EVEN ATHLETES NEED R&R
Posted on November 01 2018
During exercise, our bodies undergo a certain amount of physical stress. Whether you are just starting a workout routine, or are a full blown tri-athlete, the process of working out stretches the body beyond it’s normal limit.
During recovery, you are allowing your body to rebuild to a level that is stronger than before the workout. Health is a 24/7 proposition. Therefore, exercise should be approached as a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Allowing your body to recover is critical to the long-term benefits of exercise.
To reduce the risk of injury, here are some recovery tips to help you maximize your workouts:
Stretching is often an overlooked tool in the athlete’s toolbox. However, it provides critical improvement in flexibility and mobility. The two types include a static stretch or a dynamic stretch. Static stretching is when you isolate a certain body part, like hamstrings for example, and hold a stretch for 30 seconds (or more). Dynamic stretching is when you simulate a real activity and engage multiple areas at once. Your physical therapist can help you determine the best stretch type and duration based on your individual health concerns.
Hydration and Nutrition
Consuming proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients is critical to sustaining health. This is especially true for the athlete. Refueling after a workout with a balanced array of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats will help your body obtain the best benefit from the workout.
In addition to maintaining a balanced diet, your body also needs hydration. Water consumption helps regulate body temperature, assists with waste elimination, restores fluids lost during workout, and helps ensure joint health. I recommend keeping a water bottle at arms reach throughout the day to maintain optimum hydration.
Listen To Your Body
Your body will let you know if it can handle more, or if it’s time to scale back. Don’t feel pressured by gym buddies to exceed your comfort level. Again, wellness is a lifestyle, not a relay race. You are in it for the long haul. If you have pain or other concerns, your physical therapist can help you make appropriate adjustments in your routine.
Sleep is important for good health. That means 9-10 hours of sleep for teens and 7-8 hours for adults. Consistent bedtimes, meditation and a quiet bedroom are three things that can help ensure uninterrupted rest. You may find that you sleep better on workout days, and that your workouts are more productive when you have enough rest.
If you are reading this, you’ve made a decision to improve (or maintain) your health. At times this lifestyle may seem like a lot of work. Recovery is your chance to pay your body back for all the effort it is making on your behalf.
Yours for sustained health,
Dr. Christian Jones
There are 7 Fit Physical Therapy Offices across the Denver-metro area. Find one near you:http://www.fitphysicaltherapy.com
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