Participating in sports, strength training, skills training and balancing academic work can take a toll on the body and mind. Recovery is a vital component of any athlete or fitness enthusiast routine. Adequate recovery allows the body to heal and adapt to the stress of exercise, which can lead to better performance and mitigate the risk of overtraining and injury.
What are some of the best ways to recover?
- Sleep: IF SLEEP WAS A PILL PEOPLE WOULD PAY AN ABSURD AMOUNT FOR IT. Getting enough sleep is critical for recovery. During sleep the body is able to repair and regenerate tissues. We should be aiming for anywhere between 7-9 hours for optimal performance. Take the guesswork out and start tracking your sleep.
- Nutrition: Proper nutrition is necessary for recovery. The body needs a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbs, and fats. How much of each? That depends on your goals. Take the guesswork out and start tracking. (even if it’s for a few weeks just to get an idea)
- Link to My Fitness Pal
- Hydration: Making sure your body is adequately hydrated at all times. Mostly water, but Gatorade and Powerade are great tools to help in those hotter months.
- Active Recovery: A key note here is recovery is not passive. Engaging in low intensity exercises such as walking, light stretching, light weight/high volume workout can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process.
- Foam roller/Lax Ball: Everyone should have a foam roller/lax ball. Foam rolling is a form of self massage that can help increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension.
- Stretching: YES, Stretching. People go back and forth with static stretching. Investing time daily into stretching can help improve flexibility and range of motion. Start with :20 seconds and try to work to 2:00 minutes
- Relaxation: Stress often interferes with recovery. Utilizing small practices like breath work, meditation and yoga are all great options to help reduce stress and promote recovery.
- Check out Brain Peters – Breathwork Coach, Stud Individual
- Hot or Cold/ Hot & Cold Contrast: There has been a lot of great research about hot and cold therapy. Check out this post to learn more.
- Massages: A more intense, more expensive foam roll. Professional massages can help increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension
- Off Day: Remember if the body doesn’t recover it can not grow. Give your body a day of rest, I promise 1 day off wont hurt you in the grand scheme of things.
If any of these options could be sold in a pill form you would all be paying for them. The good thing is a lot of these options are very affordable and, the most effective are often Free. There is not much out there in this day and age that is free, so take advantage.
I’ll leave you with this thought: Are athletes/fitness enthusiasts often overtrained, or under-recovered?
If you are interested in Individual, group or team programming – click here
Owner – CM1 Performance