Ok – so you hear all about how restoring your body is very beneficial to add to your exercise but what does restoring entail?
In the next few weeks, Actualize newsletters will consist of different and important ways your body can recover and feel refreshed. We here at Actualize want you to exercise smart and recover hard. We are constantly pushing our bodies to the limit which is how you grow and restore your muscles. Listening to what our body needs is important in order to avoid injury and continue intense workouts.
Over these next few weeks you will learn about different modalities to use, how sleep affects your training, how rest days play a role in your exercise regimen, and what over-training looks like.
As much as we are promoting to take five minutes before and/or after your workouts to foam roll, do you know why?
Foam rolling is technically a form of massage therapy and it is referred to as myofascial release.
Myo = muscle
Fascial = the viscoelastic material that covers your entire body
Your fascia covers muscles, organs and tissues from head to toe. Myofascial release is a hands on technique of applying pressure to soft tissue that allows release of any tension. It is also extremely beneficial to eliminate pain and sore muscles as well as restore motion and push out toxins.
The best way to administer myofascial release is to apply a “low load” slowly in order for the viscoelastic material to elongate. Low load refers to lighter pressure against the foam roller. This can mean you are supporting yourself with a leg or your upper body as you control the movement. Myofascial release goes beyond foam rolling. This can include using a lacrosse or tennis ball to get tough and tight spots, and deep tissue massages. Yes, you can actually tell your spouse you NEED a massage – it’s good for you!
Our body needs adversity in order to adapt. When we train hard, our body as a protection mechanism becomes sore which is good until toxins build up causing reduced blood flow and lack of oxygen. THAT is why myofascial release is so important. Tissue damage left unchecked will remain in this cycle leading to sore and tight muscles.
Lucky for you, we are selling foam rollers for $24.99 so you can restore anywhere!
Another therapy modality when dealing with injuries or tight muscles is what is called electrical stimulation (E-stim). This modality sends electrical impulses to the muscles causing them to involuntarily contract. They are used to treat muscle pain and spasms. E-stim is commonly used for athletes with muscle damage or injury such as a strained back or tight hamstring. The goal is to reduce the pain in the specific area and continue to resistance train. E-stim is a great PRE-hab technique to consider if areas of your body are extra stiff or sore.
Ultrasound has great benefits to healing of sprains, inflammation, and other muscle and joint strains. Ultrasound therapy uses soundwaves to stimulate the body’s tissues with essentially vibration. Increased vibration leads to heat production within the tissues. Heating is known for muscle relaxation and a pain reducer. Ultrasound is used for the idea that it attracts blood cells via vibration and heat to a specific injured area in order for healing to happen faster.
Ice therapy remains one of the easiest and most effective modalities to treat acute injuries. Cold therapy reduces pain and swelling. However, there is little research shown that icing will decrease muscle soreness. Proper ice therapy should be done as a final step post-exercise. It is recommended to leave a cold-pack/ice pack/frozen peas on the affected spot for no more than 20 minutes. Finally put those peas to good use. Maximum benefits of pain relief can be felt when heat is applied after ice to bring back blood flow.
These are just some of the many different ways to take your health and fitness to the next level. Restorative measures can make all the difference in how you function day-to-day and in-between your high intensity workouts. Take advantage of foam rolling five minutes before and your workout, and be intentional at home with ice and heat as needed. It is important to us that you are equipped with the tools and knowledge for success in creating your healthy lifestyle. Being healthy includes being functional and mobile. Here we exercise smart and recover hard.