You've just come home from a long training session or endurance race and you're dead tired. Some athletes love this post-workout feeling—it's part of the reason they do these sports—the reward of feeling like you accomplished something by pushing your body and mind to their limits. Others complain about their sore body all week.
But no matter how badly you do or don't want to get back out there, giving your body the workout recovery it deserves is absolutely crucial to your physical and mental health, as well as your training gains.
One of the most common deficiencies in an athlete's training schedule is insufficient rest, which is just as important as any other element of your routine.
Here are some muscle recovery techniques to help you get the rest you need:
There are several different types of massage, some focusing on the release of tension in specific pressure points and nerves, while others focus on larger layers of muscle. Many massage practitioners specialize in some form of sports/deep-tissue massage.
In general, massages help improve your body's overall circulation systems, including the lymphatic and the respiratory, which is important to post-workout recovery.
There are reasons why hot tubs and hot baths have been a favorite rest and relaxation method since ancient Greece. They work.
The heat that your body experiences in a hot tub opens up your veins and capillaries, allowing your blood to flow more freely to your heart. The heart doesn't have to work as hard to pump, and this lets the rest of your body more easily relax.
Also, the fact that you're floating in water gives your body buoyancy and relieves you from the pull of gravity that you live with all day.
Taking a break from gravity and the weight of your body allows your body to relax and recover.