Don’t overlook the need for rest and recovery

A few easy steps to help recharge your mind and body

By Dr. Matthew Lapp, Columnist, The Times

CTColLogoMattLappSchool has started, the days are getting shorter and cooler, and the summer months are slowly winding down.  For many people, this means the beginning of a busy time of year that doesn’t slow down until the summer months return once again.  With this in mind, I want to discuss a very important concept with regard to overall well-being and quality of life: rest & recovery.

In our hectic lives, it’s easy to overlook the simplest of necessities.  We cram our schedules full of activities & events, meetings and appointments. But, when was the last time you simply sat and meditated or took a few deep breaths to clear your mind?  Many people find themselves making various sacrifices in order to get everything accomplished, and often, rest and recovery are last on the list.  In extreme cases, it might even take a serious injury or adverse life event before a person stops and allows him or herself to fully recover.

One of my mentors says, “life is an athletic event” and itʼs true. Whether you’re competing in an athletic event or simply trying to get the best performance and well-being in life, you have to take care of yourself. That means finding harmony between your active life and your recovery life.

Since we experience our world through our nervous system, every muscle, organ, and system takes its cues from the brain. In addition, this master control system helps to coordinate our healing. On a constant basis, the brain sends and receives information from the body and our environment in order to best prepare our internal workings and adapt to our external demands. When the nervous system is overstrained due to overwhelming physical, mental/emotional, or chemical stress, our ability to recover is limited. In turn, this puts us in jeopardy of injury, breakdown, or chronic fatigue.

Since the demands placed upon us are always changing, the human body must instinctively adapt, change, and repair itself, otherwise a breakdown or injury will occur. Our bodies are intelligent and when this happens, other areas of the body try to compensate.  So, in the short term we accomplish the task or activity but long-term we set ourselves up for failure.  This leads to a loss of efficiency, wasted energy, and the risk of additional injuries and stressors.

With this in mind, here a few simple areas to focus your attention on in order to ensure that you are getting proper recovery on a consistent basis:

Drink plenty of water.

Proper hydration is a key, and often overlooked, area of recovery. Donʼt wait until you are thirsty-if your urine is not clear, you are already dehydrated.

Get plenty of sleep.

During sleep our bodies assimilate the day, growth hormones work to repair and rebuild, and we prepare for the next day.

Eat a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods.

Nutrition provides the fuel needed to perform and recover at a high level on a regular basis. If you use high level fuel, you get high level results. If you use junk fuel, youʼll get poor results, or worse.

Spend time being quiet.

Each day, take a few minutes to practice being silent and listening to the needs and wants of your body.  By increasing your internal awareness, you’ll be better able to adapt to the external demands of your daily life.

Just as health is a result of the choices we make, our long-term performance and well-being in life is a result of what we put into our training and recovery. In order to have the highest levels of well-being, take steps every day to improve. Striving for balance between activity and recovery is the only way to get the best out of your life now and in the years to come.

Drs. Allison and Matthew Lapp are the owners of Salus Chiropractic Studio in Thorndale. For more information, visit them on the web at

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