The Best Recovery List on the Internet.

The best recovery list on the internet begins right here, at Elite Mindset.

As a mental trainer and a frequent gym attender, I searched the internet for a simple but comprehensive list of the very best recovery techniques I could find. But, I'm a research nerd and I couldn't find one that I loved, so I decided to write the best recovery practices list on the internet (a big endeavor, I'll admit). The list is a combination of old school and new school research and practices. I'll include my own best recovery practices that I've learned over my years of coaching motivated people to be their very best. To be transparent, it's taken me a lot longer than I'd like to admit to learn many of these, but here's what I've learned the hard way!



Recovery is your secret weapon. If you're an athlete, then resting and recovering better than your opponent gives you a significant competitive advantage. If you're a high achiever, the "get better every day" type, you'll want to be intentional about your recovery. You may be the "I just want to live better and be better" type. Whatever your type, the decision-making, strength and endurance, emotional regulation, and cardio-vascular benefits are sure to give you a big lift.

You are your biggest opponent. You can overcome your situation, but can you overcome you? Can you overcome your thoughts, habits, and attitude on a consistent basis. Anyone can win a play, but can you win a game? You can eat well for one meal, but can you eat well for a day? Week? Month? Year? You can have a good attitude for a moment, day, or week, but can you carry it out throughout the year?  Recovery tools put you in the best position to be who you really want to be and how you really want to be when you're at your best...and worst.



In fact, recovery can give you a significant competitive advantage, give you tons more energy, prevent diseases, improve the quality of your lifeand extend the quality of your life.

You might be thinking, "It's too late for me to start." If you're interested in living a good life longer, then this article is for you. I don't know about you, but, discipline tastes a lot better than regret, so, I can assure you, it's never too late for you to start taking care of yourself. 

Whether you're an elite athlete or have significant physical limitations, the real issue is you taking control of, accepting responsibility, and self-determining what you CAN control.



Your body works hard and expends energy every day. Recovery allows your body to recharge, regenerate new cells, and repair existing ones. In fact, what builds muscle in the body is the "damaging" of muscle fiber (lifting the weights or training hard) and the body's process of repairing those fibers into new and improved muscle fiber through the many tools of recovery.

Your brain works in a similar way. You do brain damage every waking hour of the day. At night when you sleep is the primary recovery period for the brain. The brain requires approximately 30% of the energy the entire body.

Most people try to find recovery "hacks". It's another way to say "shortcut". They look for recovery shortcuts to be at their very best. But that's not how the natural body works. We can only work with our body. The body wants to work well. It's build into our DNA. When we partner with our body and not try to resist its natural recovery processes, we function at a much higher level on every level.

Admittedly, this article would be too long if I named all 12 of them here, so, I'm going to start with revealing the first 3. I'll reveal the next three next Monday and so on.






Your thoughts can make you sick. Literally. Thoughts like nervousness, anxiety, worry, and even depression affect our behaviors. Physiology and psychology are woven together. Cognitive-behavioral psychologists have studied the inter-relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Which comes first? 

Spiritually, a few thousand years ago the writer of the proverb said, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Our heart, feelings, and thoughts affects our bones!

While their are many scholarly writings on the subject, from a sports psychology viewpoint, I have long been intrigued by the order of what helps people get better and be better. Do my thoughts tell me how to feel, which affect my behaviors? Do my behaviors tell me how to feel, which affect my thoughts? Do my feelings inform my thoughts, which affect my behaviors?  Psychology affects our physiology and our physiology affects our phsychology.

In the documentary "Super Size Me", Morgan Spurlock ate junk food at McDonalds for 30 days straight. While he reported the phsycial symptoms of lethargy and headaches, he also reported intense feelings of depression and anxiety.

I've concluded, after years of studying high performance, that yes, all of the above is true and every person is different: psychology affects physiology and phsyciology affects our pshcyholgy. 



But if your thoughts can make you sick, the opposite is true: your thoughts can make you better. You can change the way you feel by changing your thoughts: your mindset. The ultimate sports performance question is "what is working for the athlete and let's improve it and what new skills can we teach that uncovers additional levels of performance. 

Every high performer knows how important the mental game is. The brain is not the mind, and the mind is not the brain. The brain is a 3 pound mass of white and dark material. The mind is a combination of your heart, soul, motivations, and feelings. 



Your brain is your "hardware". Your mind (and mindset) is the "software". You're born with hardware. You install the software over time. Much of who we are a combination of our hardware (DNA, physical make-up) and our software (the code written in us through experiences, education, and relationships). 

But we can choose to keep learning or keep stuck. To find new ways to perform at a high level or to resign ourselves that we can't get better. Carol Dweck, the brain scientist from Stanford wrote a book called "Mindset" states most individuals either have a "fixed" mindset or a "growth" mindset. The "fixed" mindset finds progress difficult. Their minds are "set" and less prone to learn and grow. Having a "growth" mindset is having a mindset that goes searching for ways to constantly improve. 



This is where I'll inject what I have observed over many years of coaching athletes, businesses, and great people get and be better. Here are my top 3 ways to let your brain and mind recover to help you be at your best.

  • SLEEP WELL. Here's the number one performance enhancer in the world: sleep. Without question, debate, or opinion, the activity that will give you a the largest performance boost is sleep.
    • Physical benefits: increased strength, endurance, brain and muscle regeneration and repair, and reaction time. I'll write much more in this series about how sleep affects our hormones. The length and quality of our sleep has a dramatic affect on our hormones.
    • Mental benefits: decision-making speed, quality, and multi-leveled thinking, creativity, focus, and stamina.
    • Emotional benefits: emotional regulation is dramatically increased.
    • Spiritual benefits: Sense of peace, connection.
    • Take a break from almost everything. Really. This principle from the Bible seems to prove to be true even today. Take a break from producing and enjoy life, relationships, and activities. 
      • break your days into 3 sections: morning, afternoon, and eve. Promise yourself to take a least one off from working every day. Burnout is mis-managing yourself.
      • take a day once a week to be bored. It replenishes you. Gravity teaches us what goes up must come down. Intentionally come down from stressful times or seasons.
      • every month or quarter AND year, take an extended time to recharge yourself. If you live a very stressful life, take a few month sabbatical to recharge your mind and body.
      • know the difference between "oil" and "gas" in your life. Oil are those things that make you run well in the long-run. Gas just gives you enough fuel to make through today or tomorrow (eating and sleeping). But oil makes sure your whole self does well and makes sure your whole self doesn't overheat and cause friction and overheating. Pay attention to your oil level. 
      • take a break from screens and technology. They rob you of getting to know you. Being on our phones is not resting. It's simply preoccupying us. It's not rest. It's entertainment at best. But entertainment is different than rest.
      • take a break from food. Fasting is a phenomenal way to reset your body. I'll write extensively about this in this series.
  • BE HERE WELL. Anxiety in the performance world is an over-preoccupation with the past (what has happened) and/or the future (what might happen). Just live in the present moment. Be invested here and now. Every minute. Every moment. Every breath. Be where your feet are. Elite performers literally concentrate on breathing right. Every breath requires focus and attention.
    • What thoughts are no longer useful to  you?
    • Divide your thoughts about the future in terms of whether you have full, partial, or no control over.
    • What thoughts can be re-purposed or re-interpreted? 


Nothing is more important to recovery than your mindset. No one else is going to care for your mind more than you. You must take ownership of caring for your brain and your mind. Your performance, happiness, and peace is directly dependent on how well you partner with your brain and mind to achieve alignment and harmony between your physiology and your psychology. Fighting it is to try to "override" your physiology. You can do that for a short period of time, but you'll never be at your best without paying intentional attention to mind/brain health.

Take care of you so you can care for others. I call this the SFO principle. Take care of Self so you can care For Others.

You can have an elite mindset.

If you haven't already, join the Elite Mindset Nation MMM free text message every Monday morning to be at your best for the week. 


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