Training can be wildly inconsistent. We show up to the mat (or silks, trapeze, lyra) thinking we still exist in the same body as yesterday but somehow our body is performing very differently and doesn't feel familiar at all. We've all experienced it and we all know it is SUPER frustrating. Ladies, this phenomena is even more pronounced for us thanks to the ebbs and flows of our monthly hormones. Let's take a look at 3 main factors we can control so that we can handle the factors we can't control with a little more patience for the skin bag we inhabit.
Hydration. It is recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces for maximum hydration. More if you sweat a lot or consume caffeine or alcohol. Do you drink that much per day? If not, you may be battling dehydration that is impeding your flexibility progress. Being under hydrated can slow cognitive function, increase pain and soreness in muscles during and post workout, increase muscle cramping and decrease strength. Being dehydrated creates an unnecessary uphill battle. You don’t need that! Go drink your water! And lay off the alcohol the night before your workouts…
Sleep. The more active you are, the more sleep you require to continue performing at your best. Sleep is imperative to repairing muscle, restoring energy, maintaining full brain function and restoring your endocrine system (it’s responsible for balancing your hormone levels, imperative for physical performance). If you want to perform and feel your best, make 7-9 hours of sleep a night a priority. Oh, and please, if you have a short night of sleep, don’t pound extra coffee the next day. It perpetuates poor sleep and drains your adrenals.
Food. This particular topic is a hot bed of emotions so I’m not going to go into too much detail. Plus, I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t now your lifestyle or habits. However, it is common knowledge that a whole foods, plant based diet is optimal for brain and body function. If your brain and body are receiving optimal nutrients, then your flexibility/fitness goals will more easily be realized. Eating clean, healthful and whole foods allows our bodies to be able to efficiently convert our food to as much fuel as possible. In my house, we eat a ton of legumes, whole grains, fruits and veggies. No processed or packaged foods and organic everything 99% of the time. This works for us and we feel healthy, strong and capable.
If you find yourself getting frustrated with your body when you aren't making the progress you want to see, have an honest check in with yourself. Are you eating to fuel, sleeping to recover and staying hydrated? If you aren't consistently doing these things, how can you be surprised that your body isn't responding as well as it could be to your training?
At the end of the day, we have to make the best possible choices that help us balance our fitness goals, social commitments and emotional wishes. That means sometimes the right choice is to eat the junk food and stay up too late. It's all part of life. Just don't be mean or disappointed with your body if you show up to practice and your body isn't moving the way you want it to. Show yourself grace, be kind to your body, do your honest best and course correct when you need.
Good luck and bendy wishes to all of you!