The body responds to high intensity workouts by entering a sympathetic (fight/flight) state involving elevated cortisol levels and many other physiological ‘stressors’. These stressors are for your long term good and gain so long as you recover.
Deep nose breaths are a profoundly effective technique for assisting your body in shifting back to the parasympathetic (rest & digest) stateafter your stress inducing work out.
How do deep nose breaths help me reach the parasympathetic state?
The technique combines both neurological and psychological mechanisms; Deep nose breaths increase the activity of the vagus nerve which controls as well as monitors the activity of the heart, lungs, digestive system and more. Vagus nerve stimulation slows the heart rate, decreases blood pressure and relaxes muscles. These changes are communicated to the brain through the vagus nerve generating feelings of peace and calm.
Other methods to assist the body in reaching it’s parasympathetic state:
Optimised post workout out nutrition, specifically; Carbs.The ensuing insulin response works as a shut of valve to cortisol and your muscles benefit from their best window of muscle glycogen saturation.
-Foam rolling and stretching
-Surrounding yourself with greenery and nature
-A refreshing shower
-Yin yoga and deep stretching. Legs up the wall is a particularly effective position.
Key Take Aways
– Recovery happens in the parasympathetic state. Recovery is where the magic happens.
– Deep breaths through your nose stimulate a powerful nerve in the body which calms the mind and body.
– Deep breathing and the other honourably mentioned recovery techniques feel super good so get into it. No recovery, no progress, no point.