• Get A Good Night's Sleep

    Sleep is a very important (and difficult to manage) component of health and fitness. If you're having trouble getting a good night's sleep, try dimming (or even completely turning off) the lights in your house as soon as the sun goes down. This may be difficult if your nightly routine includes a lot of reading, but it's definitely doable if you plan on watching television. Dimming the lights will increase your body's natural production of melatonin, helping you fall asleep faster and feel more rested when you wake in the morning.
     

    There is also research surfacing that shows low-frequency electromagnetic fields (like those emitted from household electronics) can interfere with a natural sleep cycle. Remove (or unplug) all electronics from your bedroom and see if you notice a difference!
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    • Recovery
  • Heart Rate and Recovery

    Did you know that changes in your waking heart rate can be used to predict your body's recovery status?

     
    Take your waking heart rate for a few days before you begin an extra-intense workout schedule (this will be your baseline). Continue taking your waking heart rate as you increase your activity level -- be sure you are doing this right when you wake up. If your heart rate is suddenly elevated by 3-5 beats/minute (above your baseline), then it's likely your body is not completely recovered and needs more rest (i.e. more nightly sleep or a quick nap). If your heart rate is elevated by more than 5 beats/minute, you should take the day off from your scheduled workout to let your body rest and recover.
     
    Use this technique to ensure your body is recovering sufficiently between workouts -- it's a great way to minimize the stresses of over-training!
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    • Recovery