How To Recover Faster After Strenuous Exercise Like Skiing
Working out and keeping ski fit is great for your body, but it doesn’t always feel that way after a tough workout or an intense day skiing on the mountain. If you are doing more strenuous exercise or training for something, how can you make the recovery a little easier? These are some things to keep in mind that should help soften the process:
1. Stretch Properly
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Every athlete knows the importance of stretching and warm-ups but warming down and stretching post-workout is important too. You don't have to be an athlete though to realise that this is all important and something everyone should do. Stretching improves the blood flow and can help prevent some of that stiffness and soreness in your muscles. Daily stretching can improve circulation and also help with flexibility (yoga is the perfect example of this). It is good practice to stretch before and after any exercise, no matter how light or strenuous. We love stretching out on our balcony in the morning before skiing and on the terrace together in the afternoon, when back in the comfort of our chalets.
2. Rest and Relax
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When you aren’t doing anything, your body is still working hard at repairing itself. Whilst resting isn’t the only thing you can do to speed up recovery, it is definitely one of the easiest things. Your body does wonderful things whilst you sleep, so get a good night’s rest to improve recovery. Make sure your bed is comfortable and supportive at home, and even better, get one that is adjustable so you can ensure maximum comfort and pain relief. A comfortable mattress and bed are essential to any fitness enthusiast! Although you can't bring your bed with you when on holiday, our mattresses are firm but comfortable to help muscles recover. Whilst relaxing, you can still keep yourself occupied by doing things with your brain, planning and researching adventures, making lists or simply reading books, helping your cognitive thinking.
3. Eat and Drink Well
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Diet is also helpful, which is why so many sports drinks and foods exist. The different food groups serve different purposes in delivering your body what it needs, and a healthy balanced diet is key. After a workout, you should refuel with protein to help your body repair tissues and muscles. You can buy products like protein shakes, but there are also plenty of recipes to make your own pre-workout and post-workout foods. Luckily the French Alpine cuisine is mainly carbohydrates and protein, perfect for a refuelling stop. Hydration is important too, always drink plenty of water, but especially when you exercise. Drinking water helps carry nutrients around the body, regulates your body temperature, and replenishes hydration lost through sweating and heavy breathing during your workout. We recommend someone in the group taking a rucksack for the day with snacks and water. A Camelbak is a brilliant way of carrying water around, especially if you are by yourself an can keep some snacks in your pockets.
4. Bubble Bath and a Massage
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Giving yourself the spa-treatment is a well-deserved treat after a strenuous workout, but it can also help with your recovery too. There is some debate about the benefits of a hot or warm bath versus a cold or ice bath; some people choose to alternate between the two. Warm baths are soothing and jacuzzi style bath can offer a gentle hydro-massage. A warm bubble bath definitely sounds more like a treat than a cold shower, but the choice is yours. A gentle massage is another good way to boost circulation, just like stretching, and foam roller massages are a popular choice you can do without any help from a masseuse. There is a spa area and massage therapy treatments at the leisure centre, at the Oisans and now at the Hotel de V. Our staff would be happy to book you in.
5. Light Exercise
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After strenuous exercise, letting your body heal and recover is important, you shouldn’t overwork your body. You can still exercise in the recovery days but keep it light with gentle stretching and walking instead. Of course, everyone is different and has different routines; you know your body best and what fits into your lifestyle. Over-exercising can do harm and undermine your progress, so giving yourself days to rest and recover will reap you many more rewards and benefits. Listen to your body and let it heal.
Working out and improving your fitness can be great fun, whether you are doing it as a lifestyle change, a hobby, or you are a full-time athlete. It might be hard work, but should be an overall positive experience, and meditation and visualisation exercises can be a good way to ease anxiety and maintain your stride towards your goals.
Hopefully, these recovery tips help you on your fitness journey, so you can push yourself whilst taking care of your body. If this article has got you thinking about your next ski holiday, we'd be delighted to help offer some of our accommodation options to you. Just fill in our short survey and we'll get back to you soon!