Rest and recovery are one of the most important performance training strategies, defined as a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength. In today’s busy paced society athletes often feel guilty when they take a day off to recover. With the body repairing and strengthening itself in the time between workout, recovery will actually benefit an athlete more so than overtraining, which will weaken athletes both psychologically and physically, often causing an array of injuries and weakness.
During the Process of Recovery
Exercise and physical activity can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, energy store depletion and fluid loss. Recovery is so critical as it allows the body time to repair and strengthen itself, providing both physical and psychological recovery. Recovery allows for the replenishment of energy stores and the repair of tissue, decreasing the risk of injury.
7 Essential Elements of Rest and Recovery
The main role of sleep is to restore the body’s depleted energy supplies. Enough sleep provides mental health, hormonal balance and muscular recovery.
Our bodies depend on water to survive, every cell, tissue and organ within the body needs water in order to function. The consumption of fluid during exercise is essential in replacing fluids lost through the process of sweating. Hydration aids in reducing the risk of heat stress, maintaining normal muscle function and preventing dehydration.
The consumption of clean, balanced and nutrient dense foods is proven to be highly effective within increasing health and ultimately performance. Protein is critical in optimising recovery and muscle repair within post-exercise. The amount of protein recommended for highly active people is higher than the general population. Furthermore, post exercise, a diet high in quality carbohydrates and protein should be consumed in order to replenish the muscle fuel stores.
Sitting or standing with bad posture is harmful, leading to an array of aches, pains and weakness which can further be injured due to weakness when exercising or taking part in physical activity.
The stretching of major muscle groups after exercise or physical activity is highly effective in reducing muscle soreness, muscle stiffness, increasing flexibility and increasing local blood flow.
ICE AND COMPRESSION
Icing and the application of compression aids in the prevention and recovery of injuries. Cryotherapy is a highly effective, preferred and advanced method of cold recovery for athletes. So why choose cryotherapy? It works and has the results to back it. Cryotherapy aids in instigating muscle repair and recovery following exercise. Delayed onset muscle soreness is usually a result of micro tears within the muscle resulting in soreness, inflammation, pain and a delayed recovery. Three minutes within the cryo sauna aids in relieving pain naturally and instantly by slowing down the nerve impulses sent to the brain that word to identify pain. Cryotherapy further reduces the constriction of blood vessels therefore reducing swelling and allowing the body to fight against inflammation reducing soreness associated with post-performance. Finally, through aiding the body to recover from muscle soreness at an increased rate, it prevents athletes from experiencing pain for an extended period of time and therefore allows them to recover at a quicker rate and more intensely than they would have been able to prior, without the use of cryotherapy. Finally, the application of graduated compression aids in faster muscle repair, reduced soreness and an improved rate of recovery for athletes.