Everything you need to know about recovery
The new age of wellness
In recent years there has been a growing interest in recovery practices like ice-baths, saunas and massage designed to promote overall wellness.
It has been covered by the likes of global health professionals and experts including Andrew Huberman Ph.D, Harley Pasternak, Janis Blums and Dr Mark Hyman who are educating the masses on the never ending benefits.
Many of these practices are useful as a way to reduce inflammation, soreness and muscle fatigue to speed up recovery times as well as boost immunity, increase energy levels and enhance mood.
This is not just a trend but increasingly becoming a wellness ritual that most will integrate into their fitness routines with the help of their trainer or instructor. However, finding a way, time or means to afford this type of body maintenance has become somewhat of a challenge.
Wellness hubs which offer manageable memberships and facilities, whether part of your current wellness provider or an independent, have started to make their way into suburbs nationally to keep up with the demand.
We speak to Dave Kennett from Recoverie Manly to answer your questions as you navigate this new space and consider adding it into your routine.
He tells us everything you need to know about infra-red, traditional saunas, compression, hyperbaric chambers and more as we enter the new age of wellness.
Q. What are some recovery techniques people can consider exploring?
There are a number of recovery modalities that have been scientifically shown to enhance and promote recovery, rejuvenation and well-being in athletes and active people.
Massage or Recovery Boots (technically known as Pneumatic Pressure Devices) are great for promoting circulation and helping to reduce soreness in the legs.
Cold plunge pools are excellent for reducing inflammation and soreness at the cellular level. Cold plunge has also been shown to promote growth hormone levels.
Alternating between Hot and Cold Pools, known as Contrast Therapy, is also excellent in promoting circulation and enhanced blood flow. This increased circulation allows the body to clear metabolic by-products, for example lactate, created by hard or heavy training loads. This leaves the legs feeling more “fresh” allowing an athlete to perform at a higher level in training and/or competition.
Steam and Traditional Saunas have been widely used for decades to enhance the recovery process in athletes. By providing a hot and/or humid environment, muscle and joint soreness can be relieved and the increased circulation which results in such treatments, allows the body to restore and rejuvenate at a cellular level.
It is often said in high-performance sport environments, that the only training an athlete benefits from, is the training that they are able to recover from. Recovery is absolutely key in absorbing and adapting to training and exercise.
Q. Is one more effective than the other? If they are different, how so?
One recovery modality is not necessarily more effective than other. It mainly depends upon the individual, what activity/training or sport they are performing or participating in and what stage post-activity they are in.
Q. What role does technology play in some of these techniques?
Technology plays a huge role in nearly all recovery modalities. From recovery boots to hyperbaric chambers to saunas and cold plunge, technology plays a primary role in facilitating these recovery modalities.
Q. What are the optimal times to recover?
For professional or full-time athletes there are certainly optimal times or windows when recovery techniques are best used or implemented.
However, for recreational athletes or health-focussed individuals, the best time for recovery is really when the individual has time. The more recovery the better.
Q. What part does sleep play in recovery?
When it comes to recovery, sleep is king. Maximising the hours that you sleep and improving your sleep performance will not only impact on how you feel and perform generally, it will also enhance your ability to absorb and adapt to training.
Recovery modalities such as cold plunge and saunas have been shown to enhance an individual’s sleep performance, most notably their Deep (Slow Wave) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. We often hear from our members that their sleep is enhanced and they feel as though they “sleep more deeply” after a recovery treatment at our Recoverie studios.
Q. How often do you advice people integrate recovery practices?
For most active people, 2-4 x 30-minute sessions per week is achievable and optimal. However, it is important to note that any ‘active recovery’ is better than nothing and we encourage an individual to do what they can. Your body will thank you!
What’s not to love… have you given it a try?
Dave Kennett holds a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies and Honours Degree in Sport Science.