Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Active Recovery

by Kris Pitcher

Active recovery following an event or competition is an important component for an athlete. Whether you're a weekend warrior, a triathlete or a physique athlete recovery following your event is essential.

Active recovery in the days following your event means low intensity exercise during the rest period - a week - after your event. One of the major benefits is improving relaxation by having a positive effect psychologically. The activity is for our head, not our body.

The stresses we put our bodies under leading up to and then during a competition require rest and recovery. The body needs to heal from the trauma and damage caused by the intensity of activity and often over training we've undergone to get us to competition day.

Mentally it's difficult to take the break our body needs. Active recovery seems to benefit us by providing minimal physiological activity and a great deal of psychological comfort.

Low intensity doesn't mean entering a half marathon the weekend after you've run your marathon. It means mild walking, low mileage, short time and distance. Active recovery. Sleeping, refueling and rest from activity will get you the recovery you need to begin training for your next big competition.

Take a break with active recovery. Stay out of the gym for the days following your event. Eat, sleep and enjoy your success while you let your body heal from the demands and depletion of competition. Learning to rest will make you a stronger athlete, through active recovery.

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