Exercise puts your body under stress. With time and good recovery strategies, your body becomes more adapted to these stress levels and performance improves. However this stress causes micro-tears in your muscles and the severity of these tears depends on the intensity of the exercise. Whilst micro-tearing of the muscles is needed for the process of muscle building, this process needs to be carried out in a controlled way; knowing which exercises are the most beneficial, knowing how to perform these exercises and also knowing how to recover and look after your body.
Recovery methods such as sports massage and rest days are important for everyone, regardless of your exercise level. These methods do not just apply to elite athletes!
A rest day is possibly the simplest form of recovery that you can do. The optimal time for “rest days” can be up to 48-72 hours for the muscles that have been worked, though this equation is a little more complicated for endurance athletes. During rest days you can either do absolutely nothing or you can do active recovery which places little to no stress on your body, specifically yoga, stretching or walking
The benefits of rest days are:
- To allow the body to repair its damaged tissues and to replenish the energy stores that have been used up
- Helps to overcome adaptation, gradually building up the amount of stress put upon your body
- Prevents overtraining
- Helps with relaxation physically and mentally
Having regular sports massages can be very beneficial for your body regardless of your athletic ability, keeping your body feeling good and helping to prevent any future injuries. Having massages between workouts to coincide with periods of rest can help to speed up the recovery process.
The benefits of sports massages exercise are:
- Increasing blood flow to the muscles helping to circulate nutrients and repair the damaged tissues
- Increase lymph flow and removal of toxins such as lactic acid which is produced in the muscles during exercise
- Relieves muscular pain and prevention of DOMS
- Breaking down of hypertonic areas of muscle
- Improves your flexibility
Foam rollers and massage guns are good pieces of equipment to own as this can allow you to perform self massage on yourself and help maintain the recovery of your muscles between sessions.
Our sports massage services are on hand to help you whether you are in need of a recovery and/or maintenance sports massage, a pre-event or post-event sports massage, or you just fancy treating yourself to a sports massage. Why not book yourself an appointment for the best sports massage in Surrey!
Cryotherapy is essentially cold water therapy. It can be used on the whole body through the use of ice baths, chambers or simply cold showers. Cryotherapy can also be used on specific areas by using ice packs. Incorporating cryotherapy into your recovery routine can be very beneficial to your body.
- It helps to reduce inflammation by stimulating blood and lymphatic movement, causing excess fluids to be removed from the damaged areas, allowing for fresh blood flow to flow back into that area to provide the right nutrients and oxygen needed for repair
- Cryotherapy has been found to reduce the time it takes for athletes to recover. Including this recovery method with others can help your body to heal faster, prevent new injuries and get you back to exercise as quickly and effectively as possible
- Flexibility can be improved with cryotherapy by relaxing overworked muscles
Eating the right foods and a balanced diet before and after exercise is essential. Your body needs all the right fuel sources to get you through the activities. Your body’s preferred source of fuel is glycogen, especially during higher intensity workouts. The use of this fuel source can result in your muscles becoming depleted of glycogen and if your body doesn’t have enough stored, the proteins in your muscles will be broken down and damaged as an alternative energy source.
As soon as exercising is finished, the body is trying to repair and rebuild the damaged proteins so it is essential that you eat the right balance of fats, carbs and proteins as soon after as possible.
- Protein supplies your body with amino acids which help to rebuild the used proteins and provide the means to build new muscle tissues
- Carbs help to replenish the glycogen stores which are mostly used during endurance training sessions
- Fat is often seen as a bad thing to have in your diet, however in small portions, fats can help promote muscle growth after workouts
Individually, each of these recovery methods can have benefits on your body. However, when they are used all together in a regular routine, this will have the most effective benefits for any active person.