Recover as Hard as You Train!
Introducing ATHLIV Recovery.
Many athletes will tell you that the secret to getting the best results from your training is to optimise recovery. Good recovery is the key to success for both your body, but also your mind. Taking some time to slow down, listen to your body and adopt some active recovery strategies, will help you to perform better in your subsequent workouts. Training in itself is a stress on the body, and in order for your body to get the best adaptations from this physical stress, we need ample rest. Adequate recovery will also help minimise your risk of injury and may improve performance and focus at work, and in your personal life. There are many aspects to a good recovery practice, for example; sleep, nutrition, hydration, massage, breathing, stretching and mobility. ATHLIV offers a daily recovery session for those who feel they need a break from the more strenuous resistance or cardio sessions.
Here we are going to briefly discuss just some of the benefits of the mobility, stretching and breathing found in ATHLIV Recovery, to minimise the risk of injury/pain, to calm your nervous system, reduce stress and anxiety (1, 2). Mobility is a trendy word heard in the fitness industry these days, and it can encompass a number of movement practices. Mobility training is essentially centred around improving the range of movement of your joints, including the surrounding muscle and connective tissue. It can help to maintain the health of your joints, improve your range of motion (necessary for life and training), improve your posture and ease aches and pains in your body (3). Whilst we can think of mobility training as an active practice that incorporates strength through the body’s capable range of movement, stretching is a more passive practice, focused on increasing flexibility of muscle tissue. Flexibility and mobility go hand in hand, because as we increase our flexibility, we also want to strengthen that range of movement with mobility training. Stretching is a great way to ease tension in the body, and encourage length in the muscle tissue. Tight muscles and restricted joints often lead to pain in the body, a regular active recovery practice can help improve blood flow and reduce pain in the body (4). In summary (and at the risk of over simplifying things), you can think of mobility as a dynamic practice that focuses on joints, and stretching as a passive practice that focuses on the lengthening of muscle tissue. Whilst some mobility training can be hard-work, the ATHLIV program offers gentle mobility and passive stretching, designed to help you slow down. It’s important to remember, that whilst mobility, stretching and yoga-style practices are intended to calm your nervous system, ease muscular tension and help mitigate your risk of injury, you can still over-do it and overstretch, so listening to your body is important. Like any training practice, if at any point an exercise feels painful you should stop, and seek professional help.
Equally as important for recovery is breathing, a good breathing practice can assist in calming the nervous system, and softening the body (5). It’s great for your physical body, but also your mind. Breathing can help take your body from fight or flight (the sympathetic nervous system) to rest and digest (the parasympathetic nervous system). Whilst many people are quick to skip a breathing practice, just a few moments of mindful inhalation and exhalation, may help improve digestion, ease stress and improve sleep, all of which are important in your body’s recovery process.
So next time you are feeling a bit tired or over trained, why not love your body and try the daily ATHLIV Recovery program. A unique mix of gentle yoga-inspired movements, passive stretching and breathing to promote restoration of your body and mind.