There are so many gimmicks out there for after sport recovery, it’s become hard to know what’s real or not and what can harm you further or help you along. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what to use or how it may affect you; your doctor needs to do that. Along with your typical “As Seen on TV” type stuff there are also ample home remedy ideas, do they work? Who knows! I won’t try and cover the home remedy portion of the recovery process; you can dabble in that. I simply want to get you started in a positive direction, where you can supplement with home remedies if you wish.
One way to reduce recovery time is to remain in adequate shape for the sport you are pursuing. With the importance of staying in good physical condition also comes staying limber and flexible.
I also want to express to you, that I am not a doctor. What I am about to share with you is based off my own personal experience and through basic research of asking others what works for them. It is important that you work with your doctor before you start any new sport or use any internal recovery products like protein, vitamins, pain relievers, etc…
There are several companies out there that have developed a light shoe as an after sport footwear. These shoes are great to wear, to and from your outing or sporting event. Paired with a compression/recovery sock they work fantastic for long car rides. These shoes are made to be soft and typically with extra width added for additional comfort. Check out Salomon and K-Swiss for some excellent options.
These slightly tighter, knee high socks have been shown in studies to stimulate blood flow, help legs recover faster and play harder. When paired with a recovery shoe before and after an adventure on long road trips you will no doubt notice a difference. Check out CEP and 2XU for some first-rate options.
This is a recovery tool that is preferred by all types of athletes from around the world. The Stick is made in different styles and sizes to fit your specific needs. These are used as self-massage tools to achieve a light, to deep tissue massage to the legs. Compact to be used on the road or in the comfort of your home. www.thestick.com
This green, slightly odd looking massage tool hit the marked hard and has been one of the bestselling self-massage tools on the market. It is made with 6-different trigger point balls that can supply pain relief to specific areas by working out knots and tension. www.theracane.com
The Grid Roller
This is a 13” long by 5” in diameter foam roller is sized perfectly for the road as well as at home. This tool helps target specific key areas for a self-massage. The product can also double as a core workout to improve balance and strength. The grid also comes in a longer version for added workout and recovery possibilities.
Protein is used by athletes to build muscle, to improve fitness, strength and stamina. Protein is an excellent supplement for muscle recovery, after a hard day in the woods. Working out hard, skiing hard, hiking hard, running hard, no matter the sport you can cause micro muscle tears and other damage to your muscles. The protein helps to repair those small tears and build newer, stronger muscles at the same time. Go to www.gnc.com for protein products and added information on the benefits of protein.
Everyone knows the benefits of getting electrolytes back in your body and if you don’t you should. You lose electrolytes all day long; no matter what you are doing they need to be replaced. You should never wait until after you work out to replace them, they should be replaced as you exercise and after. Try to avoid sport drinks with too much sugar unless you are using them during your activity. Some good brands to try are Nuun, Hammer, GU, and Cliff
Also known as Ibuprofen is a good pain relief but should be used in moderation. No more than 800mg at any one time. Ibuprofen can cause stomach upset especially if used too much. Many outdoor enthusiasts use it before, during and after. Use before you work out to cut down on potential discomfort, but only again if needed. Use during if you need some relief from a current discomfort, as needed. After sport, is the most popular use for Ibuprofen and used more as a muscle relaxer and a pain preventative.
This supplement is used for joint recovery, and to support the function and structure of the joints as well. This is an oral supplement that some people have a low tolerance for, allergies could also occur. You should consult your doctor before going on a glucosamine regiment.
This is a topical heating agent for sore muscles. Many companies out there are offering heating muscle rub as a recovery and pain relief option. Skin irritation can occur; you should try it on a small area before applying to liberally.
Getting a personal massage from a licensed professional is a treat for everyone. While it’s not affordable to do after every outing it can be high beneficial to have one once a month or once every other month.
Stretch before an outing to loosen up your joints and muscles and to reduce the chance of injury. Use stretching after to your outing to cool down slowly and avoid your muscles from cramping up and becoming too tight.
Yoga is great to build muscle, core strength and to stretch warm muscles. This is not used as much for recovery but as a preventative measure. Sign up for an introductory yoga class to see if you like it, if you do, keep going or maybe use a DVD class at home for better convenience.
As you can see recovery is more than driving home, sitting on the sofa and drinking a PBR. While the sofa and a PBR are great after sport recovery measures it might not be best for a standalone system. Be sure to check out a local message studio or yoga studio for more options. It important to shop around for the best fit for you when it comes to recovery tools and supplements and don’t forget to consult your physician for any further questions about recovery and supplements.