If you are an athlete, you know the feeling of soreness that comes after an intense workout or a close game. This distress that comes on the morning after is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. The pain comes from muscle damage caused by strenuous workouts and has symptoms such as weakness, soreness, stiffness, and swelling.
You can use the following tips to recover faster and avoid serious injuries that might affect your performance:
Drinking plenty of water is important for your health and overall performance. Normally, athletes pay attention to their hydration levels during the season when they are playing. However, they tend to forget about proper hydration during practice and training when drinking water is just as important.
Here are some tips that will help you to stay hydrated:
- Check your pee, the darker your urine is the less water you are drinking. When you notice that your pee is darker than normal, you should increase your water intake.
- After practice or training, you should consume at least 200 fluid ounces for every pound of weight that you lose.
You need to massage yourself to release the tightness in your muscles and trigger points. Use a lacrosse ball, your hands, or a foam roller to massage yourself. When you apply pressure to certain areas of your body, you will speed up the recovery of your muscles thus enabling them to resume normal function.
Normally functioning muscles are usually healthy, elastic, and ready for performance. If you can afford professional massages, you should go for it because they are more effective. However, getting a professional massage on a daily basis or every other day is not practical, which is why you should practice self-massage.
When it comes to recovering from an injury, sleep is of utmost importance. Plenty of sleep will help you to maintain hormonal balance, mental health, and speed up muscle recovery. Here is a sleep guide for different ages:
- Ages 14 to 17 – 8 to 10 hours
- Over 17 – 6 to 8 hours
If you struggle to fall asleep, you can try the following:
- Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed to promote sleep.
- Turning off all your electronic devices thirty minutes before bed
- Go to bed early enough because sleep before midnight is more effective
Focus on Mobility
If you spend ten minutes stretching, you will be able to reduce your risk of injury, increase your motion range, and move more efficiently. Moreover, stretching feels great after a hard day of physical activity. Mobility moves will do the following:
- Promote blood flow to stiff areas
- Prepare your body for the next day
If you have a serious injury, you might need to get in touch with specialists such as sports injury doctors from Lake Oswego. Athletes swear by ice baths and contrast water therapy – which is basically alternating between cold and hot showers. The theory behind why this method works is because it alternates between the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, which flushes out toxins from the tissues.
When taking your post-workout shower, you should alternate between two minutes of hot water and thirty seconds of frigid water. Repeat this four times with a minute of mild-temperature water between the cold-hot showers. You can also dip yourself into hot and cold tubs of water for the same amount of time.
When you are healing from an injury, you might want to try an ice bath, mobility moves, self-massage, drink plenty of water and sleep for the recommended time. In case you are based in NJ, you should contact professionals like foot and ankle surgeons in Ocean NJ for the best advice.