For years, you’ve likely been told to stretch and use ice when you’re recovering after sports. While these are classic recovery practices, many innovative techniques are available today, including compression, heat, and cold treatments.
Recovery Lab in Red Deer offers a variety of sport recovery treatments, depending on your unique needs.
What Are the Best Recovery Techniques for Sports?
You have several options for sports recovery—you don’t need to deal with stiffness and soreness.
CryoSpa, infrared sauna, and NormaTec compression are some of the best ways to recover from sports. They can help you prepare for your next game, workout, or competition.
CryoSpa is cold therapy for sports injuries, muscle pain, and exercise recovery. Traditional cold therapy includes treatment like ice to relieve pain and swelling, typically placing an ice pack on the affected area for 10–20 minutes.
CryoSpa is an ice bath that submerges your body in cold water, helping reduce inflammation in just three to six minutes. Regular short sessions can alleviate stiffness in fatigued muscles. Cold water immersion has also been proven to help with anxiety with the use of specific breathing techniques while you are immersed. Regular use of cold water therapy can also assist in speeding up your metabolism to improve your body’s fat burning capacities.
Saunas can be a great way to recover after a tough workout or game, but many people struggle with the heat. It may be difficult to stay in the sauna long enough to feel its benefits. That’s where the infrared sauna comes in—it provides similar benefits at a lower temperature.
Saunas increase blood flow and force you to sweat to lower your body temperature, just like when you exercise. Infrared saunas help relieve inflammation and soreness by increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles.
The benefits of an infrared sauna include:
- Improved recovery
- Better sleep
- Reduced stress
- Improved blood flow
If you’re a sports fan, you may have seen or heard of NormaTec compression before—many professional teams use this technique to support recovery between games.
This treatment helps enhance the body’s natural recovery process with:
- Rehabilitation after injury
NormaTec is a form of compression therapy similar to traditional compression socks you can buy to support your legs. It places pressure on the body to help reduce swelling and improve circulation.
Research has found that NormaTec may be beneficial if you’re an athlete or frequent exerciser. A 2017 study identified that this treatment can support someone’s flexibility and reduce pain in the legs.
How Can I Recover Faster from Sports?
You can boost your recovery by investing in your nutrition, rest, and hydration.
A healthy diet can help prevent many health issues and also help you recover more effectively from sports.
Your diet is important, but sometimes you may benefit from additional help. Supplements can help you recover faster. They can reduce muscle soreness and get you back to feeling 100%.
Some beneficial supplements for muscle recovery include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Rest & Sleep
Sleep is essential for your sports performance and recovery. It helps your heart and body rest while your cells and tissue repair themselves, and it can help prevent illnesses that might keep you from performing at your best.
Besides recovery, sleep helps improve your mental state, such as retaining memories, which can help improve your skills. Poor sleep may lead to struggles in making decisions during your games.
Research has found that sleep is one of the most essential aspects of recovery for athletes. If you struggle to sleep, trying new strategies may improve your sleep quality and your recovery from sports.
Some tips you can try to improve sleep include:
- Avoiding blue light before bed
- Meditating before bed
- Eating melatonin-rich foods
- Taking a magnesium supplement
Water is vital for life, especially for recovery and rest. Dehydration affects your sports performance and your health.
Research has shown that hydration is essential for performance, injury prevention, and recovery. However, many coaches may not provide enough opportunities to keep athletes hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and after sports to help your body recover and prevent future injuries.
Using a product such as LMNT can dramatically improve the uptake of water into your system with its high levels of sodium. It is also fortified with magnesium and potassium to aid in muscle recovery.
Find the Best Recovery Treatment for Your Needs
While CryoSpa cold water immersion, infrared sauna, and NormaTec compression are all beneficial ways to recover from sports, other recovery plans may benefit you. Visiting an expert can help—they can recommend a treatment plan after assessing your unique needs.
Contact Recovery Lab to learn how we can take your recovery to the next level. Let us be your “missing link”.