Arghh… I’m so stiff and not in the good way
By: Sam Grudgings
You wake up, you exercise, you go to work, you sleep… repeat. Does this sound like your daily life? Maybe yes with a few tweaks. So how do you recover from trying to be a CrossFit badass?
Studies have proven that 7-9 Hours of sleep per night is crucial to recover from daily stresses your body is put through, including exercise. Anymore than 9 and you will take longer to wake up in the morning. You can minimize your sleep to 6 hours, but to do this, you must gradually decrease from your normal hours of sleep per night.
As you aren’t active when you sleep this is a great time to fuel your recovery so try eating 6-10 almonds before you nod off!
‘I am warm, i’ve got a sweat on’. Okay your heart rate may be gradually increasing which in turn will increase the blood flow to your muscles but we need more, we need it faster… Grab a PVC pipe, do some air squats, lunges, bear crawls. Do some dynamic stretching before you start lifting/exercise. Once you’re warm start with a PVC pipe and practice the exercise/lift you’re there to do. Then progress to an empty barbell/light weight and gradually increase to working weight. As well as physically preparing your muscles for the lift this will give you a strong mental preparation.
H2 O’Crap I need to drink more water
60% of your body is water. Let that sink in.
When playing the game of life it’s easy to dehydrate yourself especially in hotter countries and offices that are riddled with air-conditioner units. When your muscles aren’t getting sufficient amounts of water they will get stiff and cramp up this is a major sign your muscles are dehydrated, this is not good for recovery. Your vital organs also need water, water helps flush out toxins and carry nutrients body’s cells and provide a moist, balanced environment for the nose, throat and ear tissues. TIP: When taking a pee check the colour of your urine, if it’s clear you’re hydrated – if it’s yellowish – brown, go and drink water!!
Walk, stretch, row, swim, bike… Move. On your rest days be sure to get your body moving. Something as little as walking will get your nutritious blood flowing to your worn and tired muscles actively promoting their recovery. For bonus recovery points have a stretch of your major muscles after walking… Woaahh you’re on your way to recovery!
Gimme dat protein!
When you perform intense physical activity you develop microscopic tears in your muscle fibres. These fibres will then cause your muscles to be sore also known as DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). For maximum recovery we need to repair these tears by consuming protein. Studies say you need approximately 1.5g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for recovery. This should only be consumed in no more than 20g at one time for the average person (If you’re a meathead you’ll need a lot more per serving). Sometimes its hard to get the valuable protein your body needs. Be sure to look up the protein content on things you eat in your everyday life. You may be surprised on how much you actually consume (or really disappointed).
Get touched up (you may bruise)
Getting a sports massage is very good, here’s a few reasons why:
- Increases blood flow to your muscles and vital organs. Fresh oxygen and nutrients rides within your blood to your muscles too;
- Breaks down stubborn muscle tissue. AKA knots;
- Increases joint mobility;
- Improves your flexibility;
- ‘Good pain’ (which may cause bruising);
- Speeds up recovery;
- Lengthens muscle fibres;
- Increases blood flow to your brain, which makes you more productive;
- Decreases your stress levels;
- Makes you happier, massages increases your dopamine levels;
- Increase range of motion;
- Decrease muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise;
- Enhance athletic performance;
- Help prevent injuries when your body is massaged regularly.
Feel sore, tight and a wee bit stiff? Get a sports massage!
Keep it simple… Stretch.
Before, after and during exercise. At the office, before bed and when you wake up. Its FREE. Stretch.
Stretching is underestimated. If you’re having a bad day take a deep breath, sit on the floor and stretch. After just 5 minutes you’ll feel 100 times better. Ease into the stretch and try and hold under tension for up to 30s each muscle, when you’re more flexible aim for 60s per muscle. At first you may feel an uncomfortable pull but once your muscles are warm and loose the pain will subside. 5 stretches for 60s each per day can drastically improve your flexibility, have 5 minutes spare? Then tap those toes!!