Enhancing recovery in training can have a potentially massive impact on an athlete's performance. 

Neglecting recovery might lead to central nervous system (CNS) fatigue, consistently facing barriers, including overtraining, injury, illness, and burnout. Proper recovery can allow muscles to repair themselves and reduce muscle soreness from your workout. 

There are two types of recovery.

PASSIVE Recovery:
SLEEP has the most significant role in passive recovery, especially night sleep. One hour of a day sleep can't replace 1min of night sleep.

When I say night sleep, I mean the window of 4 to 5 hours between 9 pm and 2 am are the most critical hours to be fully asleep. Sleep-deprived people may experience subtle changes in hormone levels, which can lead to higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and a decrease in human growth hormone and somatostatin, which is active during tissue repair.

Sleep prep helps to prevent cortisol elevations and supports melatonin production, along with sun exposure in the early morning hours. 

Screen time should be avoided at least a few hours before bedtime as blue lights awaken the brain.

The second important thing in passive recovery is enjoying one day off from training activities to let the CNS (central nervous system ) recover. The CNS requires at least 24 to 48 hours before a similar training dose. During this period, the athlete should undergo recovery strategies to restore homeostasis.

ACTIVE Recovery:
Hydration and Nutrition 
These are two of the most vital aspects of active recovery. Appropriate hydration depends on activity levels and should include adequate salt and mineral intake. The nutrition plan involves eating healthy in the right windows throughout the day, which will help restore the body's energy supply and enhance your performance and recovery.

Manipulative Therapy 
Massage helps to loosen up muscles, increase oxygen and blood flow into muscles, remove lactic acid buildup (which makes you sore), and delivers nutrients from your body to your muscles.

Chiropractic manipulation is applying pressure to a person's spine or other parts of their body by a qualified chiropractic doctor. The pressure allows a chiropractor to adjust and correct alignment and aims to reduce pain and improve mechanical function or how a person moves.

Foam Rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. Rolling muscles can help to work out knots in the tight muscles and adhesions between muscles and fascia, preventing muscle soreness, improving blood flow, and increasing the range of motion.

Mobility and Flexibility 
Mobility training increases the range of motion, creates control in muscles surrounding each joint, and helps you move freely.

Flexibility is the stretching and lengthening of the muscles. By increasing the stretch and length of connective tissue, we can help our body through a full range of movement without causing injury, stiffness, or pain.

Hot and Cold therapy
It contrasts an ice bath ( cold shower) and a sauna (hot shower). You want to be sure to start and end with cold (like an ice bath). Jump in the ice bath for about 45 seconds and then into the hot shower for 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat this five to six times. The benefits of HOT and COLD therapy are to increase blood flow to the muscles and speed up the removal of lactic acid.

Ice bath causes the body's blood vessels to constrict, pushing the blood away from the muscle because of the cool temperature. Once you are done and start to warm up, the vessels open up and allow blood to flow back into the muscle, bringing with it more oxygen to help you recover.

Sauna or sauna bathing is short-term passive exposure to extreme heat. The exposure elicits an increase in the heart rate, blood vessels widen the body's core temperature increases, and blood circulation increases. Exposure to this heat can improve cardiovascular health, detoxify, increase metabolism, reduce pain, enhance skin rejuvenation, and relieve stress and relaxation.

Look after your body, and it will look after you! Want to know more about recovery and how you can get better? Let's have a coffee or send me an email!

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