Fall sports are in full swing. As the season progresses, it’s important that athletes are taking care of their bodies to keep themselves from becoming injured. After a big game, long practice or in-season training session, it’s vital that you are taking the proper steps to help your body recover quickly and properly.
At Warren Academy, we work with athletes of all ages, sports and levels to improve their strength, speed, agility and overall athletic performance. Sport-related injuries are becoming more and more common, which makes it even more important that these young athletes are paying attention to and taking care of their bodies before and after practice and games. Below, we go over some athlete recovery techniques to try after a big game or practice!
First on the list is sleep. Sleep is essential for all athletes, as it gives time for your muscles, joints and tendons to fully recover and grow. This is why quality and consistent sleep is something every athlete should strive for. On top of helping your muscles recover, sleep also gives your brain a rest, helping improve your focus while on the field or court. You should strive for at least eight hours of sleep every night. Try to make your sleep schedule as consistent as possible to set up a routine for your body and mind.
Another great way to get your body back to 100% after a game is to stretch. Stretching improves the flow of blood throughout your muscles, which helps reduce lactic acid buildup and allows your muscles to receive the nutrients they need. Stretching also improves the range of motion of your muscles. Try to mix both static and dynamic stretches into your post-game routine.
When playing a hard game, more than likely you’re going to sweat out a lot of the water you consumed the days prior. This makes it essential that athletes are rehydrating after games, practices and training sessions. Being hydrated not only helps you perform but also can reduce your risk of injuries, cramping, etc.
In addition to drinking water, it’s also a good idea to implement electrolytes as well. Sports drinks that contain high amounts of electrolytes are a great way to replenish these nutrients.
What you eat after a game or practice is another thing that can factor into your recovery. You should strive to eat a lot of protein and anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries and foods that are rich in fiber. All of these nutrients will help your muscles recover properly and quickly, and they reduce the risk of injury moving forward.
Take care of strained muscles
Lastly, it’s important that you are taking care of the muscles that you may have strained. Speaking with your team’s trainer is a great way to make sure you are doing so. They may recommend icing, compressing, stretching and other techniques to make sure those muscles are good to go for the next week of practices and games.
When it comes to high-level sports, it’s important that athletes are doing what they should to take care of themselves. The season is long, so being mindful of what you are doing to help your body recover is very helpful in keeping you healthy and ready to play