When it comes down to fitness, we are seeing more people choose to get active. With many people overtraining when they keep fit, recovery and rehabilitation are becoming much more important to the everyday person, rather than just the professional athletes.
Down to there being various approaches to recovery and rehabilitation following training, it can be hard for people to know what to do to recover and get the most out of their training sessions, which is why we are bringing awareness to the key aspects of recovery that are being utilised by professional Football teams and other recovery experts.
Although professional Football teams are able to invest resources and money to make recovery easier for their players, it is still easy enough for anyone to adopt these methods to help improve their own recovery.
It is common for people to commit to hard training sessions and reward themselves afterwards with a binge meal, and this is one of the main ways that people have a negative effect on their training and recovery. Making sure that you replenish your body with a healthy, balanced meal following training sessions allows your body to recharge after training by regaining the carbohydrates, protein and fats lost in exercise.
Whether you are weight training, running, swimming or carrying out any form of physical activity, your body is using energy, and this energy needs to be replaced when it has been used. Making sure that you get a balanced amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats within 45 minutes of finishing your training session is the ideal approach to replenishing your body following training.
Exercise Scientist, Matt Burton, who has worked with Premier League Football clubs has said that getting these nutrients back in the body in as short of a period of time as possible following exercise “Acts as an anabolic, muscle-building tool and also serves to reduce stress hormone levels built up (during training).”
Overall, making sure that you eat enough healthy food following training is key to allowing your muscles to grow and rebuild after training.
One area of health and fitness that is vital to quality wellbeing is sleep. With the modern life consisting of hectic schedules and predominantly work-based lifestyles, sleep is something that the UK as a whole doesn’t have enough of, which is hugely problematic, especially for those recovering from exercise.
Health experts suggest that 8 hours of sleep is needed to maintain growth hormone output and brain function, and this number should be increased for those who are exercising regularly. Sports Sleep Coach said that having only 6 hours of sleep per night over a 14-day period can reduce cardiovascular performance by 11%; proving that sleep is essential to not just recovery, but our overall health.
With many people worrying about things like work and family, it can be hard to get a good nights sleep, and Buxton states that for people struggling to sleep, the ideal sleeping environment consists of; “A quiet, dark room with no light and a temperature of around 18 degrees.”
Although, if you can’t determine your bedroom temperature, Buxton states that keeping up with a regular “sleep schedule” can benefit those who struggle to sleep. He said that this can be done with “dimmed lights, no blue light from electronics & partaking in relaxing activities such as reading or listening to chilled music.”
Although the amount of sleep you get is important, the quality of sleep that you get is just as essential. The National Sleep Foundation state that quality sleep consists of:
- Sleeping 85% or more of the time spent in bed
- falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
- waking up one time or less per night
The quality of sleep that you are getting is important to your recovery, and it is now easier to track the amount and quality of sleep that you are getting, with fitness technology such as FitBit doing the job for you.
Along with making sure you are fuelling your body with healthy food after training, it is just as important to replace all of the water that you have long during exercise. For those who favour cardio training, this may come naturally but for those who focus on weight training, focusing on hydration may not be the first priority.
Health experts state that to get the maximum benefit from being hydrated, it is essential to not only focus on rehydrating following training sessions but focus on staying hydrated throughout the day.
To get the most from your training and recover well following the session, it is advised that you drink:
- just over 1/2 Litre of water 2-3 hours before training
- 200ml up to 30 minutes before training
- just under 1 Litre throughout a 1-hour training session
- 300ml within 30 minutes of finishing a training session
Buxton said that Football teams take on specific hydration plans that allow the clubs’ experts to get more of an insight into water consumption to further improve players’ performance. Throughout hydration plans, Buxton states that “Sweat rates are measured to ensure fluid intake outweighs sweat loss.” as this is the main indicator of whether players are hydrated enough.
It goes without saying but consuming alcohol following a training session will have a massively negative effect on recovery, as it is one of the few drinks that actually dehydrates the body.
Throughout professional sports teams, there are virtually endless resources that are put into recovery and rehabilitation, so keeping up the standards of professionals when it comes to recovery is next to impossible.
One area of recovery that many clubs focus massively on is Sports Massage, as the benefits are huge when it is done correctly. Although Sports Massage can be costly, it is an area of fitness that many more members of the public are focusing on to help them recover and get the most from their training, and with the potential results of improved flexibility and reduced stress, it is not surprising.
Sports massage helps the muscles to relax after training through heat based circulation and stretching, which is massively beneficial for those who favour high-intensity training, as it means that they can recover, and go back to high-intensity training in a short space of time.
Many of the people who choose to invest in sports massage sessions focus on weight training and their main form of exercise. This is down to people who focus on weightlifting finding themselves with lowered mobility and flexibility down to the training they do not give time for focusing on flexibility.
Sports Massage is growing in popularity down among weightlifters as it is one of the best ways to improve blood flow; allowing them to improve mobility and help their muscles recover at a quicker rate.
Overall, there are various approaches that professional sports and fitness teams take within their recovery processes, but we found these 4 areas to be the most used by recovery professionals. Although the majority of exercise recovery specialists focus on sports rehabilitation, the approaches used can be applied to a wide variety of people, especially older adults. The results of exercise recovery sessions and methods revolve mainly around mobility, which is an area of fitness that is essential to older adult life when it comes to carrying out daily tasks.
If you are looking to get into Sports Massage and recovery, take a look at our Active IQ qualifications in Sports Massage Therapy and Pilates Matwork to see how you can utilise them and get involved in recovery and take your fitness career further.
If you’re looking to get into Nutrition, take a look at our Active IQ Level 3 Nutrition for Sports & Exercise Performance qualification and begin the journey to becoming qualified to give safe and effective nutritional advice and meal plans. If you’re looking to make fitness a career, get in touch with our team to get help finding the right courses for you.