Take a minute to assess some of your current recovery practices by answering these questions:
- How many hours of sleep do you get per night?
- How do you fuel for recovery after workouts?
- What is on your plate when it’s time to have a meal?
- How many days does it take for you to recover from muscular soreness?
- How many minutes per day do you spend stretching or foam rolling?
Each of these key aspects: sleep, post-workout fuel, nutrition, time off of heavy weights/high-intensity workouts, stretching and tending to our bodies’ muscular repair are all a part of recovery–the often neglected athlete practice.
If you feel like you are committing the crime of under-recovery, here are some tips to get you back on track to be the well-oiled, beastly machine that you are supposed to be!*
Prioritize your ZZZ’s
If you are sleeping less than 7 hours per night, you’re likely not recovering properly both physically and cognitively*. Take small steps to try and increase that time spent sleeping by cutting out unnecessary activity before bed such as electronics usage for things like social media, e-mails, online shopping. Some phones now have a “bedtime” feature, where you can set your “bed time” and your “wake time” and it will visually display your time spent sleeping.
Assess your plate (or Tupperware)
You should be having meals that are balanced with whole foods full of plenty of nutrients such as healthy carbohydrates, lean protein, vegetables and some healthy fats. Avoid high-sodium, high sugar content, and any highly processed foods to help reduce inflammation and in the long-term, disease. CrossFit Des Plaines also offers nutrition coaching services to those looking to achieve specific fitness goals*.
Consider post-workout recovery fuel
You’re not just “drinking the kool-aid” when you start guzzling your blender bottle after your WOD. Our coaches highly encourage the use of post-fuel recovery to help increase recovery time, build muscle and repair muscle tissues through the powers of BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids). CrossFit Des Plaines carries Driven Nutrition supplements that can help ease the recovery process. Feel free to ask questions about the products. However, for all athletes, incorporating high-quality whey protein after the CrossFit class workouts are ideal.
Take time to “listen” and attend to your body, especially with prolonged soreness
If you are feeling extra “tight” or achy in particular parts of your body throughout the week, you’re likely not giving special attention to specific, highly-used muscular groups. Take the extra 10 minutes or so, outside of the class mobility portion, to do some extra stretches, utilize the foam roller or lacrosse ball, or even take a 5-10 minute cool down utilizing the AirDyne or rower. These extra few minutes per day will lead your body to increased recovery and will get you coming back with high intensity throughout the week. Some resources to check out are Becoming a Supple Leopard, ROMWOD, or Personal Training sessions at CFDP can also be an option if you are looking for more tailored instruction and recovery practices*.
*For any specific medical concerns, seek out medical attention and advice for treatment.