Happy Turkey Day week to everyone, hope that you and your loved ones get together and have a great time. Me and my adventure race team hit it hard today in Miami at Oleta Park, literally I hit it hard. This was my first time mountain biking a trail and I crashed at least 30 times. We managed to get 15 miles in on the bike, an hour long kayak ride and an awesome 5 mile trail run to finish our day and did I mentioned it rained all day. This is the longest activity I have ever partaken in and man do I feel great mentally. I’ve accomplished and pushed myself to the limits that I never thought I could do. Physically I feel like I got hit by a bus, so this is why I am going to go over a few of my recovery tricks to help me power through the next day’s workouts.
Nutrition: The better fuel you put into your body, the faster you can recover from a workout. If I know I have a big day ahead of me I pack my food the day before and I make sure I eat a lot of calories the day before and right after the training session. These calories not only help me power through my workouts but the help my muscles recover from such a grueling workout.
Ice Baths: I do these every so often to help regenerate some blood flow to my legs. The freezing cold water helps your muscles recover because of the shock it provides to them. With this shock it gives you more blood flow and with more blood flow comes nutrients and muscle recovery. Note: Be sure to get in the cold water before you put the ice in.
Epsom Salt Baths: The two main components of Epsom Salts are magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium helps the body regulate activity in over 300 enzymes. It plays a role in energy production, muscle control, and elimination of toxins.
Many folks are deficient in magnesium these days. Food, environmental factors, and lifestyle all lend to deficiency. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil.
A diet high in fat and sugar further depletes this essential mineral. Too much calcium will deplete it, and yet calcium works the best when there is a good amount of Magnesium. Making sure both are entering the body is important for maintaining balance.
For some who want more magnesium, supplements are a great option. For others, they do not easily assimilate into the body. Absorption in the digestive tract may not happen, or stomach acid blocks assimilation. A bath with epsom salts is a great alternative or addition to supplements, as the magnesium gets absorbed through the skin.
Sulfate is also important for the body. Sulfates are said to release toxins from the body and form proteins in joints and brain tissue. They also generate digestive enzymes in the pancreas.
Hot/Cold Showers: This is a great way to shock the muscles into recovery it has the same benefits as a cold bath and a hot Epsom salt bath all in one. This is a must if you don’t have a bath tub. I usually go 1 minute hot 1 minute cold for a total of 10-20 minutes you will feel like a whole new person when you get out.
Foam Rolling: Breaking up the scar tissue in any muscles will aid in recovery and allow blood flow which brings recovery nutrients into your body. Now I know what you’re thinking I can’t afford a massage every week, well just go to your local home depot and buy a 4 inch PVC pipe and start you myofascial release or massage.
There are a few more tricks that will help with recovery like a good night’s sleep and a good pair of compression socks and a warm up and a cool down.
Try these out for yourself and let me know how they work for you because they have done wondrs for me.