Quick fixes for muscle issues. Do they exist?
The first thing any new customer would ask me is - "Can one session fix this muscle issue that I have?"
I understand that as consumers, you would want to just pay that one time and make your money worth. Unfortunately, Sports Therapy does not work that way and your issues or injuries, more often than not, would require prolong care beyond simply Sports Therapy.
Sports Therapy is just one of the methods for you to quicken your recovery. There are things that you need to pay attention, such as Diet & Nutrition, Proper Warming Up and Cooling Down as well as proper training, if you want your body to work at the peak of its performance.
Diet & Nutrition
Body inflammation is a natural process that your body experiences to protect itself from any types injury, illness and infection. Therefore, in general, inflammation is a normal process especially after rigorous training and workout if it is on a short-term basis. On a long-term basis, however, inflammation can lead to multiple health related issues.
To quicken your recovery process, here are some of the food that you should avoid or abstain from:
- Alcohol Beverages
- Sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice
- Sugar-based food such as pastries and cookies
- Refined Carbs such as white rice and white bread
- Processed food and meat such as hot dogs or chips
- Hydrogenated filled food such as margarine and creamer
Here are some of the food you should eat instead:
- Healthy Fats such as Olive oil
- Fatty Fish such as Salmon that is rich in Omega 3
- Spices such as turmeric & Cinnamon
- Leafy Vegetables & dark coloured berries such as grapes
- Dark chocolates
- Green Tea & Red Wine
Contrary to beliefs, high protein based food should not be the only form of nutrition for your recovery. Protein is essential for muscle building (as well as water), however a well-balanced diet help quicken your overall recovery process.
Proper Warming Up & Cooling Down
I have a separate article on warming up and cooling down that you can read. Nonetheless, I will briefly describe here why warming up and cooling down is important for both athletes and weekend warriors.
Warming up increases your body temperature and blood flow to your muscles
Your body simply cannot perform at a rigorous state from zero to one. Just like a car, there is a need to get your engine started and gradually go from gear 1 to gear 2 before you can even reach gear 5. Similarly, warming up helps quick start your cardiovascular system which hence increase the blood flow to your muscles (which improves oxygenation to the muscles that helps with recovery). Warming up also helps loosen your joints and other stiff muscles which is critical for injury prevent and peak performance.
Warming up puts you in the right state of mind
Beyond injury prevention, warming up also allows you to be in the right state of mind before you go hard and push your body to its limits. This is important for competitive athletes especially.
Regular Sports Therapy
This is definitely the least economical option but definitely something you should really consider if you want to ensure that you can continue playing the sports you love or physically performing at a peak for the next 20 to 30 years of your life.
I, for one, experience this first hand as a young athlete (You can read my story here). I had little access to professional sports therapists and was not financial capable to go for such regular care and treatment (If you are a young athlete yourself, you are able to enjoy my student discount). Due to poor body care and maintenance, my dream of being a professional track athlete came to an abrupt end.
I understand that Sports Therapies, in general, are not cheap. However, such short term costs can help prevent huge cost in a long run as surgeries or reactive treatments are more expensive. What's even costlier is the fact that you may have to cut short your passion for sports and training as your injuries become chronic.
How often should I go for such therapy sessions?
If you are a weekend warrior who goes to the gym or train in your sports at least 3 times a week, I would recommend you to at least go for a session at least once a month. The therapist can, at the very least, assess your conditions and identify any muscular tightness or mobility issues that can affect your performance and cause an injury.
If you are an amateur or professional athlete that competes in the occasional competition, once a month sports therapy session is a must! However, for peak performance I would recommend going at least once every two weeks.
For bodybuilders, it is ideal to constantly head for therapy sessions once a week, at least within 8 weeks of your competition. This is because the therapy session can help improve your overall muscle conditioning and bring out definition in your minor muscle groups. You should also go for a muscle sculpture session at least 3 days before you go for your tanning session so that your tan is not ruin just before you step on stage.
In terms of maintenance, bodybuilders are advised to come at least once a month.
Track & Field Athletes
For track & field athletes, you should head for therapy sessions at least twice a month, and plus 3 days before competition.