So sport is back- Finally. Gym and Pilates studios have been open all year. And we have been able to train unrestricted. Whether you are a gym junkie, training for a marathon, or running around the football or netball fields in the 3rds. It can be easy to get carried away with the endorphin rush we all get from participating in exercise and activity. BUT, it is important to ensure we are looking after our bodies and recovering correctly. Our bodies need to recover from each and every exercise session. Without adequate recovery, you don’t allow time for your body to repair. This could lead to breakdown, poor performance, and potential injury.
So what is the best way to recover?
As with most things in life – it depends. But there is a lot of research to support Active Recovery.
What is Active Recovery?
Active recovery is also known as active rest. Unlike Passive recovery which is also known as “sit on the couch binge-watching Game Of Thrones for the 3rd time”. Active recovery has you participating in movement activities at a lower intensity.
What are the Benefits of Active Recovery:
Lower intense movements allow for an increase in blood flow and delivery of vital nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. This helps with the repair of these muscles. Movement of fluid aids in swelling ( if there is any) as well as flushing waste products from the system. Think lactic acid. Let’s also not forget the mental benefits of an easy, slow-paced session.
Examples of Active Recovery:
When using yoga as a form of recovery, try to aim for a more restorative style with a focus on slower movements, stretching and breathing, and control. . A slow flow yoga will promote great blood flow, and calm the mind as well.
Sounds simple. That’s because it is. Fresh Air, Vitamin D, and nature. What a combination. Not to mention peaceful and calming for the mind. Grab a friend or listen to your favorite podcast.
Light Resistance Training:
Of course you can still lift on your day off. BUT, it needs to be reduced by at least 30-40% of your maximum. Opt for higher reps, and a focus on your technique. Participating in a light resistance can reinforce your movement patterns. Not to mention helps stimulate blood flow and supply nutrients to the working muscles without straining or tearing them down. Win-win!
Taking your workout to the pool is a great low-impact exercise option. Being in the water allows your body to be weightless, relaxes your joints, and stretches your body. There is also the added benefit of the water pressure helping to improve circulation.
Yes, this may not be YOU moving your body, but it will no doubt benefit you. And let’s be honest, far better than the couch and Netflix. This session could be followed up with some foam roller work.
Whichever your choice of active recovery tool is, remember to keep it light and enjoyable. You are far more likely to maintain a routine if you enjoy it. Listening to your body is also essential. Any niggles, aches and pains that are not reduced by your recovery session may need to be investigated. Soreness post-exercise is normal. Sharp pain or an inability to perform normal tasks properly may be warning signs you have pushed your body too hard.
At Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic, we thrive on helping our local community with their Active recovery from sports such as football, soccer or basketball. Our Osteopaths service Malvern, Glen Iris, Ashburton, Hawthorn, Toorak, South Yarra, Camberwell and Caulfield. Book online today, and let us help you feel and move better than you did yesterday!
Any questions about recovery or want to know more about how an Osteopath can help you?