The role of physical activity in substance recovery, emotional trauma and self-satisfaction has been gaining traction among both generations of young and old who aspire to live the healthiest life in their capacity.

Physical activities like exercises as simple as a walk in the park, can increase levels of dopamine in the brain. This is directly associated with a person’s pleasure and reward receptor by impacting hormones and increasing the likelihood of continued abstinence. As it has been proven that physical activity is able to reduce withdrawal symptoms in negative habits by relieving stress and anxiety; the recovering process that usually takes place after is often overlooked.

Recently, recovery has grown to become a big buzzword in the fitness industry. While it should be approached from a variety of different angles, and personalised towards the individual; the recovery process will generally aid in muscle and tissue repair, function restoration, and psychological rehabilitation.

Pursuing a physical activity regime goes not without risk of injury and the body is most likely not going to perform to the best of its ability without an existing recovery programme. Hence, regardless of fitness level, the type of physical activity or the exercise intensity; it is essential for the average adult and endurance athlete to wind down on the training and simply rest.

In addition to a physical recovery plan, nutrition in the sense of drinking and eating patterns also affect the time it takes for an individual to overcome soreness and bodily tension.

Re-hydration is the most important aspect, as it is most commonly, the first step in recovery. It is advised to immediately consume carbohydrate-focused fluids, like chocolate milk or isotonic drinks, with the right amount ranging between 1-1.2g per kg of bodyweight. In a fatigue state, dehydration can take a turn for the worse by decreasing blood pressure and heart rate – so much so, that it could result in a temporary loss of consciousness.

In addition to nutritious values, an active individual would also need to refuel with food. This would act as a substitute to the loss of protein due to the physical activity, and a repairing agent to restore and rebuild muscle. The most effective protein intake for recovery purposes would be by ingesting 20-25g of protein at one go.

Warming-up and stretching are most regularly known to be the beginning of any physical activity. It is thought to contribute significantly to injury prevention and increased performance despite an abundance of research proving otherwise.

Injury may be related to too much or too little flexibility or, in some instances, increasing flexibility may actually increase the rate of injury. It might, however, improve performance for some physical activities that require an increased range of motion, like gymnastics or swimming, but could, otherwise compromise muscle performance altogether. Analytically, it would depend on risk factors such as age, body mass index, fitness inexperience, history of previous injury, weight training, personal habits, and competitive motivation.

There is no complete scientific study that could link the warming-up routine with injury prevention as the results would be difficult to administer. Be that as it may, it has proven to some to be quite effective.

In 2003, the United States Army Physical Fitness School (APFS) developed a Dynamic Warm-Up (DWU) routine that would increase the body temperature and heart rate, the pliability of joints and muscles, and the responsiveness of nerves and muscles in preparation for training activities. This DWU was used before each exercise session as part of an intervention to decrease injuries and to improve physical performance. As a result, injury rates over the 9-week training period were significantly decreased, and performances on the physical fitness testing were generally improved[1].

There are different factors that affect the overall recovery process, and it varies to an individual’s lifestyle and fitness habits. Becoming in-tune with the knowledge of sports science allows more awareness in one’s wellbeing as a whole, where the chances of recovery are bound to be more successful.

[1] http://www.touchontheball.com/downloads/Dynamic%20vs%20Static%20Stretching%20Article%201.pdf

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