Our bodies need to recover following intense bouts of work such as hard training. (reference: NSWIS news)  

Following exercise, we experience both muscular and mental fatigue. Various recovery methods will decrease these types of fatigue and promote regeneration and adaptation.

Effective recovery will also reduce the risk of injury. When considering ‘how much recovery do I need?’ you can use the following simple formula as a simple guide:

Light exercise = less recovery
Intense (hard) exercise = more recovery

It’s good to have an overall understanding of what’s going on when your body is recovering. Strategies for recovery focus on four elements:

Mechanical (tissue)
↑ Blood flow
↑ Oxygen and nutrient delivery
↑ Metabolite clearance

Metabolic (energy systems)
↓ Inflammation
↑ Glycogen (energy) stores
↑ Protein synthesis
↑ Hydration (fluid levels)

↓ Stress (Cortisol levels)
↑ Mood

↑ Alertness
↓ Muscle soreness (DOMS)
↓ General fatigue/lethargy

Recovery Strategies

The below list details some of the recovery strategies that can be used to eliminate fatigue.

1. Relaxation and rest

  • Sleep
  • Power naps
  • Optimising the sleep environment

2. Nutrition and hydration

  • Carbohydrate and protein intake
  • Fluid replacement
  • Pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition

3. Hydrotherapy

  • Cold water immersion
  • Contrast baths or showers
  • Cryotherapy

4. Massage and compression

  • Self-massage
  • Foam rolling
  • Soft tissue or deep tissue massage
  • Compression garments

5. Other

  • Light exercise
  • Reading
  • Listening to music
  • Undertaking a hobby
  • Socialising