So, you’re past the New Year grind! You’re still pushing your body harder than you have in a long time. With that push comes a little ache here, a little pain there. So, you back off for a bit, which in some cases means we pushed that New Year resolution out the door, after all, it’s hard to train when it hurts just to move.
But now it’s time to get back after it again, but you are already dreading the soreness you know will follow.
Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help you recover, regenerate and re-group to charge forward. You still have a lot of the year left to hit those 2020 goals. So, come on — get back after it, follow the best ways for you to recover to keep feeling your best this year.
Ice bath/cold bath
Most people have heard of taking ice baths to help the body recover. To start, all you need to do is fill your tub with cold water and it’s soak time. If you want to “up the ante” you can also add some ice into the tub. You can start off with just a few minutes and work up to staying in the bath 10-12 minutes. The water should be anywhere from 50 to 60 degrees for an ice bath or 60 to 75 degrees for a cold bath if you can’t get ice. For my “Polar Bear Buddies” — the lake is ready for a quick plunge, if you can find an open spot in the ice! Just kidding — stick with staying inside and a tub!
Massage or foam rolling
In the realm of soft tissue work, a professional massage is top shelf. A good massage therapist can tell where you need work even when you can’t tell (it’s hard from them to pin-point when you say “everything hurts”!). It might bring you to tears while it’s happening, but you will feel fantastic afterwards. If you can regularly get massages, it’s a recovery game changer.
I do know that massage on a regular basis might be a hard item on the budget so there are some options.
Using a foam roller, tennis ball or other device can be a good substitute, and these types of equipment are pretty common now.
Static stretching may no longer have a role in warm-ups (you should use Dynamic Warm-Up before you train and workout), but stretching after training can be key to staying pain-free and injury-free. Yoga is fantastic way to do this. That being said, I know a lot of people won ‘t sign up for a yoga class, (I always tell folks to go try a class 3-4 times to give it a chance and see the benefits) but they should try stretching for a minimum of 15-20 minutes per day.
The contrast method is simple in theory. Go from hot water to cold water and repeat. Many pro teams and colleges have hot and cold tubs where you simply hop out and walk from one to the other. The rest of us can try contrast showers. Turn the water hot, for what you can handle, then turn the water as cold as you can get it. Do the hot water for one minute and then the cold for one minute. Do this three times each for a total of six minutes. In the morning end on cold, in the evening end on hot.
Run a nice hot bath, pour in at least two cups of Epsom salts and enjoy The Epsom salt heals sore muscles, soothes injuries, and stimulates overall relaxation. You can get Epsom Salt with fragrance to do some aroma therapy to recover and relax mentally and physically. Do this 1-3 times a week, soak in the bath 15-20 minutes. You’ll feel like a million bucks!
Sleep and nutrition
Definitely the least flashy way to recover is sleep right — eat right. Sleep is when your body does the most to repair itself mentally and physically. This is especially vital if you’re an in-season athlete, or running hard at work; putting in long hours and are extra stressed. Work to cut down on the late nights. From the end of the fork point-of-view, there are different things you can do. First, make sure you’re eating enough. If you’re beating your body up in training you need to refuel to build yourself back up. The quality of the food is also important. If you are skipping veggies and other healthy foods for super processed junk food, you will not perform at your best or recover properly.
Your recovery program doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are not doing anything to recover, simply adding some of these simple ways to recover in your routine will make a huge impact. In order to stay healthy, do your best, cut back on being sore you just need to put in some recovery methods. To help with a “Weekly Recovery Calendar” — go to www.coachrozy.com and look at our blog on “How to Help Your Body Recover.” You can print off a PDF that gives you a simply weekly recover program to implement.
Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen is founder/director of Coach Rozy Performance — Powered by AVERA Sports Yankton. He can be reached at 817-219-2811, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find more information at www.coachrozy.com about training programs, our on-line training programs, bootcamps and athletic & sport development.