Ever since I started my journey as an athlete at the age of 13 when Volleyball training sessions lasted about 4 hours everyday except for the weekend, we were told to rest-all day. That was it. It sounds a little too simple right? There is actually a bit of truth to that, however and thankfully science has given us a few more strategies to work with.
Here are some ideas:
The first one as odd as it may sound is movement. It turns out science is validating the idea that movement will help minimize inflammation and oxidative stress from strenuous workouts. We'll call it: "Just Walk" JW
JW will help you burn fat better maximizing your weight reduction goals. It also improves brain function. In his book, The Real Happy Pill: Power Up Your Brain By Moving Your Body, Swedish researcher Dr. Anders Hansen reports that just taking a daily walk can reduce your risk of dementia by 40 percent. That alone should make us all get moving!
Second, make sure your lymphatic system is working properly. Your lymphatic system is the plumbing and drainage network that runs through your body and it detoxifies every cell and organ in it. The Lymphatic system works through a pumping mechanism instead of the beating heart. That means that you are obligated to move to supercharge the detoxification process and avoid accumulation of toxins in the body.
A good way to move is a trampoline, a total body vibration device or simply JW!
Third, Hydrate!! Yes, make sure to hydrate properly at all times. If you are a serious athlete you need to pay a bit more attention to when you need to improve your hydration.
A breakthrough insight is that strenuous workouts have the potential to mute your thirst mechanism; you may become too hot and tired or distracted to notice that you’re actually getting dehydrated. For most minimally active folks, going by thirst might be just fine; the kidneys do an excellent job regulating fluid and sodium balance in the body.
If you are a novice fitness enthusiast, a high performing athlete, or routinely exercise in hot temperatures, a deliberate pre- and post-workout hydration is a strategy worth considering and implementing. Sprinkle some high quality natural mineral salt in each glass of fluid, which will help it become better absorbed in the tissues throughout your body. There are a few good electrolyte products out there also. One of my favorite is by the company Trace Minerals. It's called Power Pack-Electrolyte stamina.
Fourth, Rebound workouts.
Joel Jamieson, a noted trainer of world-champion MMA fighters in Washington (8WeeksOut.com—as in eight weeks out from a title bout), and developer of the Morpheus Recovery app, advocates a system called Rebound Training where specially designed workouts can actually speed recovery time in comparison with total rest. You can see a sample workout here: https://www.8weeksout.com/rebound-training-template/
I have tried it and I can tell you that indeed my recovery feels not only faster, but I have comeback stronger.
Fifth, Another excellent idea is Cryotherapy. I have also tried this and It is one of my favorite things to do to speed recovery. The idea is to expose an individual to extremely cold temperatures (somewhere between minus 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit) for a maximum of three minutes. It reduces inflammation, pain, fatigue, etc.
Sixth, Stretch it out with Yoga. Yoga is one of the best ways to stretch your entire body. Do I need to say more?
Seventh, Sleep. After you have done your active recovery, your hydration, stretches, etc, make sure you are sleeping. Do an inventory of your sleep habits, and routines. Practice sleep hygiene. If possible get in bed at the same time every night, De-clutter your sleep space, make sure to block out street lights, set your room's temperature to about 62 degrees and, no devices. Phone, computers, TV, etc. should not be kept in the bedroom and if they are, set them on plane mode when you are ready to sleep. The Electromagnetic Frequencies they release heat the body's tissue causing damage.
What do you think? Let me know your opinion on this topic. Do you have a favorite way to recover?