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The greatest performance enhancers in the world

If you’re hoping to get the most out of your training and even your life, prioritising these two habits are crucial. 

 

The exercise and health industry is riddled with supplements and alternate methods promising prosperity – we prefer to keep things simple and stick to science. 

 

After spending the last couple of weeks turning through two of the most profound yet obvious books we have come across in a while, a simple thought occurred: 

 

If you want to get more out of your training and more importantly your life focus on two things – breathing better and sleeping better. 

 

Yes, in that order and yes just those two things. 

 

The two books at hand are “Breath” by James Nestor and “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker. 

 

Giving time and mastering these two mundane and taken for granted tasks will set you up to make better and clearer decisions day to day, manage your emotions and urges and allow you to get more out of your time every day. 

 

How? 

 

Giving you the full answer will require a whole heap of time so we’ll do our best to keep it short. If you do want the details, we suggest you start with the two books. 

 

Put simply, by focusing on breathing well first, you’ll set yourself up to get to sleep easier and allow yourself to get more out of your sleep. 

 

Why? 

 

Breathing is something we don’t do very well. 

 

To keep things short we are going to focus on how to use your breathing to have an influence on your nervous system. 

 

When training, effectively breathing allows you to improve your recovery speed between anaerobic efforts and prolong your efficiency during aerobic efforts. How you get more out of your breathing has to be activity specific – but learning how to use the muscles that generate breathing is a good place to start. Naturally when we breathe heavily and quickly during exercise, it allows a few important things. First is quicker gaseous exchange flushing CO2 and second it allows you to keep your abdominals available to help facilitate movement. 

 

Flip the coin and lengthen out your breath, using both your stomach and your chest to extend your inhale and more importantly your exhale, you’ll start shifting your nervous system to a more parasympathetic state. If this is the first post of ours that you have read, a parasympathetic state is the “rest and digest” state – perfect for recovering post workout and crucial as it is the exact nervous state you want to be in when it comes to having a good night sleep. 

 

So before you waste your money on a quick fix or an alternate method, ask yourself two honest questions: do you breathe well and how well do you sleep?

 

#teamSOF