Corporate Athlete Community

® Managing energy, not time, for maximum performance and productivity
Volume 2, issue 8 August 2008

Too Much Stress? No… Not Enough Recovery
In the last decade, the demands that executives face have grown exponentially. Companies require more productivity from their employees which in turn causes many individuals to work longer hours just to keep up. The bar is continually rising and increasing numbers of employees are feeling burned out from the overwhelming amount of stress they feel every day. Many people think, “I can’t work any harder or stay at work any later, but more and more is expected of me.” This phenomenon is happening world-wide, so it is no wonder that there is a growing number of stress management programs emerging, suggesting that we must decrease our stress levels in order to lead more enjoyable lives. Many of these programs insinuate that our ultimate goal should be freedom from stress altogether. At first glance, less stress does sound like the answer that many people need, especially with the prevalence of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, all of which list high stress levels as a risk factor. However, if you look deeper you will find that it is not the stress that causes concern for many executives, but it is their lack of recovery. As humans we require cycles of stress and recovery in order to keep developing. If we have too much stress in our lives (without recovery) we feel burned out, and if we have too much recovery we will fail to expand our capacity for growth. By establishing a regular, consistent schedule for recovery, eating, sleeping, and moving, you can better handle the ever growing demands of your life. One of the best ways to commit to a schedule for energy recovery, management, and increased capacity, is to develop rituals around these three areas. To recover energy, you can use any of the methods listed in the article below. To manage the energy you already have, move strategically throughout the day. Stretching, small movements, and major movements can be used to increase blood flow throughout the body, increasing glucose and oxygen to all the vital organs, including the brain, thereby enhancing energy levels. Eating strategically is another way you can manage energy levels. This allows blood glucose to stay at optimum levels, never going too low or too high. Finally, the best way to increase the amount of energy you have available is through exercise. Exercise helps to increase your overall energy capacity, helps clear your mind and invigorate your body. During periods of high stress, it is important to remember that stress won’t break you, but failing to create adequate time for recovery in your daily life can.

“After 60 days I can say that I have made some habit changes. Some are significant and some are simply a small step to something bigger for my next mission. I feel some positive changes in my body and energy and I know my workouts are more effective. I took my laptop set up off the dining room table and exposed the real and beautiful wood in the room! My family has noticed and has been supportive.”
~ Client testimonial

Types of Recovery
Many people view recovery as lying around watching a movie or taking a nap. The truth is, recovery is possible while in motion. Recovery done actively is called active recovery (best done in a non-competitive format), whereas recovery done while being inactive is called passive recovery. Both types of recovery are essential for becoming fully engaged. The following is a list of activities that fall under each recovery type. Active Recovery Activities: • Walking, jogging, biking • Yoga, stretching • Fishing, tennis, golf Passive Recovery Activities: • Meditation, deep breathing • Reading, listening to music • Massage • Sleeping

Corporate Athletes:
If you have a success story that you would like to share, please send it to Jennifer Lea at

There are also types of negative behaviors which disguise themselves as recovery. When we adopt these behaviors, we create the story that we are recovering; however, the real story (and the truth) is that these behaviors cause our bodies stress. Some of these types of activities are listed here: • Abusing alcohol or medication, using illegal drugs • Cigarette smoking • Habitually over-sleeping • Over-consumption of food

© 2007 LGE Performance Systems (D/B/A Human Performance Institute)

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checking emails. By doing so. working. When we engage in meal multi-tasking we tend to be unaware of how much we are eating.D. etc.Multi-tasking at Meals: What Not to Do Meal multi-tasking .521 people found that: • • • • 91% typically watch TV when eating meals at home 62% are sometimes or often too busy to sit down and eat 35% eat lunch at their desk while they work 26% often eat when driving ~ Brian Wansink. If you’ve this done before. M. Because our stomach can’t count. or reading . All of our eating scripts are reinforced by the rituals that we have in Page 2 .. you can begin to re-write your eating “scripts. emails. read the newspaper. To become more aware of what you are eating you need to begin thinking about what rituals you can create that tie in with your ultimate mission and purpose. Newspapers. the more we focus on what we’re watching.V. Questions/comments? Contact us at 407. magazines. what we are very popular in our fast-paced world. like watching T. books.e. Keep your hands clasped. Mindless Eating Exercise of the Month: Stretching: Back and Shoulders To perform these stretches. driving. have you ever looked down at your empty cereal bowl and asked yourself. which makes them a perfect strategic movement option to use while at work. For some of us it is a scripted ritual to turn on the TV.438. and reach in front of your body to stretch your back and shoulders. These stretches can also be done sitting. and sit down with a cup of coffee and a bowl of breakfast cereal. clasp your hands together and reach up above your head to stretch your upper back. eating while doing something else. “Who ate this?” Most of us have been there at one time or another.. radio. the more we end up forgetting how much we’ve eaten. TV is not the only culprit. It is common for most of us to turn on the morning news. sit down.” To follow are several interesting statistics from the book Mindless Eating: A poll of 1. can also have an effect on what and how much food you eat.9911 x105 cjordan@hpinstitute. and eat a snack.i. and when we become satisfied.