Last month we looked at some tips to help get the most out of your recovery. Rehydrating, using cold therapy and wearing compression clothing, combined with eating right and a good rest strategy will all assist in keeping you fighting fit for your training regime. Here we round off our top tips for recovering right every time.
Eat right - After strenuous exercise muscles are often very sore. This is due to the miniscule muscle tears, which will repair and rebuild to become stronger. It can be very tempting to head straight for the medicine cabinet and pop a couple of anti-inflammatory pills to assist with the pain, but this is not the way to go. Doing this can interrupt the normal healing process and give a false sense of relief which may lead to getting back out there too soon and doing some real damage. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to healing, and therefore it is much better to fill your body with food which is rich in protein (aiding muscle repair) and which also has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Whole grains, healthy fats from avocados and nuts, beans, leafy greens, and wild-caught fish are all good for this.
Rest - A mandatory rest day each week is essential for good recovery. This is the time for the body’s muscles to repair and strengthen to get ready for the next workout. Not allowing for a rest day is sure to lead to overtraining which could ultimately lead to injury. Getting enough sleep on other non-rest days is also essential. Often as athletes, early rising is necessary to fit all training in, but the human body cannot function on early mornings and late nights with a heavy training schedule, plus a normal daily workload and family life. Burning the candle at both ends is not a top recovery tip!
Don’t forget that if worn during a recovery period, compression wear can also be an important tool for helping your body heal. By compressing muscles and improving blood flow and oxygen delivery, exercise induced waste products such as lactic acid can be flushed out of the system faster, meaning less soreness.
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