The Recovery Modality You’re Not Using
Active recovery (also known as active rest) is one of the most popular forms of exercise therapy used in physical rehabilitation. Active rest involves using some form of aerobic activity such as running or cycling after a workout to recover from muscle soreness and reduce the risk of injury. It’s been shown to improve performance during exercise, increase energy levels, decrease fatigue and prevent overuse injuries.
However, there are several disadvantages associated with active recovery:
It requires considerable time commitment. For example, it takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete an hour-long session of active rest. That means if you work out at least once per day, you’ll need to do at least three sessions of active rest each week!
You have to be able to run/bike for long periods of time. If you don’t like being active, then this may not be for you.
If your muscles aren’t completely recovered, they won’t be ready to perform at their best when training begins again. So even though it might seem beneficial right now, it could hinder your ability to train effectively later on.
It’s very easy to overdo it. This can lead to injuries such as shin splints or other knee problems.
The biggest disadvantage is the amount of time and effort that active recovery requires. Even if you don’t mind the extra time spent on your feet, you need to ensure that every minute is well spent. For this reason, I prefer a more passive form of recovery such as compression garments.
What are Compression Garments?
Following exercise, your muscles work harder and pump more blood to the limbs. This is a natural bodily response to strenuous exercise and helps muscles refuel and repair. Compression garments help improve this natural process by applying a gentle pressure at a level that supports your body’s efforts to circulate blood back to the heart. Thus, it has a beneficial effect on your muscles by enhancing their natural recovery process during and after exercise.
There are several different types of compression garments on the market, such as tights, socks, sleeves and gloves. If you’re a runner who’s prone to shin splints or a triathlete with a history of knee injuries, compression tights are a great investment. These can be worn under your shorts or tights for added protection during exercise and recovery. Compression socks can be paired with regular socks and running shoes for an extra layer of protection during training. Finally, compression gloves can be worn under your regular workout gloves to maximize their benefits.
The Benefits of Compression Garments
While active recovery methods such as running or cycling certainly have their benefits, they aren’t always ideal when you’re short on time or don’t feel like going for a jog. Compression garments, on the other hand, can be worn and washed at any time. This makes them perfect for busy people who want to get the most out of their workouts. Compression garments can be worn in place of your regular socks and tights to enhance blood flow during training sessions.
By helping your body recover faster, they’ll enable you to work out harder and for longer periods of time without needing rest. This will allow you to perform better and increase the intensity of your exercise sessions over time as your body becomes stronger and more accustomed to the routine.
Sources & references used in this article:
CE Credit: Complementary Modalities/Part 1: Discover the Healing Power of Therapeutic Touch by RB Mackey – The American journal of nursing, 1995 – JSTOR
Therapeutic modalities for physical therapists by WE Prentice, WS Quillen, FB Underwood – 2002 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Integrating spiritual and western treatment modalities in a Native American substance user center: Provider perspectives by JF Moghaddam, SL Momper – Substance use & misuse, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
A multi-modal approach to assessing recovery in youth athletes following concussion by N Reed, J Murphy, T Dick, K Mah, M Paniccia… – JoVE (Journal of …, 2014 – jove.com
CE Credit: Complementary Modalities/Part 3: Using Imagery to Help Your Patient Heal by B Dossey – The American journal of nursing, 1995 – JSTOR
Recovery modalities: An update on the science by K Stein – Professional baseball athletic trainer’s society, 2017 – pbats.com
‘I don’t think there’s much of a rational mind in a drug addict when they are in the thick of it’: towards an embodied analysis of recovering heroin users by S Nettleton, J Neale, L Pickering – Sociology of health & illness, 2011 – Wiley Online Library