Recovery is as important as training.
Sport is such an integral part of the Australian community. AFL, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, Hockey; it doesn’t matter which sport it is, Aussies love it! Our sports stars need to recover after these big games week to week, but here are some of their simple secrets that you can do yourself.
Every time we exercise, the body tries to adapt to the stimulus we give it by becoming stronger, faster or more agile. As the body changes, we feel body fatigue and muscle soreness which ultimately reduces performance. Figuring out what recovery is, when to do it and how much can be a daunting task. An Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist at SWSM can help you with these areas.
Types of Recovery
There are many ways in which you can help your body reduce the effect of exercise on your body.
1. Sleep – Getting adequate sleep is the most important factor of recovery – There is no argument! It helps to repair, nourish and regenerate our tissues and our central nervous system. Here are 3 tips to help you maximise your sleep:
- Limit the use of electronics 1 hour before sleeping
- Avoid excessive caffeine
- Sleep in a cool dark room with little light
2. Water Recovery – Have you ever seen your footy team at the beach in the cold water following a big game? Immersing yourself in cold water around 14-16 degrees for up to 3-6 minutes helps to reduce any inflammation, remove excessive waste products and reduce muscle soreness. Tip:
- Try this in your bath with cold water (14-16 degrees) – 3 -6 minutes
3. Hydration – The body keeps cool during exercise by sweating. This loss of fluid leads to dehydration and can cause a decrease in performance, muscle cramping and delayed recovery. The easiest way to track the amount of fluid needed after a training session is to weigh yourself before and after training. Multiply the difference by 1.5 to give you an estimate of fluid required to replenish the lost fluid. Tips:
- Drink fluid regularly during exercise to minimise risk of dehydration!
4. Massage Therapy – Everybody loves a good massage. But what are the benefits? Muscle tightness and dysfunction frequently occur during and after training. Massage is used in recovery to decrease the amount of inflammation in the muscles after a strenuous training session. If you do not have access to a qualified massage professional, a simple self-massage technique using a foam roller can help to not only make you feel better but also reduce the post-exercise soreness experienced after exercise. Tip:
- Invest in a foam roller to get into those tight muscles after your training or competition. The Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists at Sydney West Sports Medicine can show you some tricks and tips on getting the most out of your foam roller.
5. Nutrition – Food is energy, and the body requires energy to perform. After training or exercise it is important to follow the 3 R’s. Refuel, Rebuild and Rehydrate. Refuel and rebuild your body within 15-60 minutes after training with a serving of protein and carbohydrate. Try This:
- This recovery smoothie contains approximately 390 calories, 22 grams of protein, 55 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fat.
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup ice
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (canned in own juice)
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 tsp Berry Burst Metamucil
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
If you would like to learn more about how you can improve your recovery, enhance your performance or just get moving more frequently our Accredited Exercise Physiologists can help! With access to state of the art facilities and incredible knowledge and experience, you will receive the best service in Western Sydney. Book in for an initial assessment today on 02 9851 5959!