These tips and tricks can help you avoid post-game pain.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Many athletes tend to hydrate well before a game or match, but often neglect their hydration after exercise. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates the joints, allowing the body to flush out any pesky toxins and aid it in restoring muscle tissue. After you exercise, your goal is to fully replace your fluid and electrolyte loss. As tempting as it may be to have a few beers in the clubhouse to celebrate your golf game or hit the chocolate milk on the way home from the tennis court, it is important to drink water to quench your thirst first. Electrolyte drinks can also be used to rehydrate on days when you sweat particularly large amounts, but be careful. Many sports drinks are loaded with sugar and unnecessary calories.
Light Active Exercise
Slow it down, do not let your muscles seize up after strenuous exercise! Keep moving, take a walk, let your body naturally cool down while gently moving. This will help your heart rate and breathing return to resting levels gradually.
Eating a small meal rich in protein can aid in muscle recovery after exercise. Some people use this as an excuse to have a big steak or a greasy cheeseburger after 18 holes. In reality, 20 to 30 grams of protein amounts to three whole eggs, one container of Greek yogurt, three ounces of chicken, or four ounces of lean beef. Opting for lean protein sources can also keep your weight on track.
Post-game pain is not inevitable. Using these few tips and tricks, you too can be back out on the links or at the court as soon as you want. If you need help with your recovery process or for more information on how physical therapy can help you regain your swing, contact Elliott Physical Therapy in Dorchester at 617-506-7210, Milton at 617-696-8141 and North Attleboro at 508-316-0559.