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TN50 #68, Down Regulating Your Nervous System After Your Workout Is Important, 18 April 2022

Hi Team,

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #68.  I always follow up a workout with a 20 to 25-minute sauna ride, the sauna ride is work at 200 degrees F. but it is also relaxing at the same time.  One thing that happens while I am in there is the down-regulation of my nervous system from sympathetic (think Action) to para-sympathetic (think Recovery).  When you have 25-minutes in a sauna to sweat out and soften up after a workout, breathing light and deep through your nose will do the trick for resetting the nervous system.  No option for a 20+ minute sauna ride?  No problem.

Once your workout is over here’s what you do:

  1. Find a quiet corner in the gym or locker room where you can sit or preferably lay down
  2. Set your timer for 5 minutes
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Breath in deep through your nose, inhaling for 3 to 5 seconds
  5. Exhale through you nose (or mouth) for twice as long as you inhaled, 3 in would be 6 out, you get the idea
  6. Repeat for 5 minutes, 3 minutes minimum
  7. That’s it, you can now go about your day without your nervous system being stuck somewhere between Action and Recovery, now go get some.

Here is a short video to watch on down regulating your nervous system, if you have a few minutes. (Andrew Huberman/Andy Galpin)

The whole chunk is about 10 minutes, the first few minutes cover breathing during a workout, which I would suggest is also worth a listen; but if you want to make it shorter go to time 1:32 on the video and the down regulation bit will start moments after that.

Some of you may be wondering how to exhale for 10 seconds if you only inhale for 5, if this is you just breath out slower than you breath in (-:

Hat tip to Liz for asking me some questions about her son’s upcoming track meet plan which made me think I should share this information with all of you!

Please let me know any thoughts or comments you have on this and share the post with your team or anyone who might find it useful.

Have a good one, Alex