What Is Sports Recovery?
The sports recovery principle is that athletes need a certain amount of time to recover from sports training and competition. Recovery therapies may seek to accelerate that time so that athletes can train more aggressively without injury. Other therapies try to shorten how much time is required to recover from an injury or illness.
Do Sport Recovery Therapies Actually Work?
The answer is that it depends on the sports recovery therapy. For example, while massages may reduce stress or simply feel good, they do not have any real effect on the rate of muscle recovery. The same is true for the use of foam rollers for do it yourself massage therapy.
Ice baths reduce immediate pain, but they don’t actually help you recover when you’ve had an injury. While the ice bath may reduce your swelling, it is often counter-productive since the swelling is necessary for muscles to fully recover and regain their strength. Cryotherapy relies entirely upon the placebo effect.
Compression tights are a real medical device that can improve circulation when you have conditions like diabetes, but it doesn’t make a difference in athletic performance or recovery.
Drinking electrolyte drinks instead of water is necessary to fully replenish lost muscles, but drinking them in bulk won’t add to your cardiovascular capacity or strength. This is why there are only a few viable sports recovery therapies that work, and relatively few of them are things that you can do at home.
What Are Some Sports Recovery Therapies?
Carefully supervised training overseeing the intensity, duration and type of training is the ideal sports recovery therapy. You can get more out of your recovery period with ideal nutrition such as maximizing fluid intake, carbohydrate relative to protein and balancing your diet. For example, a lack of vital nutrients like iron and potassium can leave you unduly tired and slow down your recovery. In middle age, balancing thyroid hormone levels or maintaining healthy blood sugar is essential to being able to recover in a timely manner.
A coach can give you advice on lifestyle factors like quality of sleep, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption and other things that hinder your recovery. Touch base with a trainer before you try to emulate training at a high elevation. Talk to a doctor if you are dealing with an illness, infection, injury or muscle damage. Your couch could advise you on coping with anxiety or stress.
If you need medical advice to help cope with illness or injury, you need the right level of Private Health Cover. If you don’t, then visit iSelect to find the right cover for you as an avid athlete.
It is important to note you should always ensure you practice dynamic stretching before workouts and static stretching afterward. This will help to improve flexibility and circulation through your body.
If you are trying to optimize your training schedule or recover from injury, be very careful about trying to do it yourself. Don’t make the mistake of relying too heavily on pain medication and anti-inflammatories, as this can mask damage that over-training makes worse. Nor should you select training schedules that are followed by people in far better shape than you. Instead, come up with a training and recovery regimen that fits your body’s abilities right now.