Sports Recovery

Topic: Sports Recovery

Sports Recovery is an important part of any fitness or strength training routine and includes cooling down, stretching, rest, hydration and nutrition.

When we exercise or play sports, what is happening to our muscles that require recovery and rest?

 Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well simply put, the muscle breaks down from the exercise, from the stress being put on it. That’s the physiological response. It is afterwards, after you exercise, that the healing of that muscle from that stress occurs that makes that muscle stronger. Rest and recovery are what actually make you stronger when you work out. That’s just the response that the body has.

After a workout, what should we be eating and drinking and what should we stay away from?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: It’s important to replenish the energy stores that you’ve lost during exercise. Staying hydrated, drinking water is probably the best thing you could be drinking after a workout. As far as eating, you want to replace some of those lost protein and carbohydrates, the macro nutrients that you lost through exercise. You want to get a good supply of amino acids or protein back into your muscles so that they can start the healing process and replenish what was depleted. A good quality carbohydrate that can also replenish your glycogen or energy stores, which also helps with the recovery process.

You want to make sure you’re doing that within 30 minutes of exercise. What should you stay away from, the same foods you should probably be staying away from all the other times. Overly sugared, overly processed foods that are devoid of any nutritional value.

How important is cooling down and stretching after working out?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well like we said before, the healing of the workout begins with rest and recovery. That starts with the cool down and the stretching. To help that muscle get back into balance and to start to relax and start to be able to get the nutrients it needs to start healing and getting stronger and replenishing what was done. In terms of keeping your body in good balance and good alignment and making sure the muscles don’t get overly tight and pulling, causing injury. It’s critical for any athlete of any level to have a proper cool down and stretch after a workout.

Does rest and extra sleep actually aid in sports recovery?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Absolutely … That is when healing is at its optimum –  when you’re sleeping and resting. All of your energy stores can be going toward healing instead of being used toward other activities. When you’re at rest, your body is optimized for healing.

When injuries occur, what are the steps involved in the recovery process?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: Initially as chiropractor, a patient comes with an injury and we want to establish the extent of the injury. Extensive exam is important to identify what was injured, and how extensive the damage is. The body will go through its normal inflammation stage where it’s trying to deliver repairing nutrients and cells to develop scar tissue and stabilize the area. Chiropractic care at this point will help to direct that healing through adjustments and also active motion and dynamic motion and working the muscles. This will help direct the scar tissue and other healing processes that occur. As we go through that process and the body stabilizes more, the injury becomes less painful. We want you to do ranges of motion that may exist through light resistance or body resistance. As the patient starts to develop more strength, we turn them back to activity. All throughout this process, we’ll be aware if anything aggravates the condition or helps it recover quicker. That may include ice or heat, or other modalities that may help facilitate the healing.

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If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Marshall or Dr. Cronk visit or call 732-741-1000 to schedule an appointment.

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