Happy new year to you! I thought it would be helpful to start 2018 by discussing 3 things that can stop you achieving your rehab and performance goals this year.
If you assess and optimise these three variables, you will dramatically improve your chances of reaching your goals. Get them wrong and you’re going to make it difficult if not impossible for yourself.
The number one success blocker is sleep or rather a lack of it. Not only will a lack of sleep torpedo your chances of achieving pretty much any exercise related goal, including fat loss and performance improvement. It will also leave you more prone to injury and make recovering from any current injury more difficult.
Optimal amounts vary between individuals but if you aim for between 7 and 9 hours you’ll be on your way.
If you have problems with sleep try practicing good sleep hygiene. If that doesn’t help seek further help as adequate sleep is a prerequisite for most health and performance goals.
We recommend our clients use the Ouraring intelligent device which provides valuable information on both sleep time and quality.
Your body requires a minimum level of certain vitamins and minerals to function. A deficiency in any of these can interrupt vital processes. This in some cases can produce symptoms in themselves.
Our Rehab-Performance Pro programme includes a blood panel to assess Vit D, Vit B12, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and both liver function and lipid profiles for that very reason.
You don’t necessarily have to go that far however. Vitamin D deficiency is thought to affect around 20% of adults in the U.K. Symptoms can include muscle, joint and back pain, as well as feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
You can order a simple Vit D home test online from this NHS lab which will give you a clear indication of whether you are deficient and would benefit from supplementation. This alone has helped many of my clients, particularly at this time of year.
For more in depth testing we use Thriva.
Meet yourself where you are.
I’m not suggesting that you invent another persona and arrange meetings with yourself. I’m recommending that you match the exercise challenge to your current capabilities.
Nearly everybody fails to do this in both their exercise and rehab programmes.
We’ve all put our trainers on and set out on a 5 mile run on the 1st January only to realise on the 2nd of January that we’re injured.
Applying force to your body (as every exercise does) requires that the challenge be matched precisely to your current capabilities and progressed once you have adapted.
There’s a fine line between genius and insanity as the saying goes. Likewise the line between stimulating an adaptation and creating an injury is also relatively small.
Err on the side of caution and think of exercise, whatever your goal, as a long term process rather than a Rocky film.
Exercise is a stressor. In order fully benefit from it you must have a suitable recovery strategy. Remember the magic happens after the stimulus has been applied not during it’s application.