With the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in full swing, and nearly 3000 athletes from 92 nations hungry for gold, These Olympic Games will surely be one for the history books. Each of these athletes have trained their entire lives for this moment with hopes of standing at the top of the podium with hardware hanging around their necks. Multiple hours are spent each day completing strenuous training regimens, but do you ever wonder how these athletes are able to train with such intensity without feeling excessively fatigued? The answer is a proper recovery plan.
Although the majority of us are not training to become Olympic athletes, That 45-minute gym session is enough to leave most of us sore, fatigued and uninspired. These three recovery methods have been proven to help restore your energy levels and leave you feeling energized every gym session.
Recovery Tip #1 Post-Workout Meal
Following a moderate to intense workout session, there is a 60-minute anabolic window in which your body has the greatest potential for growth. This meal should consist of healthy carbohydrates and a substantial amount of protein. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy used during endurance training, with carbohydrate stores near depletion following a moderate session. Strength training on the other hand, tear muscle fibers apart and require protein to help rebuild these components.
Recovery Tip #2 Compression
Compression clothing has become increasingly popular over the years and is said to help prevent DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) by increasing blood flow and waste product removal. DOMS is essentially the soreness and stiffness in the muscles following demanding exercise and typically occurs 24-72 hours post-workout. Compression clothing can also be worn during workouts as it is moisture wicking material and perfect for preventing sweat from pooling, while simultaneously keeping you warm for outdoor activities. With the mild weather we get in Vancouver, compression gear is perfect for a run along the seawall.
Recovery Tip #3 Ice Baths
Feeling hot and sweaty after your workout? An ice bath is a perfect way to cool down and assist in recovery. Ice baths help flush out waste products, with the most common one being lactic acid. Lactic acid buildup in muscles is thought to contribute to fatigue and muscle soreness. It also helps reduce swelling by reducing inflammation at the targeted muscle tissue. Ice is not necessary, as long as the water is colder than your body temperature. A common temperature used is 8-10 degrees Celsius.
Kevin Kwok – Client Care Manager
Kevin enrolled in numerous sports program as a child, which exposed him to an active lifestyle early in life. He played ultimate frisbee competitively in at the junior level while in high school. Kevin now focuses his training exclusively on dragon boating. He has been paddling for the past 2 years and hopes to make the Canadian National Team in 2019. He hopes he can motivate others to accomplish their short and long term fitness goals