After an action packed day on the slopes or after any intense activity, it’s good to get into the habit of a consistent recovery routine. With good recovery, your body has the chance to recharge and repair so that you can feel fresh for the next day and can back up the activity with the same intensity.
Here are my essentials to a successful recovery routine:
Ideally you want to replenish your fluid whilst exercising, but sometimes that is not easy nor practical - especially if you're out on the slopes! So make sure you get plenty of water post exercise. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body so it’s super important!
Eat Recovery Foods
You should try to eat within 60 minutes post exercise. Make sure you include some high-quality protein and carbohydrates. My favourite recovery snack is cottage cheese mixed with yoghurt and sprinkled on top are blueberries, seeds and nuts. Yum!
Make sure you stretch out your major muscle groups like: upper and lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes & hips or anywhere that feels limited or stiff. Breathe deeply through each stretch and try to get a little deeper on each exhalation.
Spend some time on self-massage. I don’t travel anywhere without my massage ball, yoga mat and foam roller. These items are essential! You can use a foam roller or a firm massage ball to release tight muscles and fascia. Once you find a ‘tight spot’ or a spot that feels tender, keep the pressure on the spot until it releases and then move onto the next area of tightness. It’s not very comfortable, but super affective in releasing tension and preventing injury.
Hot & Cold
A simple way to feel refreshed and recharged is by alternating between hot and cold. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues. You can do this in the shower by alternating between hot and cold water flow. Try alternating between 1 minute cold and 1 minute hot. You can also alternate between and ice bath and a warm shower or hot tub. Do at least 3 rounds and with practice try and increase your time in the cold.
If you have an injury, you must learn how to manage it. Seek a medical opinion so that you can get guidance and the appropriate treatment. An essential recovery step for me has always been icing. Ice helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation naturally and a big part of my recovery routine which is why I developed BodyICE in the first place!
Caution: Don’t ice before exercise. It’s important to warm up your muscles and joints before any kind of activity.
If you’ve sustained an injury follow the RICE method:
Rest. Stop the activity and never push through an injury. You’ll just make it worse.
Ice. Apply an icepack to the injured area for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, for 48 hours.
Compression. Compress the area to help decrease swelling.
Elevation. Raise the affected area above your heart to help decrease swelling.
Our BodyICE Recovery icepacks allow you to effectively execute the RICE Method as you’ll be able to compress the injured areas whilst icing with our joint specific stretchy neoprene straps.
Last but not least, you need to get good quality sleep. During sleep, your brain is able to rest, you're central nervous system is able to re-energise and your body produces growth hormone which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair. Amongst many functions, your central nervous system is responsible for triggering muscle contraction, reaction time and response to pain. When you deprive your body of sleep you start degrading muscle growth and repair which could result in you becoming slower, weaker and less co-ordinated and risking injury. We all feel the difference when we haven't had a good night sleep. We feel tired, unmotivated and sluggish, so make it a priority to get a good nights sleep so that you can charge the next day!
The key to recovery is making it routine - it becomes just part of what you do on a daily basis, so that you can continue to push yourself physically and mentally and continually improve. Got get em!
- Lydia x