (mentally and physically) before going to bed. Night, night!
Starting a new routine can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.There are things you can do on a regular basis to help your body perform better, this is what we call Performance Care.
Humans love routine. Routines help us feel in control and foster our overall well-being. A Performance Care routine is something most of us haven’t considered (or even heard of!), but there are things we can do on a daily basis that can improve our body’s ability to perform. Here are a few ideas to kick off your performance care routine:
- Stretch the same body part every day for 30 seconds to improve flexibility. Studies show that 30 seconds every day does more for you than stretching for longer, less frequently. Sign us up!
- Practice box breathing daily to relax tense muscles and destress. While counting to four each time, breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold, then repeat. This activates a system in your body that protects against the fight or flight response and calms your body and mind.
- Neck a little tight from sitting in front of the computer all day? Does bending over to touch your toes feel impossible? You’re not alone! Exercises that focus on mobility can help get your full range of motion back. Some exercises that give you the biggest bang for your buck are:
- Cat-cow stretches
- Leg swings back and forth and side to side
- Yogi squat pose
We will only stick to routines if we enjoy them and/or they benefit us in some way. So find ways that incorporate these tips where they fit best in your life. The most important part of creating a routine is to set up a system around you that supports your goals.