The Importance Of Recovery
Time is always against coaches and most only have limited time to work with their athletes. Therefore coaches must make every minute count. It is this pressure, however, that can lead coaches to neglect one of the most important elements of sports performance. Recovery.
Recovery plays such an important role in an athlete’s performance. It aids in improving performance, reducing the risk of injury, and improving overall personal wellbeing. Therefore, you would assume it is a priority for all coaches. Yet, despite such important outcomes associated with recovery, it is still one of the most neglected roles in community sports.
Without truly understanding the importance of recovery, it is hard to see how it can help a team. After all, following a big win or a demoralizing loss, it’s the last thing athletes or coaches want to be doing. And for a team striving for faster improvements, there isn’t time to waste on recovery. Whilst these reasons for not focusing on recovery can easily be explained, it shouldn’t excuse coaches from overlooking this vital part of sports performance.
To appreciate the importance of recovery, coaches need to understand its benefits. Below is an article by the Athletic Republic that explains the recovery process. In this article, you’ll discover how recovery helps athletes improve their performances and the different processes of recovery.
The Importance of Recovery After Sports Training
Any professional sports trainer or athlete can name the most important elements of effective sports training: how many reps they need to do, which diet they should follow, and which supplements to take. Many people overlook the fact that part of a balanced training program is getting enough rest. On the contrary, sometimes they overwork their bodies, feeling guilty for taking a day off. The importance of rest and recovery shouldn’t be overlooked, because it’s the time when the body recuperates and strengthens itself between workouts.
What Happens During the Recovery Period?
When you exercise your body goes through a lot of stress, especially in sports training programs that include weightlifting, sprinting, and running. After the stress your muscles underwent through, they need time to recover. During the recovery period, your body adapts to the stress of the exercise, replenishes stored energy, and repairs damaged tissue. Physical work and exercise causes the body to change and in the process muscle tissue breaks down, stored energy is spent, and fluids are lost.
Most competitive athletes look at the recovery period as time they are wasting. Time which the competition is probably using to train some more. However, without the proper rest, your body continues to breakdown from overtraining. Some of the symptoms of overtraining include: depression, decreased performance, staleness, and a bigger possibility of injury.
It’s necessary to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you are tired, take some time to rest. Your sports training program should include a day of rest, even if it’s active rest. Talk to the sports training experts if you need help designing a well-balanced training program to improve performances.
Short and Long-Term Recovery
There are two categories of recovery: short term (immediate) from an intense training session, and long-term, which refers to longer periods of training built into an annual athletic program.
Short-term recovery: also known as active recovery and it happens in the immediate hours following an intense workout. Active recovery is the period of low-intensity exercise after a heavy workout, including the cool-down phase. Yoga is a great activity for active recovery.
Another part of short term recovery is replenishing energy stores and fluids lost during exercise. This is achieved by a balanced diet and choosing the right post-workout meals or snacks. Sleep is also necessary for this recovery.
Long-term recovery: this recovery is necessary when the sports training program is a seasonal one. Well- designed programs include recovery days, or even recovery weeks into their annual training. Athletes tend to change their training programs throughout the year to include time for recovery. They modify their workouts, change the intensity, the distances, the time, and many other variables.
Elements Necessary for a Good Recovery
There following are some of the many elements for successful rest and recovery after your intense workout.
- Sleep: There are so many reasons why sleep is important: it can help provide mental health, muscular recovery, and hormonal balance. Most athletes need around seven to ten hours of sleep each night. The amount of necessary sleep also depends on your lifestyle, workouts, and your genetic makeup. Try to go to bed before midnight, in a place with fresh and cool temperature and no artificial light
- Hydration: During any workout you lose a lot of fluids, such as water, which is critical to your health, performance, recovery, and energy. Water helps with many of our bodily functions: it moves nutrients, lowers stress levels on the heart, improves our skin tone and hair quality, among others. Sports drinks are great before or after strenuous training, but unnecessary at any other time. Stick to water as the best form of hydration, if you’d like some extra flavor only use lemon or lime.
- Nutrition: You don’t need to keep a strict diet, but you should try to eat balanced meals to improve your performance. Food can heal you or hurt you, it all depends on how you consume it. It’s very important to have a replenishing snack or meal before and after all your workouts.
- Posture: Your form is really important when you’re working out, especially if you’re lifting weights. Bad posture can lead to potential injuries, and back or neck pain. Be mindful of your posture at all times. If you have a desk job, look for a chair that’s ergonomically correct and avoid leaning to the side while standing
- Stretching: Include dynamic stretching in your warm-ups and take some proper time to stretch after your work outs. You need to vary your stretches so your body doesn’t get used to always doing the same thing.
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