There are 3 things that I most always do and when I do I feel the benefits from them in my workout performance and recovery. If I alter even one of these 3 I almost immediately begin to feel the effects of that variable change.
1) The first is after every single workout I always have a green smoothie. Green smoothies are essentially a dark leafy green with 1-3 fruits on top of that. The fruit masks the flavor of the dark leafy green and you receive all the nutritional benefits from the greens and fruit to begin working in your body to increase recovery. Just by that green smoothie inflammation is reduced in the body, energy climbs, hormones balance (cortisol & estrogen lower, testosterone spikes), and muscle heals.
One of my favorite recipes is simple and so nutritiously good! Big handful of spinach or kale Cup of blueberries 2-3 ripe bananas 1-2 apricots Blend and enjoy!
My friend Sergei Boutenko recently conducted a study on the effects green smoothies have on our bodies, mainly on athlete bodies. He studied runners and Crossfit athletes. What he found in the results of his 6 week study were pretty amazing. All the athletes did was add in one green smoothie every day into their diet. In fact, he didn't want them to alter anything else so they can clearly study the results from the introduction of the green smoothie. Check out his documentary called: Powered By Green Smoothies.
2) The second thing I do is always ensure I very thoroughly warmup and cool down. Without scheduling and spending the time to warmup and cool down I feel my body take longer to get into the workout and perform at the level I intend for it. Often times, during my strength training workouts, I spend more time warming up and cooling down than I do with my exercises for the workout. That's how important this part is. I also have been injured in the past, actually not too long ago and I posted about it too, and so I know how important it is for me to ensure I not only do this, but lead my Kettlebell and running students to do the same.
Here is the exact warmup and cooldown mobility drills and stretches that I practice before and after every single workout. I call them "Synergy Dynamics".
3) The third thing is every day I make sure I get the right amount of sleep. This is probably THE MOST important one of the three. This can sometimes be a challenge as I get wrapped up in work or watching a Netflix tv show marathon, but sleep is rivaling its importance with good nutrition. Often times I feel the sleep I get is even more important than the food I put into my body. I eat for performance, for overall health & longevity, and also for recovery from workouts. No matter how I eat, if I don't get enough sleep my body will never fully heal itself and because of that, my performance and health will then suffer.
During sleep our tissues repair themselves and hormones balance. In studies, it is found that when we don't get enough sleep our stress hormones are spiked and this also jeopardizes our immunity on top of that. One way to help us get our 7-8 hours of sleep a night is to turn off or dim the lights around us. This includes our TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc. The ambient light stimulates our brains to want to stay awake by not producing the melatonin hormone which helps us initiate our Circadian Rhythm.
I hope these 3 things help you and by practicing them every day I know you will experience increased health, strength, body leanness (aka fat loss), and longevity. Overall you will be happier with yourself and how your body works. Well either do the above 3 for that to happen or we could just add my favorite bonus #4 which is to eat dark chocolate. That alone can accomplish everything!