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How to stay in peak performance using tools for recovery.





Alright let’s talk about prioritizing, peak performance, and the crucial role of recovery. One of my most impressive talents is maintaining peak performance and ferocity. I've always had goals, big goals, and I constantly hit them. Over the years, through trial and error, I have learned a lot of things along the way. I’ve hit a wall and burned out multiple times because if you don’t have a balance of recovery you are going to go go go until there is nothing left in the tank.


Peak performers HATE slowing down. We hate wasting time. 


Sleep

Get enough sleep every night. 7-8 hours a night.

When we are tired, our bodies have less energy and are a bit more sensitive.

Set your sleep schedule. You want to go to bed at the same time every night and you want to try to get up at the same time.


Active Recovery. 

What’s the difference between active recovery and passive recovery?

Passive recovery is what most people do. After a long day at work, you pour a couple of glasses of wine and turn on Netflix to tune out and unwind. I’ll explain more about active recovery in a bit.


Television is sneaky. 

Normally our brains are in beta, it’s a fast moving wave, below beta is alpha, which is a slower moving wave. Think about alpha as more of a daydreaming type mode. Alpha is where you want to be to recover. Unfortunately watching tv is a fake alpha. You drop into an alpha state, and take in information and it may feel like you are recovering and relaxing but the tv is flickering, and moving so quickly it’s constantly pulling the brain back into the beta state and you aren’t actually resetting your system.


It’s the same thing as empty calories. Let that sink in… 


Alcohol and it's effects on sleep.

1-2 drinks isn't the most terrible thing but if you go past 2 drinks, the alcohol will mess with your REM sleep and your REM cycles and you are not going to be able to recover properly.


--I’m not saying you have to get rid of these things, but what I am suggesting you do is swap out a couple of these passive recovery methods for some active ones. You will notice the difference in how you feel, and how you perform all around. 


You want to focus on things that give you active recovery. Some examples are epsom salt baths, sauna sessions, massage, yoga, and other forms of self care. 


I’m not talking about a power yoga session, this is NOT exercise yoga, I am talking about restorative yoga. Stretching, breathing, focusing on your mind body connection. This is where the magic happens.


For instance, let’s talk about the sauna for a second and why it’s one of my favorites. I will do my meditations when I am in the sauna to make that time even more impactful. The benefits of saunas are absolutely amazing. If you sit in a sauna for over 20 minutes, it will lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a major stress hormone, and the sauna can completely flush it out of your system. 


The third most crucial part of recovery is giving your body a total RESET.

Peak performance requires you to work for a longer period of time, think longer hours everyday, day after day after day. You are focused on your passion and purpose and loving what you do. You're not going to want to take time off, or maybe you think you don’t need to. Personally for me, I can run at peak performance for 6-8 weeks and I can give the energizer bunny a run for his money, but I get to a point where I start to notice decreasing returns, lower energy, and I feel burnt out. This is when I know I have to totally reset my system. I take a couple days where I rest completely. I’m talking about a complete reset. I don’t have any obligations, no to do lists, I focus on me and give my body the rest it needs so when I come back, I am back at my best and I can dive right back in. It’s a learning curve but you want to practice total resets before you actually need them so you can keep the momentum up. If you notice you tend to start to hit a wall at 7 weeks, you want to strategically place your resets at 6.5 weeks so you don’t skip a beat. You give your body the rest it needs and then you can continue your peak performance. What you want to avoid is running nonstop when your tank is empty. This is no bueno, you will completely burn out and to get back to that level of performance you were at, will take much much longer. You do NOT want to lose momentum by going backwards, trust me, I have done this countless times and it’s terrible. I have run myself so down from constantly doing, that it has taken me over a month to recover and bounce back, which then unravels all the hard work I have been doing for the last 6-8 weeks and it’s this fucked up rabbit hole. No more. Let’s all learn from my mistakes, cut out the bullshit and avoid it all. 


Bringing mindfulness and awareness to your habits is the first step to make changes.


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