How you recover from training is just as important as how you train. helping your body to recover from strenuous weight training or other types of training will greatly enhance the benefits whether it be strength or size or endurance.
As covered in my previous article about post-workout nutrition what you eat after training in before training greatly affects your energy levels and your ability to heal quickly.
Sleep is a major part of the healing process most of the body’s repair process happens during sleep there are three stages of sleep there is light sleep, REM sleep, and deep sleep.during REM sleep and deep sleep the body does most of the repair processes in the body. Ranging from balancing hormones including dopamine and serotonin in the brain to producing testosterone and repairing muscle tissue and organ tissue.
Getting adequate amount of sleep is very important in the process, feelings of lethargy, weakness and lack of energy or all symptoms of lack of sleep.
it is recommended by the Harvard school of medicine that the average person get between 8 to 10 hours of sleep although that number varies by the person’s individual physiology.
now realistically it is hard for a lot of people to get that amount of sleep due to family, training schedules, work and other mitigating factors. But it is still important to try get as much sleep as possible.
TENS/EMS units are extremely helpful with the recovery process. TENS stands for transcutaneous electro nerve stimulation. It increases blood flow which in turn increases the intake of oxygen and nutrients into the blood which goes into the muscle and other body tissue to help the healing process it is also good for pain relief as it vibrates the nerves and calms them almost as if to massage them. you can get a good quality unit on Amazon for about 30 to $40.a word of caution with these units if you do have any type of heart condition or if you have any electrical devices in your body such as a pacemaker please consult your physician before using one of these as it does transmit a small electrical charge into the body.
EMS stands for electro muscle stimulation. This differs from TENS unit as it causes a muscle contraction vs. Nerve stimulation. If you were to place the pads on your bicep or quadrisect you would cause your muscle to contract as if it were doing physical exercise. These are good for time is when you can’t train or when you possibly have an injury but still want to work the muscle without having a weight load on the muscle. Using a EMS unit is also good for endurance training.
infrared light therapy is a great way to accelerate the healing process as well. infrared light therapy kits have become more accessible and less expensive as they are becoming more readily available to the public they are available on Amazon as well and other medical supply websites. Infrared light therapy has been used by physical therapist for years and is FDA-approved as well as the TENS unit.
What infrared light therapy does is stimulates the mitochondria in your muscle cells and your body tissue creating energy what this energy does is to accelerate the healing process more energy in the cells the faster your body heals and the faster you grow muscle or get stronger. after checking with healthcare providers there are no physical limitations on using and infrared light unit. It is also good in the use of arthritis on joints as well as the TENS unit.
mineral supplementation is also something that is very helpful in muscle recovery. Such minerals as magnesium, potassium and zinc help the healing process. the average person does not usually need to supplement with these minerals unless they have an underlying health condition however for those who are into straining with training the body consumes and uses these minerals at a faster rate increasing the need for supplementation. Again before starting any supplementation I do recommend speaking with your healthcare provider beforehand.
self deep tissue massage is another good way to stimulate circulation and remove any knots or tightness in the muscles this can easily be done with any round object such as a billiard ball or croquet ball. By applying firm pressure to the muscles making sure to avoid the joints themselves, you can roll the ball around working out knots and stress out of the muscles relieving any type of pressure or tightness without spending a lot of money on a massage therapist. I have been using this type of therapy for a number of years and found it very helpful.
Chinese cupping therapy which I am certified to do is also very helpful in the increase of blood circulation and increasing the range of motion when muscles are sore. Most massage therapy clinics do offer some form of cupping there are several forms of cupping available. Dry cupping is the most common as it is the easiest to perform. Fire cupping is one of the older forms of cupping therapy and is just as effective as dry cupping.
the use of mineral muscle rubs such as magnesium muscle rub are also very effective in treating sore muscles in the recovery process. Many rubs such as hot or cold rubs are good at relieving soreness but does not actually treat the soreness all that does is temporarily relieve the soreness whereas mineral rubs treat the soreness.
Daily stretching as well as stretching before and after physical strenuous activity it’s also very important to increase the blood flow and allow the muscles to warm up and cool down at after training as to not cause any strains or sprains or pulls in the muscles. Many injuries can be avoided with proper stretching prior to exercise. there are many websites dedicated to showing proper stretching for each muscle group on the internet and are free.
I hope you find this information helpful and if you have any further questions feel free to contact me.