Despite what the high intensity flash-in-the-pan programmes would have you believe, the bulk of fat loss and muscle gain is made in the hours spent outside the gym, during moments where you don’t have an unusually upbeat instructor barking in your ear.
Physical progress hinges on your ability to recover from abuse and come back stronger, to take some hits without getting into an emotional breakdown. It’s down to how well you can snap from one stressful nervous system, into a more productive one. The parasympathetic system.
If you’re unable to settle down and get comfortable after a heavy workout, or a tough day at the office, you’re simply going to be progressing at a suboptimal rate. And you probably won’t notice it.
The only way of ensuring you can move from the sympathetic down into the parasympathetic response, is breathing. Slow, deep inhales and exhales will activate physiological changes that ramp down the stress in the body. It’s a superpower that is yours to wield throughout the day.
About to walk into a quarterly financial presentation? Breathe. Gathering yourself before breaking up with your girlfriend on valentine’s day? Breathe. It takes practice, and the sooner you can reign in your breathing, the better you’ll be able to avoid stress and recover from the ones that inevitably hit you.
You can start the work with my nose breathing challenge.