The Mental Workout Recovery
When we go to the gym we put a lot of strain on our bodies in such a way that requires mental strength too. TDL Fitness has always made mental fitness an important factor when discussing and explaining fitness-related material. When it comes to recovery after the gym from 5 minutes after to 24 hours the mental side is still in play. We have to mentally recover in order for our brain to be ready for the rest of the day and gearing ourselves up mentally for tomorrow's session.
a workout session is over and you have given your all. You are physically spent and with the right stretches, diet and sleep you will be just fine on that front for tomorrow. However the mind requires something else to recover and that is incredibly important. What the mind thrives on is routine in terms of recovery after something strained and difficult. The reason for this is that when you are in the gym you are doing anything but a routine and everything you are doing is testing you physically and mentally. Thus you need to get the mind back into a routine in which it feels comfortable.
From this information we can therefore start to see a picture forming of what mental recovery is. Our physical recovery ties into this and we now look at it from a different viewpoint. Let's say that after the gym you like to relax a lot and have the facilities of a pretty basic spa at your disposal. Let's say that after the gym you go to the jacuzzi and sit in there for a while and then wander to the steam room. Similarly if you don't have access to such facilities you can go home and have a nice bath followed by a protein shake and some spa music whilst you recline on your bed for a while. These ideas are a typical physical recovery. Now let's make it mental.
Mental recovery demands order and simplicity for most if not all of us. So let's take that physical recovery and make it ordered and simple. Let's take the home recovery as an example. So you go home and get into a lovely hot bath immediately and spend at least 10 minutes and at most 15 minutes. Then once that is done you have your protein shake and sit in bed for about 20 minutes with your protein shake which is the same brand, unchanged and with the same combinations. Splash in some very minute things along the way like the same snack things and you have a basic recovery session of around 30 to 35 minutes. This is mental recovery; the method of doing relaxing things in order for a certain amount of time.
But Tony, what if you require less or more recovery time due to a lighter or heavier workout? The answer to that is that it is fine to tweak the specifics of your recovery session but it has to be quite clear what the changes re and not to deviate too much from the norm. The mind craves order, simplicity and a clear plan of what to do from the short to the long term no matter who we are in many regards. A mental recovery aids the mind in focusing on 'what to do next' instead of 'how much effort should i put in to this exercise in order to see it through'.
Mental recovery is just as important as physical recovery which places much more importance on having a recovery in the first place. If you have been reading this article thinking 'oh you silly fool i don't have a recovery time' then boy do you need one. We like to think our bodies are all powerful and we can slip seamlessly from gym mode to normal life mode but this is impossible no matter who you are or how long you have been exercising for. You cannot go from a mindset of wanting to push yourself to being conservative with your energy and being deep in thought in the space of a few minutes of showering. The mind needs to recover. When you don't recover sufficiently physically you suffer from muscle fatigue (DOMS) and tightness. If you don't recover mentally then you get lethargic, things seem more stressful than perhaps you would think normally and the prospect of going to the gym the next day seems like a bit of a dread. Avoid this possibility by recovering mentally.
The trick of mental recovery is order, a clear structure of relaxation and enjoying that time. Experience has shown that the longer the recovery time the better and the less stations of relaxation the better. This of course will change from person to person but the norm is such. Mental recovery is crucial when dealing with the rest of the day if you exercise in the morning and aids chemical recovery through sleep if you exercise late at night. Cover the bases of mental recovery and feel great about what you did in the gym and want to get back in the tomorrow with a clear and relaxed mind. You don't have a light switch in your head, it's more of a dimmer switch that turns very slowly. Help yourself turn that switch with the help of true mental recovery.