Exercising is great, but there can be a fine line between pushing yourself and exerting yourself. Optimising recovery is important because it allows your body to adapt to the training you put it through, making it stronger and more resilient. Here are some of the recovery methods that you can use to keep your body one step ahead of the game:
Contrast method involves bathing or showering with alternating hot and cold water. This method is also believed to help stimulate and strengthen the nervous system. The actual duration and the degree of hotness and coldness differs between individuals, so it will take a bit of experimenting before you find your sweet spot. A popular approach is to achieve the contrast by switching between steam saunas (3 minutes) and ice baths (1 minute) for 3 rounds.
You can help facilitate recovery and bolster your performance by engaging in bouts of stretching; one common way of doing this is by doing yoga. Since it’s essentially equipment-free, you can do it practically anywhere. Even a short 10-minute stretching session can do more for recovery than just lying in bed. Furthermore, it can help you to increase your flexibility while simultaneously helping you to relax.
Soft-tissue methods are typically carried out by chiropractors and physiotherapists, who utilise a wide range of methods like frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM) to active release technique (ART) in their treatment. Despite their sci-fi vibes, these methods can aid in recovery significantly by restoring body function, decreasing pain, and increasing flexibility and strength. If you can find a masseuse who is familiar with such therapies, you’ve struck gold!
It is no secret that salt baths can help to detoxify our bodies. But do you know that they can also help our bodies to recover after a workout session? Epsom salts are a common choice when it comes to soaks, but combining it with Celtic sea salts or tropical sea salts can make it even more effective. By doing so, the bath helps to draw toxins out of the body, improving your overall mood and the well-being of your body.
Electronic muscle stimulation (EMS)
A massage is always great after an intensive workout session, but where can one find the time or bear the expenses for repeat massage sessions? By using an EMS kit, you programme electric currents to send short pulses to your muscles, “telling” them to relax. The beauty of this is that you can essentially “set and forget”, leaving you free to do other tasks while the kit does the important work. There are different protocols when it comes to the frequency and intensity of the pulses; a common one is the Kotts method (10 seconds high intensity with 50 seconds rest for 10 rounds).
While many of the advanced recovery protocols out there do look pretty fancy, they won’t amount to anything significant if you don’t pay attention to your nutrition and sleep habits. After all, what use are the finest pillars when the house itself is built on mushy ground?