Bicycling (South Africa) - - FIT CHICK -

All the above goes out the win­dow if you don’t take care of your­self phys­i­cally, which not only helps coun­ter­act stress, but also makes you more re­silient to it. Key el­e­ments in­clude:

SLEEP Make sleep a pri­or­ity. As you drift into deep sleep, your sym­pa­thetic (fight or flight) ac­tiv­ity is de­creased, while your parasym­pa­thetic (rest and digest) ac­tiv­ity is in­creased. Aim for 7 to 9 hours a night.

FOOD Nour­ish­ing your­self is es­sen­tial for stress man­age­ment. Re­cov­ery food, in­clud­ing protein and carbs, can help off­set the cor­ti­sol re­sponse.

RE­GEN­ER­A­TION Fol­low­ing train­ing stress, your body can only adapt and be­come stronger if you al­low it to re­cover. Nail your re­cov­ery days just as vig­i­lantly as you nail your hard train­ing days.

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