Recovery strategies – Improving PDHPE
Study Notes

There’s little doubt how demanding competition, training and competitive sports is on the body, putting both psychological and physiological stress on the body. Therefore, an athlete needs to use various techniques with a goal to handle the fatigue and refuel the mind and body quickly.

While resting, the body can heal minor problems, repair the damaged muscle tissue, bring fluid levels back to normal and restock the fuel stores. By doing this, it speeds up the results attained from the training, which betters the performances. It also helps to keep the athlete from feeling burnt out and over-trained.

Now, there are four categories to recovery techniques:

– Neural

– Physiological

– Psychological

– Tissue damage

– Physiological Strategies

In order to return the body back to its previous before-workout condition, it’s important that proper nutrition and active recovery exercises are maintained. This allows the athlete to prepare themselves for the next big event. The two main elements of these strategies include the extraction of metabolic by-products (eg. adenosine, carbon dioxide) and planning to replace lost fluids and energy with a nutritional plan. What kinds of physiological techniques should an athlete employ?

Hydration

Hydration in the form of water and/or sports drinks can replace the carbohydrates, salts and fluids that were lost during the workout. How much an athlete needs is dependent upon three key things: climate conditions, duration of exercise and exercise intensity. This hydration repletion needs to begin right away, lasting 12 to 24 hours after the exercise is over. An athlete needs to replace fluids lost during exercise and reduce the body back to to its normal temperature. For every 1.5kg of weight loss during exercise, you need to replace with at least 1 litre of fluid. Tests that need to be conducted before and after an event include weighing yourself and checking the colour of your urine to check on hydration levels.

Nutrition

To ensure the body absorbs all the nutrients it can after an exercise is to consume them within two hours of that exercise. The reason is that the body systems and metabolic processes are heightened enough to transport and make the body’s cells sensitive to the nutrients. Athletes need to be mindful of this when preparing their food, and be ready to eat something after the workout. Each meal needs to have between 50 and 100 grams of carbohydrates along with 10 to 20 grams of protein.

Cool Down

In order to bring the body back to its pre-exercise state, athletes need to carry out gentle recovery exercise that help to return the body temperature, metabolism and cardio-respiratory levels to normal. They also help in eliminating the metabolic waste products like lactic acid and can decrease delayed onset muscle soreness, cramps and muscle spasms. Gentle exercises for five to 10 minutes is sufficient enough to ensure this happens. Such exercises include lunges, walking and jogging. Static stretching will assist in lengthening, realigning and relaxing muscle fibres, allowing for normal range of motion to be accomplished easier. Any intense or continuous exercise that does not conclude with a cool down can increase the likelihood of blood pooling which can lead to dizziness.

Stretching

Along with a cool-down sessions, you need to include flexibility training to boost the recovery and lessen muscle soreness. Doing dynamic and static stretches ensures the muscles become relaxed, go back to their normal length, re-establish full motion range and help with muscle fibers realignment.

– Neural Strategies

When a person works out at an intense level, they put a lot of stress on their body’s muscular system, peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The goal for the neutral techniques is to make the muscles feel relaxed. It also allows for body to eliminate the perception that there is localised muscle fatigue and it also reduces any mental fatigue that may have been accumulated.

Hydrotherapy

When the body is immersed in water, it help aids to its rest and recovery period. If it’s cold water immersion, it can decrease the body temperature, swelling and perception of tiredness and pain. Hot water immersion will increase the flow of blood and relax the body but needs to be used only after rehydration as taken place and there’s been no soft tissue damage. Contrast water therapy is a mixture of both cold and hot water, and is effective to attaining both effects.

Hydrotherapy has another advantage in that the buoyancy of the water lets muscle float somewhat. This can lessen the impact that occurs from a game or heavy training session. Gentle exercises can also be done (similar to cool-downs) like walking in waist-deep water or doing dynamic leg swings.

The main types of hydrotherapy include:

Hot water immersion (spa baths) – increase blood flow and increase skin, muscle and core temp,

Ice baths – deep ice water for 5 mins. Aids injury by constricting and hence stopping swelling and pain and

Contrast water therapy – combines hot and cold for one minute each. Alters tissue temperature and blood flow. Assists in removal of lactic acid and other wastes and delivery of fresh blood supplies

Massage

After the cool down, a massage can be beneficial in further releasing the tension that soft tissue h has endured. A massage will encourage flexibility and get rid of the waste-by products. It can help to decrease the recovery time and encourage mental relaxation. This is extremely important after the body has been through a rigorous event.

Benefits: injury prevention, increased flexibility, decreased tension of muscles/joints, decreases muscle/nerve tension and soreness, relaxation/greater sense of well-being, increased blood flow (removes lactic acid, enhancing recovery) and breaks down scar tissue.

– Tissue Damage Strategies

After athletes participate in competition or strenuous activity, they can have an array of tissue damage, extending from small, microscopic muscle tears because of heavy resistance training to minor sprains and bruises. They can even suffer with soft-tissue injuries.

Cryotherapy

This method uses cold or ice during the recovery process. It works by doing any of the following things: compressing ice on the injury site, having an ice massage or immersing the injured body part in cold water. It also works with the athlete getting into icy cold water for a maximum of five minutes. This helps to reduce the flow of blood to the minor capillaries and blood vessels. When the body warms up, fresh blood will start to flow, which promotes getting rid of the waste products and boosting recovery.

This process is extremely worthwhile for athletes that experience a lot of bruises and bumps after a contact sport (think football) or have been subjected to intense training. Many athletes who use cryotherapy tend to see a lesser recovery time from their injuries.

– Psychological Strategies

The pressure that comes from sports can be powerful, coming from external and internal sources. An athlete needs to maintain their health – emotionally and mentally – in order to stay motivated and keep their anxiety levels down. And, this can be done with a host of personal techniques.

Relaxation

The kinds of techniques athletes can use to relax and refocus can vary significantly. Some would rather contemplate about things internally, others want to listen to music. Other athletes may decide to talk to their coach or teammates, whether about the game or just for fun. However, some active relaxation skills, which help to control arousal levels, manage anxiety and encourage mental relaxation, that should be used include:

-Visualization

-Controlled breathing exercises

-Meditation

Sleep

Sleep is what helps the body and mind recover and restore itself. Athletes, along with everyone else, need to have a healthy sleep pattern. The ideal sleep pattern is seven to nine hours a night – anything less or more can have a negative impact on one’s health. If a person is having problems sleeping, they can use an array of relaxation methods but need to steer clear of food, alcohol, caffeine and exercise within three hours before they go to bed.

Full Written Notes

Critical question 3: How can nutrition and recovery strategies affect performance
Recovery Strategies

Competition, training and competitive sports place both psychological and physiological stress on the body. Therefore, an athlete needs to employ various techniques to control fatigue and refuel the mind and body quickly.

While resting, the body can heal minor problems, repair damaged muscle tissue, bring fluid levels back to normal and restock fuel stores. By doing this, results attained from training are amplified, which improves athletic performances. Rest periods also decrease the liklihood that athletes will suffer from burn out or over-training.

Physiological Strategies

In order to return the body back to its pre-workout condition, proper nutrition and active recovery exercises must be maintained. These strategies help athletes to prepare for upcoming training and events.

The two main elements of these strategies involve the removal of metabolic by-products (eg. adenosine, carbon dioxide) and the implementation of a nutritional plan to replace lost fluids and energy.

Cool Down
To restore the body to its pre-workout state, athletes should perform gentle recovery exercises which help return the body temperature, metabolism and cardio-respiratory levels to normal. Cool down exercises can also eliminate metabolic waste products, like lactic acid, in the body and decrease the likelihood of delayed onset muscle soreness, cramps and muscle spasms.

A short session of gentle exercises for a period of five to ten minutes is sufficient to ensure this happens. Lunges, walking and jogging are all examples of cool down exercises. Static stretching can help lengthen, realign and relax muscle fibres, ensuring the athletes experience the normal range of motion. Any vigorous or sustained exercise that does not conclude with a cool down increases the likelihood of blood pooling, which can cause dizziness.

Hydration
Hydration, in the form of water and/or sports drinks can replace the carbohydrates, salts and fluids that are lost during a workout. The amount an athlete needs to consume will be determined by three key factors: climate conditions, duration of exercise and exercise intensity.

Hydration repletion must to begin immediately after the workout and should continue for 12 to 24 hours after the exercise is over. It is essential for athletes to replace the fluids lost during exercise and restore the body back to normal temperature. For every 1.5 kilograms of weight loss during exercise, athletes must consume at least 1 litre of fluid. Tests used to check hydration levels before and after an event, include weigh-ins and monitoring urine colour.

Nutrition
To ensure the body absorbs the maximum amount nutrients after exercise food should be consumed within two hours of the workout. Body systems and metabolic processes are heightened and the body’s cells are sensitive to nutrients. Athletes should be mindful of this when preparing their food and be ready to eat something after their workout. Each meal should contain between 50 and 100 grams of carbohydrates as well as 10 to 20 grams of protein.

Stretching
Along with a cool-down sessions, athletes need to include flexibility training to boost their recovery and lessen muscle soreness. Performing dynamic and static stretches ensures the muscles become relaxed, return to their normal length, re-establish full motion range and also helps muscle fibres realign.

Neural Strategies

When a person works out at an intense level, they put a lot of stress on their body’s muscular system as well as their peripheral and central nervous systems. Neural techniques are designed the relax the muscles, decrease the perception of localised muscle fatigue and reduce mental fatigue.

Hydrotherapy
Immersing the body in water can assist in the rest and recovery process. Cold water immersion can decrease the body temperature, reducing swelling and the perception of tiredness and pain. Hot water immersion will increase blood flow and relax the body but should only be used after rehydration has taken place and is there is no soft tissue damage. Contrast water therapy is a mixture of both cold and hot water and shares the benefits of both techniques.

Another advantage of hydrotherapy is that the buoyancy of the water allows muscles float. This can lessen the impact and strain on the body, which results from a game or heavy training session. Gentle exercises can also be performed (similar to cool-downs), like walking in waist-deep water or completing dynamic leg swings.

The main types of hydrotherapy include:

– Hot water immersion (spa baths): used to increase blood flow and increase skin, muscle and core temperature,
– Ice baths: submersion in deep ice water for 5 mins can aids injury recovery by reducing blood flow, alleviating swelling and pain.
– Contrast water therapy: A combination of hot and cold immersion; athletes are immersed for one minute in each type of water, which alters tissue temperature and blood flow, assisting the removal of lactic acid and other wastes from the body and aiding the delivery of fresh blood supplies.

Massage
After a cool down a massage can be benefit the athlete decreasing tension in the soft tissues of the body. A massage can facilitate flexibility and the removal of waste-by products. It can also help by decreasing the recovery time and encouraging mental relaxation. This is extremely important after the body has been through a rigorous event.

The benefits of massage include injury prevention, increased flexibility, decreased tension and soreness of muscles, nerves and joints, relaxation, a greater sense of well-being, increased blood flow (removes lactic acid, enhancing recovery) and the breakdown of scar tissue.

Tissue Damage Strategies

After athletes participate in competition or strenuous activity, they may suffer from an array of tissue damage, ranging from microscopic muscle tears, caused by heavy-resistance training, to minor sprains and bruises. Soft-tissue injuries can also occur.

Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy uses cold or ice to facilitate recovery. This technique may involve compressing ice on the injury site, having an ice massage or immersing the injured body part in cold water. Athletes can also submerge themselves in icy cold water for a maximum of five minutes. Lowering the body temperature reduces the flow of blood to the minor capillaries and blood vessels. When the body warms up, fresh blood will start to flow, getting rid of the waste products and boosting recovery.

This process is extremely effective for athletes who experience a high rate of bruising and minor injuries, like rugby players, or after an intense training session. Many athletes who use cryotherapy experience quicker recovery times after injury.

Psychological Strategies

A great deal of pressure is placed on athletes from external and internal sources, especially for those who compete professionally. It is important for athletes to maintain their emotional and mental health so that they can stay motivated and keep their anxiety levels down.

This can be achieved through the application of a variety of techniques.

Relaxation
The kinds of techniques athletes can use to mentally and emotionally relax or refocus vary significantly. Some athletes prefer internal reflection, while others respond better to external methods, like listening to music. Other athletes may decide to socialise with their coach or teammates, during or after training.

There are some active relaxation skills, which help to control arousal levels, manage anxiety and encourage mental relaxation, which athletes should use. These include:

– Visualisation
– Controlled breathing exercises
– Meditation

Sleep
Sleep facilitates the recovery and restoration or both mind and body. Athletes, just like everyone else, need to maintain healthy sleep routines. The ideal sleep pattern is seven to nine hours a night; anything more or less can have a negative impact on health. If a person is suffering from sleeping problems, they can use an array of relaxation methods and should abstain from food, alcohol, caffeine and exercise during the three hours before they go to bed.