Remember to chat with your health and fitness expert beforehand so to keep things safe for you. This includes:
Active recovery – After a hard training or exercise session one of the most effective recovery techniques is movement. This might mean an easy walk the day after your netball game or session. If you can find a pool, then an easy swim has added recovery benefits. Active recovery works because movement helps pump waste products out of your muscles.
Case Study Example: Marathon champion Steve Moneghetti schedules in easy days as active recovery. While these "easy days" still see him covering 20+km it is the same principle we use. For us an easy day or active recovery session might be a 20min walk around the block.
â€¢ Stretching – Still one the best recovery tools around. Consult your physiotherapist for safety guidelines. The secret is to have it as part of your training routine. Don't just finish your session and leave straight away. Make sure you set 15min aside to do some quality stretching before you jump in the car for the drive home. This is a good time to have some snacks and drinks available to speed up your recovery. If you are in a team sport or exercising with a friend, try to buddy up in your stretching recovery. This accountability will help you get your stretching recovery session done.
â€¢ Massage – can be a painful but effective tool. It is worth having a regular massage when you are training hard. Like an active recovery a massage helps push waste products out of your muscles.
â€¢ Rest/Sleep – often an overlooked area. If you are not getting enough sleep your body is under extra stress and your recovery is compromised. This can result in over-training and being more susceptible to colds and flu. For elite full-time athletes, having a quick sleep after a session is a luxury many don't have. The secret is to make sure your schedule gets you to bed at night at a reasonable hour.
These are all simple techniques you can employ to help get the most out of your session. You train hard, so why waste it? Get the most out of each session with these recovery techniques . A useful book on the subject is found at www.mastersathlete.com.au/masters-athlete-book
Well-Being Australian Theologian reflects on this universal principle that we become stronger after a trial. Paul in Romans chapter 5 verse 3 explains, "but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." We are at war with God. We ignore and rebel against Him.
Yet we can have new life from this spiritual death through Jesus. In the same way, during our trials and tough sessions our recovery is through the Holy Spirit. The whole recovery process results in a stronger faith in God and more glory for God. Why not explore what Paul is talking about by reading Romans chapters 1 to 5?
Jeremy Dover is the Presbyterian Minister at Bannockburn (near Geelong) and is a Sport Scientist. Jeremy has competed in many marathon runs.