As an athlete, taking care of your body is essential. This doesn’t only mean going through rigorous training to ensure your body is in top condition. It means taking care of your muscles once the training is done. This is essential for avoiding injuries such as strains, sprains, and repetitive stress injuries.
To help keep your muscles at optimal condition on and off the field or court, we have compiled these three essential muscle recovery tips for athletes.
Cool Down After Workouts
After an intense training session or game, it’s natural to want to sit down and rest. But taking time to do a brief cool down will help kick off the recovery process for your muscles as well as help your body return to its resting heart rate safely.
A few ways to cool down include:
- Do a brisk walk that transitions into a slower walk
- For arm-specific sports, do arm windmills for a few minutes
- Shoot a few hoops or toss the ball a few times slowly
- Stretch with slow, smooth movements
Cooldowns can even involve doing other types of exercises like biking or swimming, as long as they allow you to move at less-than-full capacity.
When we get a good night’s sleep, our minds are refreshed, leading to an improvement in memory, focus, and mood. Similarly, sleep helps refresh the body. As we sleep, blood flow increases, which allows the body to push out dead cells and toxins and bring oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, increasing recovery.
Sleep also helps increase hormone and immune system activity. That means getting enough sleep will increase the production of valuable growth hormones to promote muscle repair as well as white blood cells to stave off infection.
Drink More Water
One of the most effective and easiest ways to speed up recovery is to simply drink more water. Whether you are going for a leisure stroll or trying to lift more, drinking more water is one of the best ways to improve performance and recover. Water makes up ⅔ of our body and is essential to many functions. It helps flush out toxins, lessen pain, and replace electrolytes needed by your muscles. It also helps to lubricate your joints and get nutrients into your cells. Try to aim for at least half a gallon of water a day, and more on the days where you’re getting your sweat on.
More and more, people are discussing electrical muscle stimulation as a way to promote muscle recovery for athletes. EMS involves connecting electrodes to affected areas that send a mild electric pulse into the muscles.
This electrical current encourages muscles to contract and expand, which helps increase the blood flow to muscles for a quicker recovery. And since EMS is noninvasive, athletes can use it between games without disrupting their practice schedule.
Taking care of your body is essential as an athlete. That’s why TENS Units has a wide variety of electrical muscle stimulation machines for sale, so athletes have everything they need to get back on the field.