- Posted by Cameron
- On 5th October 2018
- 0 Comments
How to Recover from Exercise and Training
At Covent Garden Physio, we love educating our clients on how to exercise and train more safely and effectively. But how you spend your time between activity is just as important as what you do during.
Here’s my advice on how to make your rest days count.
Rest, but don’t be inactive
Whenever you put your body under heavy load, you need to follow up with a period of rest so that your body can focus its resources on repairing damaged tissue.
This repair process is how your body strengthens its muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones so that they can handle more load in the future.
If you don’t give your body dedicated time to repair, you will become highly vulnerable to injury. Skipping rest days may seem like it will give you a shortcut to your fitness goals, but an injury will grind your training to a halt.
The majority of gym or sports based injuries that I’ve treated over the years have been a result of people failing to moderate their load. Listen to your body: if it’s tired, give it a rest.
But just because we call it a “rest day” doesn’t mean you have to do nothing.
Research has shown that light activity is more beneficial for muscle repair than complete rest. For example, a gentle walk, bike ride or swim can all keep your muscles active and mobile without overloading them.
This will help to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and muscle stiffness. And if you’re the type that has difficulty sitting still, it will ease your itchy feet during rest days.
But mental burnout can be just as dangerous as physical, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, there’s nothing wrong with putting your feet up for the day to recharge.
Relieve muscle stiffness
As muscles repair, their fibres can tighten up, making muscle stiffness something of an inevitability if you’re physically active.
Trying to exercise when you’re feeling stiff increases your risk of injury, so make sure you lengthen tight muscles beforehand.
Stretches can help to relive minor stiffness, while more severe stiffness might require the use of a foam roller or a spike ball to soften up tough tissue.
Massages and saunas can also leave you feeling more limber, with the bonus effect of a bit of relaxation and pampering. If you’re feeling the need for a massage do get in get see our sports massage therapist [name] by emailing [email].
Eat healthy, sleep plenty and relax
Exercise is only half the battle if you want to be healthy. Food and water isn’t just vital for providing you with energy for your exercise but also giving your body the nutrients it needs to repair itself.
While the fine print of your diet will depend on your fitness goals (and we can recommend world-class nutritionists if you need …), you can’t go wrong with a balanced diet with plenty of protein and fresh fruit and vegetables, while avoiding heavy, high calorie, nutritionally lacking food.
Your body does most of its maintenance when you’re asleep, so don’t have too many late nights during a period of heavy exercise or activity. Trying to exercise when fatigued is also an easy way to end up injuring yourself.
Sleep deprivation also contributes to chronic stress, which has many negative effects on your body, from impeded digestion to a weakened immune system and increased sensitivity to pain.
Relaxation isn’t just good for your mind, but your body too. A holistic approach to health that covers both mental and physical health will provide far greater benefits than focusing purely on exercise.
Feeling aches and pains? Come and see us
Early intervention is key to preventing chronic injuries from developing. If specific areas are consistently painful after exercise or you have pain that lasts more than a week, book a physio appointment with us now by Booking online, emailing email@example.com, calling 0207 497 8974