5 Remedies To Post Workout Recovery
24th Sep 2014
Here are our Spa Operations Manager, Sean Hincks' top 5 remedies to post workout recovery:
Over time the continued shortening and tightening of muscles restricts the range of movement possible at a given joint and can increase risk of injury. The easiest method of stretching is static, or passive stretching. During this stretch, a muscle or group of muscles are gently eased into an elongated position and held for 15-20 seconds.
To improve as opposed to maintaining flexibility, each stretch should be repeated 3 or 4 times, attempting to move further each repeat.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). When we statically stretch our muscles, the body’s protection system kicks in to stop us from tearing muscles and we can reach a sticking point. PNF stretching involves isometrically contracting the muscle against an immovable object, or partner, before taking the stretch further. The contraction of the muscle first tricks the body into turning off the protection system and so when the muscle is stretched, it can be stretched further.
From the simplest to most complex biological function, water is the common factor but exercise has the effect of dehydrating us through sweating to keep us from overheating. Obviously, an adequate hydration programme should be in place whilst you are training because dehydration can reduce performance potential, but it is critical post exercise for enabling our body to recover from the exertions we place on it. Research suggests that the minimum fluid intake per day should be 3.7L for a man and 2.7L for a woman.
Whether your exercise is of an aerobic or anaerobic nature, the fuel for it comes from muscle glycogen and this needs to be replenished and it can be done so at a much higher rate if you can eat or take a carbohydrate supplement from within 5 minutes to an hour of exercising. Add a little protein in to the mix as well and research suggests that a more positive impact will be seen. For maximum results, try and eat a well-balanced meal about 2 hours after exercising.
We don’t get fit from training, we get fit from recovering from training. When we exercise, our energy stores are depleted, our muscles and bones get broken down and damaged and our body is generally fatigued; this is, however, a good thing because our body not only goes about repairing the damage but also making us stronger so that we are in a better position to cope should the same thing happen again but it will only recover if we allow ourselves the opportunity by resting.
Muscle stiffness, scar tissue and depending on how hard you have pushed yourself, pain, are to be expected from training but this doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Whether it’s from a therapist or just yourself using a foam roller, massage can reduce muscle soreness, can increase circulation and bring about a state of relaxation which all contribute to your recovery.
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