How to Stay Healthy: Tips for Athletes and Weekend Warriors
We must get adequate rest so that our body can recover and regenerate from all the wear and tear we put it through.
As an athlete you must be aware of the dangers of overtraining. You have to remember that no matter how many training hours you put in, if you get hurt, you can’t train. When you can’t train, you can not get better. So, resting and recovering is a crucial aspect of the sport that needs attention.
You must have scheduled rest days during the week. The body is not meant to train 24 hours, 7 days a week. You need time to get off your feet, rest your mind, and rest your body.
If you do not schedule rest and recovery time, you will quickly burn out and will lose the motivation to train and ultimately get hurt. Regeneration is also significant. Foam rolling and massage, consistent stretching, Active Release Techniques®, and ice baths are just a few rest and recovery tips for athletes and active individuals to implement into their training regimens on a daily basis.
The body can be a fined tuned machine, but if it breaks down you will not be able to get to the level you set out for. So pay attention and listen to your body.
The following are common therapies used in sports medicine:
REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION
Elastic bandage wrapping helps reduce swelling and provides support. Elevation helps reduce swelling.
ICE Ice should also help reduce swelling and pain. Place damp paper towel between skin and ice pack. Apply ice 20 minutes on then 30 minutes off. Repeat several times per day.
HEAT Use a moist heating pad over affected area to help ease muscle spasm and tension, and increase circulation. Avoid heat in acute injuries as it can aggravate swelling.
CONTRAST Apply ice for 5 minutes/ then heat for 5 minutes. This is a great way to improve blood flow to recovering tissues. Repeat this 3-4 times. END with ICE.
TENDON TREATMENT: Apply heat to injured area for 10 minutes. Cross friction massage the tendon/ ligament for 2-5 minutes. Do 3 sets of 10 of loaded eccentric contractions, finish with cryo massage for 5 minutes. Do this 3-5 times/week.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON ACTIVITIES WILL LIKELY BE MADE FROM YOUR SPORTS MEDICINE PROFESSIONAL.
THESE MAY INCLUDE:
REST, ACTIVITY AS TOLERATED WITHOUT PAIN, FULL ACTIVITY
NOTE: For training/ practice days or for rehab/corrective exercise days, the following is recommended:
1. ) Apply heat for 10-15 minutes to injured area as warm up.
2.) Then use foam roller and dynamic stretching to prep for practice.
4. ) End session or practice with ice and compression for 20-25 minutes.
NOTE: If redness, swelling, pain persists, or if you have any questions regarding these instructions, consult your doctor.