After a tough workout or FitSteps® class, resting may seem like a great way to recover. However, studies have shown that this is not the best way to recover from an intense workout – Active Recovery is what you want!
Active Recovery means engaging in low intensity exercise after workouts. This also means on the days following intense workouts.
By doing, this you encourage recovery and reduce muscle lactate levels faster than your body does at rest. Low intensity activity assists blood circulation, which in turn helps remove lactic acid from the muscle.
And low intensity means LOW INTENSITY! Around 20-30% of your maximum output.
Injuries and sprains
Injuries can occur even in top class athletes. You must always take every precaution possible to ensure this does not happen. However if an injury or sprain does occur, you can follow this technique known as RICE!
R – Rest the injury or sprain, making sure the muscle and surrounding muscles are in a relaxed state.
I – Ice. A suitable ice pack or even a small bag of frozen food will do. Make sure you wrap it with towel or clothing, never place directly on your skin.
C – Compression. Putting pressure on the injury with the ice pack. This may be easier to do by wrapping the area with a belt or tape.
E – Elevate the limb and ensure the muscle is relaxed.
Applying something cold to the injury site provides short-term pain relief. It also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area.
Keep in mind, though, that you should never leave ice on an injury for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin. The best rule is to apply cold compresses for 15 minutes and then leave them off for at least 20 minutes.
A Health Tip from Mark Foster