The Importance of Off-Season Athletic Recovery

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The Importance of Off-Season Athletic Recovery

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Do you keep up with your rigorous recovery routine when the off-season comes around? Off-season athletic recovery may not be the first thing on your mind when training and competition falls lower on the priority list as we tend to think we don’t need to focus on our body’s athletic recovery as much. The truth is that off-season athletic recovery is an incredibly beneficial way to heal trouble spots you have been dealing with and refresh yourself mentally before you embark on your next training cycle.

When we finish up with a long season of intense training and are finally done with the big event we’ve been training for all we want to do is lay on the couch, eat and not move for a month. We figure that our bodies will repair themselves if we just rest, right? Although this sounds very appealing, we need to do more if we really want our bodies and minds to feel fully recovered.

In order for athletic recovery to happen, we need to be intentional about moving and getting blood flowing through muscle groups. If we stay stagnant, the waste products in our muscles will stay stagnant as well, causing the soreness in our muscles to linger and therefore delaying the recovery process. Staying stagnant will also allow scar tissue to build up, which if not broken up and taken care of will lead to chronic injury (and as Sweet Brown would say…ain’t nobody got time for that!). Getting out and doing some active recovery activities along with your normal recovery routine is a great way to prevent stagnation. So the main message here is to keep your body moving and get your recovery on, even if you aren’t training!

Another reason to focus on recovery in the off-season, is that many of us are in off-season during the winter. We all know that winter conditions can be hazardous which increases our likelihood of getting injured. Even if you are just going out for a hike or a light jog, the winter weather can spark many types of injuries. So it becomes even more important to pay attention to nagging spots that creep up so that off-season pains don’t turn to injuries when it’s time to start training again.

Sticking with your recovery routine not only has physiological benefits, but also psychological. As your body recovers and feels stronger, your mind feels refreshed and you mentally get a new wave of motivation for what’s to come that you may not have had when you were tired and broken down. Your mind and body are connected, and they both equally need rest and recovery in order for you to train and perform at your best.

What are some of our favorite tools for off-season athletic recovery? We love all of it, but here are a few of the things we love the most as we prepare to ramp up training for 2015:

  • Infrared Sauna– Great for loosening up tight muscles to prevent muscle strains and tears. It can help you get over those seasonal colds and other sicknesses by using the detox setting. It can also be a healthy way to stimulate production of Human Growth Hormone so that you can feel stronger when you get back to your full on training routine.
  • LaserTouchOne– A great tool to help stay on top of new aches and pains that tend to show up from time to time. The cold laser breaks up scar tissue and stimulates protein synthesis to speed up the healing process of damaged tissues.
  • Normatec Compression– Speed up your athletic recovery by flushing out metabolic waste and increasing blood flow to your muscles!

No matter what your favorite athletic recovery tool is, remember the off-season is the time to press that reset button and focus on your recovery in order to get your body and mind ready for all the events and competitions you have planned in 2015.  Let’s make it our best year yet!  #youbetter

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