Did you know rest and recovery are just as important (if not more) as getting a good workout in?! Without giving the body down time, it’s not able to repair itself and can get run-down. leading to increased injuries and poor performance. Read on to learn about common types of recovery methods and to learn how much rest is adequate to keep the body going strong!
Now days, recovery is a trending topic- rightfully so. From cryotherapy to cupping, there are several modalities to help the body bounce back faster and expedite the recovery process. The list of options is incredibly long and each method heals the body through different unique mechanisms.
MYOFASCIAL RELEASE is important to work into a recovery routine. All of these MFR modalities can help improve lactate clearance, delayed onset of muscle soreness, muscle fatigue and injury prevention. It can help to break up scar tissue and muscle adhesions as well as reduce stress, anxiety and muscle tension. These methods all accelerate muscle repair and recovery, increase blood and lymphatic flow while working to release knots, tightness and soreness, resulting in improved movements and range of motion.
• MASSAGE // It’s not just for spa days. There are different types of massage, and a couple great ones for muscle recovery are a deep tissue or sports massage.
• CUPPING // Several massage therapists also may offer cupping therapy, which works by lifting and separating the tissues versus compressing when pushing on them. Small cups are applied with either a vacuum pump or fire. The negative pressure causes the skin to raise into the cup, delivering fresh blood to the area, bringing in nutrients to repair and then flush waste products. Cupping also generates energy flow, or Qi (chi), to the area to help with repair.
• MASSAGE GUN // These are hand-held, high powered machines. They generally range from 2000 to 3200 repetitions per minute, making them an efficient option to work with.
• FOAM ROLLING // Foam rollers are a great, affordable tool. It’s an easy thing to work into a daily routine to help combat soreness by spending a short amount of time rolling out the major muscle groups. When rolling, nerve receptors are being activated. The muscles and brain talk through the nerves which then tells the muscles to loosen and possible reduces pain signals from the muscle.
REST DAYS are just as important as workout days, otherwise workouts can just drive the body down to where it is unable to operate at its full potential. That’s why scheduling 1-2 rest days during the week is recommended, avoiding high impact or strenuous activity on those days to keep the body in sympathetic (rest & digest) mode so it’s able to heal itself.
SLEEP is crucial to recovery. Though all the different options may seem more fun and exciting, the all-star on the team is… sleep. And the best part? It’s FREE! Without quality sleep, our body isn’t able to properly carry out its natural processes to detoxify, repair and rebuild all of its organs and tissues (like muscles and the brain). Even with the hardest workouts and best recovery tools, the body isn’t able to get the most out of either of those unless it has time to catch up and regenerate itself.
NUTRITION is another important piece of the puzzle. What we eat is incredibly important in how the body recovers. Given the proper nutrients, the body is able to complete all of its chemical processes to regenerate cells. A proper balance of nutrient- rich foods keeps processes active and generates energy. Without eating healthy, the body will become sluggish and take longer to recover. Check out these past articles for more insight and ideas of what to be eating to stay healthy:
HYDRATION is yet another important component to speedy recovery. Muscles are made up mostly of water, so if the body is dehydrated, as are the muscles. Here’s how to calculate the recommended amount of water to consume: Take your body weight and divide it by two- thats the minimum amount in ounces that should be drank every day. Ex: 150 pounds = 75 oz water. Click the link below to learn more on hydration: