This newsletter continues our look into injury prevention and focuses on the importance of recovery. So, what is recovery? Put simply, recovery is the body’s way of restoring balance among different systems that have been stressed through exercise. This process is very important for training and performance as it gives an athlete sufficient capacity to perform at the same high level required and reduces your risk of injury. We have decided to highlight four key aspects of recovery that you as athletes can control.
During training and competition, there is a change to our body’s fluid balance. When we stress the body during exercise, our body temperature rises, and we sweat in order to cool our body. Training in hot climates such as in Australia and Israel adds an extra element of heat on top of the exercise that our body has to deal with and therefore causes higher levels of fluid loss. Therefore, while training, competing, and recovering it is vital that we hydrate properly to restore this fluid balance. Dehydration can lead to reduced concentration, poor muscle performance, heightened injury risk and in worse cases serious illness.
For further information about when and how to optimally hydrate, please see the link below.
Nutrition is extremely important for our body to restore energy levels, repair tissue and recover following exercise and competition. During training and competition, the demand for energy is very high as our bodies use energy in order to perform at maximum levels.
When we are energy deprived, our risk of injury increases significantly as our bodies fatigue quickly causing tissue stress and subsequent injury. Similarly, when energy deprived our bodies have not been provided an environment to adequately recover and this can result in reduced performance, increased muscle soreness and poor concentration. For further information about the types of foods to eat and when, please see the link below.
Alternatively, you can consult a Sport’s Dietician for more specific advice relevant to you.
During recovery, our bodies replenish their energy stores used during competition, repair muscle and tissue from previous training or competition as well as recovers from fatigue induced by stress to the body. All of this is designed to restore our body back to its normal state. An adequate rest period allows the body time to perform the above functions effectively. If this stage is too short or inadequate, it may have a big effect on your ability to perform during training or competition and has a strong link to increased injury risk. A few examples of how to manage your rest periods include spacing out your training days, alternating between training styles (high intensity exercise vs low intensity steady state exercise) and structuring a de-load week with your health professional. For further information, speak to a sport physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach or sport doctor who can help you map your training and rest periods.
Alternatively, see link below.
Why is sleep so important? Because the majority of your muscle and bone repair occurs while you’re sleeping! Have you ever had shin splints? This can occur from repeated exposure to load without adequate recovery. Sleep is vital for recovery as it promotes the proper functioning of our central nervous system and immune system. The recommendation across major sporting institutes is that 8 hours of sleep a night reduces risk of injury and improves performance.
For further information regarding tips and tricks to help with sleep, see below.
Ross Paikin and Yaheli Bet-Or