Athletes spend a lot of time working on their training program. Whether they’re elite competitors aiming for a spot on the Olympic team or just an athlete training for a certain event, they all have their own ways of approaching their training program.
While every athlete’s training program is different and depends on their sport, one thing remains the same: they all have a recovery plan. What the recovery plan entails and how they go about building that plan out is up to the athlete, but it is critical for any sportsperson. From using the NuStep machine for recovery days to creating a sleep plan for the best sports performance, here are three recovery alternatives for athletes.
An Elliptical Option
Some athletes, such as those who compete in endurance sports, spend their recovery days running or biking a few miles at an easy pace. While this is normal, it is not the best way to heal from an injury or an illness. In fact, it could actually be quite harmful, making the road to recovery far longer.
Thankfully, there is a new option: a device called the NuStep. This is a cross training machine that enables an athlete to get a complete workout while in a reclined position, making it safer for recovery purposes. With minimal joint impact or strain, the NuStep is a great addition to anyone’s rotation of recovery machines.
Recovery tools, such as compression garments, foam rollers, and massage balls, are used consistently by athletes; however, not all tools will work for everyone. This is a trial-and-error situation, one in which the athlete must decide for themselves what recovery tools are best to use.
It is commonly thought that self-massage, or myofascial release, is a great recovery tool. It massages the muscles, giving the body some much-needed attention while releasing tension in major and minor muscle groups. This is also one of the most popular recovery tools on the market today.
However, there are a variety of other tools, such as ice packs, Epsom salt baths and more, all that can lead to a healthy recovery. An athlete should try all of them at least once to understand which tools are best for their needs.
Sleep and Nutrition
Recovery is generally best aided by sufficient sleep and excellent nutrition. Both are equally important. They are necessary for the body’s healing process to stabilize, allowing the athlete to move back into the training program in a short amount of time.
A good night’s rest is critical for an athlete’s recovery, but it also has to be quality sleep. For example, an athlete that sleeps eight to ten hours of uninterrupted sleep will fare better during their recovery than someone who chooses to get only five to six hours of intermittent sleep. However, the amount of sleep an athlete needs can only be decided upon by that athlete and their coach.
Nutrition also plays a large role in an athlete’s overall training program, but specifically in the recovery process. Athletes must not only eat for their sport, but also for the needs of their body as it heals, which may be different from their normal nutrition plan. This generally requires a fair amount of carbohydrates, water, fiber, and protein.
The recovery plan is as important for each athlete as the training program. That’s because each athlete must allow their body the chance to recover from soreness, strain, injury, or illness. With these three alternatives, an athlete will be confident that they’re keeping their body in the best possible condition at all times, even during recovery.