Do you ever feel tired, sore and like you just can’t get out of bed? It may be painful to walk up or down stairs, change the gears in your car or simply even to get out of bed. Yes, I have just described my pain after my first CrossFit class and let me tell you it was not pretty. You see I understood I needed to take the necessary time to recover from the ordeal I had just put my body through but I didn’t. I continued to train through the pain and felt guilty for taking even a day off. Over the coming weeks, I came to regret that decision as my shin splints flared up and I was out of training for the next two weeks. If only I had listened to the year’s worth of advice I had received during my time at University. To say I learnt my lesson is an understatement. I now practice what I preach. It is all about balance. If the body is repaired, it is likely to be more effective come training or competition time.
Recovery is an essential component of any well thought out training plan. The body works to repair and strengthen itself between workouts, with continual training often doing more harm than good. Recovery allows the body to replenish necessary energy stores and any damaged tissues caused by strenuous activities. Without this significant time to repair, the body will continue to break down tissue walls, which can lead to severe overuse injuries.
Sleep, hydration and nutrition
These three go hand in hand when discussing recovery. Sleep allows for muscular recovery, hormones to be rebalanced and general health and wellbeing to be restored. Soft tissues have time to repair and the buildup of chemicals as a result of physical activity are removed. Water is required for the body to complete day to day tasks. Furthermore post exercise hydration assists in muscle regeneration, digestion, heart rate recovery and reduced signs of fatigue. Lastly, a balanced diet of carbohydrates and protein will promote muscle repair and growth, whilst boosting physical adaptations from previous training sessions. So create a meal plan (look to the Instagram using the #mealprep for inspiration), drink you 2+ litres of water a day and sleep it off.
Switch it up
If you don’t enjoy just sitting on the couch and binge-watching Netflix for a day, studies have found that your muscles may not need a total break from exercise. They suggest low impact walking, swimming, pilates or yoga can increase muscle relaxation, in turn improving recovery rates.
Stretch it out
Whilst the jury may still be out on whether stretching decreases the effects of DOMS, I for one can attest to the fact that I don’t take pleasure in exercising when sore. Personally, I find stretching or foam rolling decreases the length of time I am sore for. Not to mention stretching daily has assisted in my range of motion, decreasing my overall susceptibility to injury. Plus it is a great way to get the body moving on recovery days.
Take my advice, spend additional time focusing on recovery. Don’t ignore the warning signs, because this often means you are too late. The last thing you want is to take off unnecessary time due to an avoidable injury. These are the little things that matter most when it comes to recovery.
Naomi speaks all things functional movement. She loves it so much, she adopted it into her daily fitness routine. To say sport was ingrained in Naomi is an understatement.
In fact, she loved it so much, she went on to study sports science at university and has worked for some of the best NRL teams in the country.
Her world is revolved around the sport and she brings this enthusiasm to the table every single day.