So many times in the Physiotherapy practice we get our clients asking how to improve performance, but commonly recovery is hugely overlooked. Marcel Gyde – Physiotherapist @ Bureta Physio takes you through some of the basics of exercise recovery to making sure you get the most out of your training.
You put the hard work in so now reap the rewards and recover well
Successful exercise and sport has a basis of quality training set around duration, frequency and intensity, with an important ingredient of recovery, as a means to adapt, improve and capitalise on training. All to often in physiotherapy we see many athletes suffering conditions related to fatigue, conditions of strain that can be avoided through successful exercise recovery programmes and tips.
HYDRATION – recovery and hydration begins before sport and exercise takes place, temperature and intensity are important aspects to consider, 1% loss of body water effects VO2 max output, increases heart rate and decreases alertness. For 20 minutes of exercise 300 ml of fluid needs to be consumed pre-event. Post event 1 litre of fluid for every kilogram of weight lost during event, measuring pre and post event can help with this equation. Electrolytes and recovery drinks can form important nutrient recoveries for the body, which is best 30 minutes post event, when muscles uptake of glycogen is at its optimum. A 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is best for replenishment of glycogen stores and muscle repair, many recovery drinks fit this bill, as does low fat chocolate milk as a cheaper easy option.
FOOD – High quality carbohydrates are essential in optimal recovery, 7-12grams per kilogram of body weight is necessary to replenish muscle glycogen stores. An easy snack that contains 50 grams of carbs is 2 slices of toast with banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. High quality protein is essential for muscle repair, 15-25 grams of protein should be consumed one hour post event. A favourite meal post exercise is pasta with chicken and vegetables which covers all the essential carbs, proteins and fat.
MUSCLE RECOVERY – Compression garments can aid in minimising tissue swelling, promote blood flow back to the heart and help with lactic acid recovery. There are several clothing brands now on the market but make sure the garment is tight but not constricting.
Static stretching post event can increase blood flow to muscles, improve range of motion and speed up recovery and promote injury prevention. It’s important to only stretch warm muscles, and the muscles you have used in your exercise or sport. Stretch slowly with no bouncing, and breath through stretches not holding breath, current time frames of 45 seconds to a minute for each stretch, re potions dependant on tightness and previous effort.
Ice baths are beneficial, they cause blood vessels to constrict, forcing out blood with waste products, such as lactic acid, from the muscles. No more than 10minutes of ice bath, I usually use a cold pool and for 5-10 minutes, followed by a warm shower to further promote circulation, but usually only on the heavier training days.
Massage can aid in flushing blood in and out of muscles and joints, aiding in reducing waste product stagnation, improving circulation, helping injury prevention and reducing muscle tightness and imbalances. Oboe rollers are becoming very popular and can be performed by yourself, which saves the cost of massage therapists, as well as not burdening partners with this arduous chore.
Active recovery can be another solution to good recovery, Low Intensity activity boosts circulation which removes lactic acids and promotes faster recovery, a talking pace with minimal exertion is paramount to this modality of recovery.
SLEEP – a good nights sleep, plus little nana naps are essential to good recovery, the body releases growth hormones and testosterone which aid in muscle repair and weight loss, as well as boosting immune system. It’s also a time for your brain to rest, your body to heal and repair post exercise. If it’s a nana nap on the cards, 45 minutes of sleep is optimal for physiological benefits to take place.
So there is the exercise recovery plan, hopefully a few good ideas in there to help your body into its next great sporting effort. Marcel Gyde