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Recovery – What to do after you do it

Some of the most frequent questions I get asked are about recovery from exercise and, let’s face it, there is no shortage of training fads or products on the market claiming to provide the shortcut. The fact is that it’s normal to experience a low level of muscular aches and pains after exercise given the physiological and neurological demands placed upon the body. 

When considering the most effective ways to assist the body in recovery, it is important to understand that each method in isolation will provide only minimal benefit. Therefore, a combination of the techniques listed below should be adopted in the 24-48 hour window following exercise.

• Stretching/Foam Rolling
An oldie but a goodie. Stretching can assist in improving range of motion and a reduction in musculoskeletal stiffness. Using a foam roller will help to relieve myofascial and muscular tension.

• Cold Water Immersion
The dreaded ice bath. Best performed as soon as possible following exercise, it has been shown to minimise inflammation and promote removal of metabolic waste (i.e. lactic acid).

• Compression
One of the more recent trends, compression garments (e.g. Skins, 2XU) are believed to assist in cardiovascular and lymphatic functions of the body during recovery. Simply put, to help control swelling and inflammation. Further research is being done on the effectiveness, however they certainly do no harm.

• Sleep
Often overlooked, a good night sleep is critical to aiding your body’s recovery. It reduces fatigue and tiredness while also allowing the body’s natural processes to occur. How can you go wrong?

• Nutrition
Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle: re-hydrate by replacing lost fluids immediately. Same goes with your fuel supplies, an intake of simple carbs will help to top you back up. Strength-based training may require consumption of protein to help muscle repair.
Once you are over the initial hump, book a Myotherapy treatment to more specifically target areas of musculoskeletal discomfort. Soft tissue therapy in the form of massage, as well as techniques like dry needling, work to improve blood flow, promote muscle repair, reduce tightness, and decrease pain.Click here to book in to see Dan White, Myotherapist

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