With how much we do to our bodies; from lifting weights, running, and even day to day routinely work, we need to balance our body and let it recover!
Recovery is the key part in making all your hard work pay off and show. Without recovery our bodies are susceptible to injury, fatigue, muscle breakdown, and a worn out mind. Here are some of my favorite tactics for recovering well after training.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release and is referred to as the “poor man’s massage.” Myofascial release technique that therapists have been using for years. A therapist would apply a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. After a period of time, through some different mechanisms in the body, the body will “release” the tissue and mobility between those sliding surfaces is restored. To make these changes on oneself, a foam roller can be used in place of the therapist’s hands. There are many benefits to this technique. You will get an increased blood flow throughout the body and a better movement and increased range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout. A decreased recovery time means more training sessions per week/month and results can come quicker. Increased circulation is huge for recovery. The first thing to do to start seeing results is to foam roll your calves. Most of the things we do negatively affect our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are in a shortened position most of the time. This limits the range of motion of the ankle and reduces function up the rest of the body. To address this, begin by placing one leg on the roller, then place the other leg on top of it. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll to the knee. If you find an extra tender spot, stop and hold. After about 20 seconds continue to roll through the area four times. Then set the hips on the ground and rotate the leg four times side to side.
Deep-tissue massages can help break up and eventually erase scar tissue in the body. It does this by improving lymphatic circulation and drainage to improve flexibility and range of motion in the affected area. Scar tissue is often associated with ongoing pain and stiffness, so deep-tissue massage can improve these symptoms. This allows for a quicker recovery and allows your body to be ready to go for another hard day of work. Massage therapy also acts as a stress relief. Not only is recovery for our muscles and our body but we need it for our mind as well.
Whole body cryotherapy has been used in Europe and Japan for more than three decades. Research studies have been published in medical journals about the effects of whole body cryotherapy, and in many European countries the treatments are covered by medical insurance policies. In the United States, whole body cryotherapy is considered a non-medical wellness modality, and health insurances do not offer reimbursements for the service. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a method of cold therapy involving 3 minutes of exposure to subzero temperatures ranging from -200°F to -300°F. The exposure to subzero temperatures causes the skin’s cold receptors to stimulate the nervous system. The body perceives this sudden and extreme cold to be a life-threatening situation and activates a chain of powerful survival mechanisms involving the body’s most crucial systems. Vasoconstriction occurs and blood is redirected from the skin to preserve the vital organs and maintain core temperature. When the patient re-enters a room-temperature environment, vasodilation occurs and the blood rushes back to the skin. Blood circulation is naturally stimulated and oxygenated blood is delivered to damaged tissue. The many benefits of this treatment method include: decrease in fatigue, decrease in soreness & inflammation, accelerates recovery, improves performance, boosts immune system, limits colds & flu, treats autoimmune & inflammatory disorders, reduces chronic pain & chronic fatigue, activates natural biological regeneration, increases collagen production for healthier skin, reduces cellulite, skin blemishes & skin aging, accelerates metabolism for weight management
Recently I have been studying stretching and the different techniques and beliefs around stretching. I think stretching sometimes gets overlooked and underrated. Check back soon for a new post all on stretching and the recent techniques and findings that are extremely beneficial for your health; mind, body, and soul all in one.
author: Lauren Sieckmann