Category Archives: Recovery

Looking After Ourselves

The advice is clear – if we don’t look after our feet🦶we are highly unlikely to be able to finish the hike!

So instead of floundering around online trying to figure out how to look after ourselves we decided to have a chat with two great physios from Ascend Physiotherapy – Bryony and Christal!

The first session is on blister prevention and treatment.

But what about other injuries like rolled ankles, sore knees, painful hips or some lower back pain that may get in the way of getting on with the hike?

Bryony and Christal from Ascend Physiotherapy to the rescue again with some great lessons on how we can look after ourselves whilst we’re away!

(Most probably quickly followed by a visit to Ascend after the insanity is over 🙂)

Active Recovery

Recovery is an imperative part of our training, if we train hard we must make time to recover.

This ensures we are giving our bodies and muscles enough time to regenerate so when it comes down to crunch time in our training, we can perform. We do not want to overload our bodies with a heavy training routine with a poor recovery plan as this can provide the opposite of what we want from our training such as injury, dropped energy levels, vulnerable immune system and stress.

Stretching

Stretching is the process of lengthening our muscles, you’ll fee; this when you bend over and touch your toes and get an uncomfortable feeling. It’s important we stretch your muscles out as it adds to range of motion and can stop cramping.

Dynamic stretches – useful as a warmup – using movement to enable to muscle lengthening and extend out range.

Static stretches – useful as a cooldown – more controlled holds aid lengthening without the extra exertion (think- during exercises muscle fibres pick up tears, that’s how muscles grow. But we don’t want these tears being overly lengthened as then there will be injury, so static controlled stretching is recommended following a workout)

Active recovery

Ah rest days! It’s important when you are sore after a workout, not to just sit on the couch and not move! A rest day should still be a day where you are active, just lighter activity, use this as a time to go for a walk/bike ride/ swim, get your cardio on.

Rest

Have you ever completed a work-out and felt so sore that you struggled to get out of bed the next day?

Do you know why you get sore?

Well, when you work-out, what you are doing is loading your muscles…imagine you perform a bicep curl. When you activate (all three movement…concentric, eccentric or isometric) your muscles develop tiny, microscopic tears in it.

This causes your muscle to feel sore after a day or two of your work-out, this is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). What happens is that your muscles recover strong, and this is how your muscles get larger and build strength! So slight soreness in your muscles after an intense work-out session is normal!

When your muscle recovers, it requires proteins to recover and re-build. There has been a lot of question around when should we consume protein and if there is a time when it helps to eat protein and allow a faster recovery.

While there are optimal times, unless you are an athlete (and even then it’s a large window) don’t stress about it.. Your body will use what it has and find what it needs if you are eating a balanced diet.

Other elements that affect recover are:

  • Proper Rest
  • Sufficient vitamins
  • Time
  • Stress

So the tip of the day. If you are working hard, make sure you eat clean, wholesome food that is unprocessed and make sure you take time to relax and sleep well at night!

Then before you know it, you’ll be wondering how you got so fit so fast!

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

You know what it’s like, you’ve smashed it at the gym, (you might have even just trained with me doing 300 squats 😊) a great session, that’ll leave you sore for days.

Congratulations, you’ve had an effective training session

It doesn’t matter if its been your first couple of weeks in the gym or you have been training for years, one thing that we all feel when we have had a great workout is muscle soreness (or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as it is known aka DOMS)

Why does DOMS occur?

One of the reasons DOMS occurs is because we placed an unaccustomed amount of load on your muscles which results in microscopic tears to our muscles and connective tissue during our workout. This being primarily through the eccentric phase or lowering phase of the exercise. DOMS comes into play as a way for the body to let us know that it has entered a recover phase and is in the process of rebuilding our muscle tissue to help make us stronger for that particular activity

What is the benefit of DOMS?

As mentioned before, DOMS is a sign from your body, saying “take it easy over the next few days while I recover this particular muscle group”.

Picture the days following your intense workout, there is a microscopic construction crew assisting in the rebuild of your muscles. They need fuelling and all the resources to make this new build as flash as possible. It’s hot work these little guy’s need hydrating as well!

How long is DOMS meant to last?

Typically, DOMS begins within 12-24 hours of the intense activity being completed. DOMS is only meant to last between 24-72 hours. If your nutrition is really good (good amounts of Macro/Micro Nutrients and Water) then the recovery period may be accelerated.

Usually, after this period of 3 Days recovery, the muscles fibres will be healed and ready for another assault with a high intensity workout. However, connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons can take longer to heal as they have a limited blood supply in comparison to the muscles and ‘may’ require up to 5 days to fully recover.

A common misconception is that rest day’s, mean do nothing. Actually “active recover” during rest days, such as going for a walk, light jog, low intensity workout will improve the chances of a faster recovery.

Distinguishing between 2 pains

Acute, sharp stabbing pain during physical exercise is not to be confused with DOMS! If you feel uncomfortable, stabbing pain, stop exercising immediately and seek assistance from a GP or trained professional