Recovery and Sleep Rebalance Your Body
Through her work as a fitness teacher and athletic trainer, Gail Garceau coaches us that no matter what your fitness objectives are – you should always think of your body as a means of progression. The process of gradually developing toward a more advanced state, whether through body or mind, is a simple way of thinking that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals without any pressure.
As someone who personally plays a lot of sports and is first and foremost an athlete herself, Garceau understands the importance of having concrete objectives to help you get stronger and to get there fast.
Through ESSENTRICS® Studio, Gail can take that understanding and tailor it to people of all ages and fitness levels that come through the door.
What exactly is ESSENTRICS®?
In simple terms, ESSENTRICS is a dynamic stretching work out that ultimately helps re-balance the body.
When trying to make changes to your body, you need to stress your body little by little so that it has a chance to adapt to that stress and begin changing.
In a single ESSENTRICS® workout, you work through the range of motion of every single joint and you strengthen your body through that range. This process is what helps rebalance the body while simultaneously stretching and strengthening it.
Based on the concept of eccentric muscle contractions, this type of work out is ideal for the person (or athlete) who is looking to fuse strength and flexibility in order to create a long and lean body that is free of pain and injury. From there, sleep and overall recovery play a massive role.
In order to effectively change the way your body looks and feels, you need to incorporate adequate rest and recovery time. This will ultimately give your body a chance to catch up on the exercise you’ve put it through and over time, physiological changes will start happening to your body during those very rest periods.
Rest is essential to having changes occur in your body because it is during that period that your body replenishes your energy and repairs your damaged tissue. If you are set on going at it and pushing your body daily without giving it a chance to recover, those key changes will not happen the proteins in your body will not have a chance to rebuild. Giving your body the time and space for it to recover it equally – if not more – important as working hard and being consistent.
Sleep and exercise have a very deep and meaningful relationship. The more time you clock in at the gym, the more time you should be spending asleep. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. Deep sleep is a fool-proof plan to make sure that your muscles are restored and your energy re-calibrated.
Not only that – sleep is a time for the body to get its hormones back on track. Imbalanced hormones the culprit of many psychological and physical ailments. When you fall asleep, your brain has a chance to focus on other things that might be going on in the body. Blood vessels are repaired, damaged or enflamed muscles are tended to, white blood cells are produced, and your immune system can strengthen.
Not a bad deal for an activity that literally just means shutting your eyes and dozing off. Sleep loss can seriously kill your motivation and prevent you from achieving your athletic goals. Get your best sleep on, if you want to perform your best. Skipping on good sleep will ultimately lead to crappy decision-making too.
Lack of sleep can dull your frontal lobe activity, which is in charge of your control and decision-making processes. Feeling groggy and tired can ultimately lead to poor food and beverage choices and a lack of willingness to hit the gym and stay motivated.
Proper sleep gives you an advantage because it plays such a vital role in our daily lives and our overall wellbeing.
After a good shut-eye, the brain is more capable of thinking clearly, working efficiently, and reducing stress triggers. It also helps physically, especially with weight management, muscle recovery, and even pain management. Ideally, you should aim to clock in a good seven to nine hours of sleep to perform at your best throughout the day. A lack of sleep can make it hard to focus on tasks, crush goals, think under pressure and cause mental fog. These types of symptoms can also lead to not really wanting to do much at all.
Also, sleep is scientifically proven to help you lose weight. Read that again. Quality sleep is the secret to building stronger muscles and to toning the body. If you think sleeping is being in a state of inactivity, you have been sorely mistaken. A person of about 150 pounds can actually burn around 440 calories in just seven hours of sleep. It’s also important to note that your sleeping hours can affect the quality of the sleep you get and the number of calories you’re burning during that time. For example, going to bed at midnight as oppose to 10:00 pm means you have an extra few hours to give in to a craving and snack on extra calories.
Those missed hours of early sleep can also mess around with your hunger hormones and even cause unwanted stress that can lead to emotional binge eating.
Another thing is that during REM sleep, cortisol levels are regulated, and the release of growth hormone promotes the oxidization of fats and cortisol – aka stress. This release directly impacts the way we digest glucose or sugar. Sleep is our body’s most powerful tool and utilizing this tool means being able to perform well, create alertness, and overall feel rested enough to take on a new day.
Gail’s Fast Five Body Tips
Five takeaways to live better through rest and recovery.
Think of your body as a means of progression.
Stress to change. Stress your body so that your body can adapt and change.
Rebalance your body through stretching and eccentric muscle contraction.
SLEEP so that your body can work for you and with you.
- Give your body time and space to rest and recover so that it can serve you.