Having a hard time down regulating after training? Try this!!
Hi folks, back with our blog series, today I wanna talk about down-regulation. We all had that experience of finishing an exhausting training session being very tired and still, we get home, shower (hopefully lol), eat and can’t seem to relax. We lay in bed “hyped up”; body tired, brain active.
That’s because training creates a sympathetic response, the famous ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze’ and in order to unwind and relax we need our bodies to switch to a parasympathetic mode, our ‘Rest and Digest’. Even though we are no longer fighting our way out of that cross-collar choke or armbar and everything seems to be quiet, it may take a while until our body turns the switch by itself. Depending on our ability to handle stress, it might not happen at all. When this happens we end up not relaxing, having a poor night of sleep and not recovering. Zero. Nada. We wake up the next day tired, sore, dragging ourselves straight from the bed to the coffee pot.
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous system are the main divisions of our Autonomic Nervous System and control many internal body processes. This system works automatically, without any conscious effort from our parts.
Luckily, there is a way to quickly access our Autonomic Nervous System to help us unwind and relax: BREATHING.
Controlled breathing is one of the few ways to access and interfere with your ANS. There are many techniques to be used here, but my goal is to provide you a quick, easy-to-remember one, so you can start using today:
Try to do it right after finish training, if you’re gym set up allows.
1) As soon as possible, switch up to a nasal-only breathing;
2) Lay down on the floor and put your legs up against the wall;
3) Breathing through your nose, make a conscious effort to breathe deeply and slowly, in and out;
4) Engage your abdomen, ribs & diaphragm and feel the breath filling up your torso from the bottom of your abdomen to the top of your chest;
5) Slowly try to make your exhalation longer than the inhalation; work your way up to an exhale that doubles the inhale (I find myself deeply relaxed after 5 minutes using a 5s in/10s out count. More important than counting is to relax, be conscious of and control your breathing).
Try this for 5-10min/day. Preferably right after training. Thank me later!