Expert advice on preparation and recovery before and after a workout from Sinéad Delahunty for Glenisk
This article is sponsored by Glenisk
Glenisk is back at Wellfest 2019 with the promise of plenty of delicious high-protein snacks to keep you fuelled throughout the weekend and much more! Here, Glenisk – The Good Yogurt – has worked with Chartered Physiotherapist, food blogger and author Sinéad Delahunty to bring you Preparation & Recovery: The Good Guide
As tempting as it may be to just start moving immediately once you leave the house or stop completely once finishing a run/exercise, warming up and cooling down your body will ensure you move better and for longer, whilst also reducing your risk of injury.
Flexibility is a large component of warming up and cooling down, and flexibility exercises will reduce joint stiffness and muscle tightness – therefore reducing pain and increasing your muscle recovery for future movement.
Prepare to exercise
Ensure you have the correct footwear and necessary equipment, and that you are well rested, hydrated and adequately fueled. Complete a thorough warm-up routine before beginning to move.
- Layer up clothing and remove as your body temperature increases.
- Do a dynamic warm-up for 10-15 minutes, e.g. easy jogging, short strides, heel kicks, high knees, lunges, squats, or trunk twists.
- Introduce stretching exercises of the major muscle groups in arms and legs through large ranges of motion.
- Sport-specific exercises focusing on coordination and balance.
Recover from exercise
After a big event like a long run, tough match or any increase in your daily movement routine, allow sufficient time for your body to rest. Try walking, or a pool exercise to aid in recovery before returning to training.
- Layer up with warm, dry clothing as your body temperature returns to normal.
- Slow down your heart rate with deep breathing exercises and continuous movement, e.g walking or slow jogging.
- Static stretching will stretch the muscle to the point of tension, hold for 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times.
- Reduce muscle pain by using ice baths and static stretching exercises.
- Restore lost fluids by adequately rehydrating.
- Refuel muscles quickly after tough sessions with high protein foods, such as yogurt.
- Foam rolling can be used to reduce those painful or stiff sensations after movement. Roll the ‘tender spot’ in your muscle over the foam roller. Hold each pressure point for approximately 30 seconds repeating each exercise for 1-2 minutes.
- Consult a chartered physiotherapist if you suspect an injury.
Sinéad Delahunty is a Chartered Physiotherapist based in a busy Dublin hospital. When not treating patients, Sinéad is generally found creating new recipes for her food blog Delalicious or playing gaelic football with her club Foxrock-Cabinteely.