The effects of a big game day can reach farther than you may expect. While you’re reeling from the excitement of it all, it’s easy to forget the other aspects of post-game recovery. Additionally, failure to do so could result in permanent damage to your body.
As such, knowing the best steps towards proper recovery is essential. Aside from keeping your body free from injury, it may also be the key to optimal performance. After all, your body knows best when it needs to slow down; all that’s left is to listen.
Read on and go right here to find some health and wellness tips to continue at the top of your game.
1. Schedule A Muscle Therapy Appointment
Contrary to popular belief, scheduling a physiotherapy appointment isn’t only necessary when suffering from an injury. In fact, regularly seeing a specialist could lead to better overall recovery.
Some examples of this which are excellent for post-game recovery include:
- Physiotherapy – for muscle, ligament, tendon, and joint pain
- Massage therapy – helps ease soreness and fatigue
- Acupuncture – stimulates the central nervous system to alleviate stress and promote healing
- Active rehab – helps soothe injuries while preventing new ones from occurring
Your body undergoes plenty of stress while playing sports. As such, tiny tears in your muscle fibers occur. While this is part of the muscle-building process, this also causes soreness and stiffness as a side effect. Moreover, this significantly increases during important sports events like tournaments.
The added benefit professionals can bring towards recovery can be a great way of recovering after game day. While your body heals with time, these experts know areas that may not receive much attention. Ultimately, scheduling an appointment after a match often leads to better injury prevention.
2. Get Plenty Of Sleep
Playing with your body and mind at their peaks is essential during games. Conversely, giving them ample time to cool down afterward is equally crucial. As such, getting plenty of rest through quality sleep increases the quality of your recovery dramatically.
You may find it difficult to switch off after a particularly engaging match. The adrenaline and excitement from earlier can sometimes linger for some time. This is especially common among athletes whose games happen during the evening.
As such, knowing the steps to slow down in the days after will give your body its due diligence. Generally, this means the following:
- Try maintaining your typical sleep schedule
- Avoid using your phone or television for at least an hour before sleeping
Sleep is the simplest yet most effective tool at your disposal. This is especially true for athletes. Getting plenty of sleep after your match not only allows your body to rest but your mind as well. Moreover, quality sleep has added benefits such as greater overall focus and energy during the next game.
3. Practice Only Light Exercises
While avoiding any form of activity after a game is ideal, it doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. In fact, keeping a little bit active may have some benefits of its own. However, it’s important to remember to opt for easy activities to avoid injuring yourself.
For example, you can limit your exercise to a quick jog or walk. Additionally, choosing peaceful settings can have positive mental benefits. Your neighborhood or a nearby trail can help keep your mindset towards calming thoughts instead of competitive ones.
The exercise’s light effects on your body help keep muscles active without disturbing their natural healing process. Moreover, it also allows your mind to debrief after a heart-pumping event.
Next, stretching exercises also deserve a special mention for excellent after-game day exercises. Stretching helps in relieving too much tension in your muscles. Furthermore, keeping your body flexible during recovery prevents your muscles from shortness and tightness. Using tools like a yoga block or foam roller achieves a deep and proper stretch.
4. Eat Right
Diet is especially crucial when it comes to post-game recovery. As such, introducing a healthy balance of nutrients serves to benefit you. Moreover, moderation in after-game celebrations can go a long way.
A healthy amount of protein is necessary when it comes to muscle recovery. Protein-rich meals aid in the recovery of muscles. Some examples of this include:
- Lean meat
Additionally, sprinkling in a dash of healthy carbs provides an excellent complement to the former. This is achievable through food items like:
- Whole wheat bread
- Sweet potatoes
- Fresh fruits
The excitement doesn’t have to end when a game finishes. Finding new and fun recipes that incorporate these items can become an excellent post-game activity.
What you do after your game matters just as much as what you did before. Much like a well-oiled machine, ensuring you’re adequately cooled down afterward helps you avoid the prolonged effects of soreness and stiffness. Additionally, it may also lead to an increase in performance during the next game. Ultimately, achieving balance is the mark of a great athlete.
Author’s Bio: Cory Williams is a blogger, content manager, and mother of two. She has been helping companies expand their portfolios for the past eight years. She also enjoys hiking, dancing, and playing volleyball with her local team.
Click here for full podcast playlist.