#LoveYourself · Fitness

Tips to Help Your Post-Workout Recovery

Tips to Help Your Post-Workout RecoveryNow that the gyms are open again, millions of Brits have hit the workouts hard, in an attempt to shake off that lockdown weight gain. The fact that lockdown has ended just in time for Spring and Summer, when many of us feel the pressure to be slimmer anyway, means that people are exercising harder than ever, and that means injuries are inevitable.

When I started weight training, back in 2017, the exercise itself was fun and fulfilling, but the days of DOMS in my thighs (why is it that walking UP stairs isn’t so bad, but walking DOWN the stairs feels like torture?!) were hellish! With this in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips for making sure you look after your body properly with your post-workout recovery:

Hit The Showers

Having a post-workout shower is important for getting yourself clean, but the water can actually help your muscles too. Alternating between blasts of hot and cold water, known as a contrast shower, can help improve recovery and alleviate muscle soreness. Even better is if you’re lucky enough to have steam showers at your gym, as using steam is like putting a warm blanket over your aching muscles!

Hydrate

Most people remember to take water with them to the gym and to drink while they’re working out, but drinking plenty during your post-workout recovery is super important too. Experts generally agree that, for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, you should drink at least 260ml of water, followed by another 230ml no more than half an hour after you’ve stopped to keep your muscles healthy. If you can add some electrolytes to your water, that’s even better.

Stretch

Most people will strecth before they start their workut to help avoid injury, but they don’t always stretch again at the end, which is a common mistake. When you stretch your muscles after a workout, you’re helping to give your body a jump-start on recovery, while also releasing stress and tension, and boosting the flexibility of your joints.

Protein

Whether you’re following a strict diet or not, one of the most important ways to help your body to recover from exercise is to make sure you have plenty of protein. This can come in the form of a protein shake, eggs, steak or even seitan for the vegans – as long as it’s protein-rich, it’s what you need to help your muscles to rebuild and really benefit from all the exercise you’re doing.

Rest…But Still Move!

I know how tempting it is to take the “rest” part of “rest day” a little too literally. You’ve worked out hard all week and come your rest day, you want to remain as sedentary as possible. Believe it or not, failing to do ANYTHING on a rest day can actually do more harm than good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting a full-on HIIT routine or anything – a gentle walk, some yoga or even just playing Mario and Sonic at the Olympics on your games console – a bit of movement will prevent your muscles from seizing up, which will make it easier to go back to full activity on your workout days.

Fitness

Top Tips For Getting Fit After An Injury

It can often feel like coming back from an injury is like starting scratch. Your body can be stiff from not being used, and you may feel like all your pre-injury fitness was all for nothing. Many people are eager to get back up to their original fitness and get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible, however, it’s not always about how quickly you can do it, it’s more about how successfully you can. You need to listen to your body and avoid feeling any pain, this is not a good sign and can mean you’re overdoing it and causing more damage than good repair. 

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

No matter what kind of injury you’ve experienced, whether it’s major surgery, a sprained ankle, from an accident or a simple muscle strain, you may sometimes need the help of professionals who are specialist in helping serious injury victims get back on their feet.  

Have a look below at some of the ways you can help work towards getting fit again after an injury: 

Stretch

It’s essential that you focus on stretching while you’re recovering from any injury, at times if you require immobilisation you will need to seek professional help in order to understand what stretching you can complete. If you have a doubt on how to choose the right equipment for those activities click here for more info.Unfortunately, immobilisation can lead to static muscles that become stiff and this can make it extremely difficult to recover quickly. Rather than allowing your muscles to break down and lose all their strength speak to your doctor about introducing some stretching exercises into your recovery process. Stretching will allow your injured muscles to stay fit and can sometimes ease you into starting activities again once your recovery is complete.

Take It Easy

When the time comes and you’re ready to get moving again, a good way to proceed is to do around twenty per cent less than you feel like you can do. If you’ve been out of action for a long time, you may even want to cut it down even more than that. You need to realise that even if you could run five miles before the injury without breaking a sweat, your body is not going to be at the same standards and therefore you will find it harder. You need to take your time and ease back into it. If you don’t you could risk seriously damaging the injured area and living with a lifelong problem that could of being avoided. You’re told be professionals to ease into things for a reason. 

Don’t Do Nothing

On the other hand, doing nothing at all isn’t what your body needs either. How can you expect to recover if you don’t work through it? You should aim to find a happy medium and then work your way up from there. Notice if you have any pain and adjust your workouts to suit. If you need to complete pain-free exercises that also strengthen the affect areas speak to your doctor, personal trainer or physical therapist. Starting with activities such as a gentle walk can be one of the best ways to get started and ease back into activity. Swimming is another great choice because it offers buoyancy and it can take a lot of pressure off of injured tissue and sore muscles. You can, if you’re careful, do some strength training with very light weights. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you listen to your body and take lots of breaks. Pain means you should stop immediately. Over time, you’ll see growth and be able to do more and more activities. 

Ice And Heat

This will depend entirely on what your doctor recommends. However, ice and heat can be very useful when recovering from an injury. Ice can help to prevent muscle soreness after working out and can also reduce any swelling that occurs. It’s also a great way to ease the pain. Heat can sometimes be more beneficial for older injuries, depending completely on what they are. Just keep your doctor informed and they will be able to advise you on which is best. While a hot-water bottle and ice are great, not handling them properly may lead to worsening the injury. That is why it is handy to have a massage ball with hot and cold inserts. The rollerball can be used as a deep tissue massager that is improved with hot or cold treatment to help relieve pain, inflammation, or loosen muscles.  

Talk To Your Trainer Regularly

One of the best things you can do after an injury is to build up a good working relationship with a trainer. It not only helps you to get back into the swing of things but it also means they can build an understanding of what help you’re going to need. Not only this having a trainer to work with could give you really good motivation. 

These are only a few tips to get you started on your way to recovery. Do you have any tips or advice that you can share in the comments section?

Fitness

Keeping Fit While Avoiding Injury

Keeping fit is important no matter what age you are. It helps keep our body young and fighting fit for longer. However, some of us are more subject to injury if we don’t look after our body before, during and after exercise. Injuries can also hold us back from reaching our fitness goals so how can you stay fit while avoiding injuries?

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Drink More Water

Water is essential for our body because after all, we’re mostly made up of it. So we should really be drinking plenty of water a day, 1.5 liters to be exact. When exercising, however, you lose more water in the body quickly. So to avoid passing out or becoming dehydrated, you need to be drinking plenty of water both during exercise and after. Even after you’ve finished exercising, your body is still working up until a few hours later.

Take a big bottle of water with you every time you go to the gym or to whatever sport you take part in. Not bringing water will mean you’ll struggle more without and you’ll likely perform worse which can make you feel demotivated to continue.

Warm Up Before

A lot of injuries are usually caused by the individual not warming up properly. It’s essential to stretch the muscles you’ll be using when exercising to avoid damaging them in any way. Increasing your body’s core temperature is going to get the blood pumping and getting you mentally prepared for working out. Your warm-up should take at least six minutes and here are a few ways you can warm the body up:

  • March on the spot for three minutes with your legs lifting up to your stomach and your arms marching up to your shoulders.
  • Dig your heel into the ground and lean slightly onto it. You should feel a pull on the back of your leg. Do this for both legs.
  • Lift knee up to your chest and hold for 15 seconds each.
  • Roll your shoulders forward and back. Gently roll your head from left to right.

Cool Down After

And as important as it is to warm up, it’s also just as critical to cool down after. Not cooling down means that you’re much more likely to risk an injury. A few ways of cooling down properly include:

  • A low-intensity exercise that lasts three to five minutes. Focus on your breathing to help bring down the heart rate.
  • Stretch the muscles that you’ve used while exercising. Do this for 20-30 seconds on each one and spend any extra time on muscles that feel tight to make sure it’s properly stretched out.

You may also consider getting yourself a massage every so often. Those with a sports massage accreditation UK are best for tackling the muscles when you’ve been exercising as opposed to a traditional massage.

Eat Better

There’s now so much junk food around us that the temptation to eat badly can sometimes be overwhelming. However, the wrong foods can affect our performance when exercising and may lack the nutrients our body needs to stay fit and well, health-wise. So it’s important to eat well and to regulate the ratio of good and bad foods we put in our body. Avoid having takeouts or processed food in the form of ready meals. Sure they’re easy to cook, but they’ll be higher in sugar, salt and everything else your body doesn’t need in such high doses. Opt for lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and think about protein bars while working out so that you get the most from the exercise.

Wear The Right Attire

Fitness fashion is something that’s become pretty popular within the fashion industry. And while it looks stylish, some of it is likely to be impractical for actually exercising. So invest in the right attire, depending on the type of exercise you do. Proper trainers for running while avoiding shin splints and other leg injuries and breathable fabrics are great to let the body sweat at a normal rate. Heavy fabrics that suffocate the skin are going to make exercising more uncomfortable and will clog up your pores which can cause breakouts.

Consider Type Of Exercise

The type of exercise matters to your body because some of us may be able to do swimming, while others find weight training more enjoyable. Motivating yourself to exercise is often difficult enough, so go with something that you enjoy doing yourself and not just because someone else you know is doing the same thing and loving it. We’re all different, that is what makes us interesting! You can also fall out of love with a certain type of exercise so don’t be afraid to try something different if your passion for that one changes.

Cross training is something that can help avoid injury too. This means doing something different each day so that your body isn’t overworking the same muscles constantly. Create a routine where one day you opt for cardio, the next you work in arms and the day after you work on the legs. Make sure you take a rest day so that the body can recover properly.

Get A Personal Trainer

Motivating yourself to get out of bed early to go running or to trek across to the gym after work can feel almost impossible. Therefore, it may be worth considering an extra helping hand in the form of a personal trainer. Personal trainers are a great motivator as a reason to get to the gym or a space because you’ve committed to an appointment and then you’ll not only be letting yourself down but the PT if you fail to show up. Personal trainers can cost a lot of money, especially if you live in the city so you should really consider this if you find it impossible to motivate yourself at the gym or you find it more beneficial having someone by your side spurring you on to finish the exercises. Make sure that if you’re going to look for a PT, that they are offering the training that you require. It’s not going to be as useful if you’re wanting to train for a marathon and the PT you pick is someone that specialises in boxing.

Know Your Trouble Areas

As we get older, our body does tend to find things a lot harder, and we can often have one or two ‘trouble areas’ on our body where if you were to overwork yourself, it could be more likely to cause injury. Weak ankles or wrists are often common so tailor your exercise to avoid these problem spots so that you can workout without risking unnecessary injury to yourself.

Listen To Your Body

Rest days are essential to help your body to recover and repair because if you’re over-exerting your body all the time, the likelihood of you injuring yourself is going to be high. Only you know how much your body can take so listen to it and if you need extra rest or you feel like you can push yourself a little further, do it. Often enough, we can ignore the obvious signs when our body is under stress.

You don’t need to rush when it comes to exercising. Building it up as a habit can take time, and it’s important to go at your own pace.

Keeping fit is encouraged so that you can live a long and healthy life. Take caution when you exercise and be sure to eat well and get rest when needed.

Fitness · Health

The True Cost of Staying in Shape

Eating healthily, exercising regularly, and staying in shape is something many of us aspire to. Unfortunately, the cost can soon add up. Gym memberships, healthy meals, personal trainers, apps, gadgets, clothing, and supplements are marketed as “essential”, and don’t always come cheap. In fact, online trainers can be hired to meet specific needs, especially those who’ve completed a personal trainer course from Discovery. This way you’re guaranteed to be taught by someone certified in the field.

If a lack of will power doesn’t put a stop to your healthy lifestyle, the cost just might.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The fitness industry is worth billions and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.

Marketers prey on our desire to look and feel great, encouraging us to dig deep and spend big on a whole host of health and well-being items. Protein shakes and pre-workout supplements used to be products for bodybuilders, but not anymore; they now line supermarket shelves and have earned a place in many ordinary homes.

While scientific studies do show benefits of many supplements, results can vary greatly and the cost can sometimes outweigh the rewards. If you’re buying cupboards’ full of the things, you might be wasting money.

How to Stay in Shape and Save Money

The cost of staying in shape should not be a barrier to leading a healthier life.

Luckily, it is entirely possible to keep fit without breaking the bank. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. When it comes to supplementation, stick to the basics: protein, creatine, omega-3 and multivitamins show the biggest rewards vs. cost. While other sports supplements work well, they largely depend on your fitness goals and budget.
  2. Set up a home gym: If you’re on a budget, you can grab stuff second-hand from places like Gumtree. With just a skipping rope, a cheap set of dumbbells and some comfortable workout clothes, you can achieve amazing results. This can be done for under £100. This also saves on travelling costs to get to the gym.
  3. Hire an online personal trainer: Registering with a local gym is not the only way to access the valuable knowledge of a personal trainer. In fact, online trainers can be hired to meet specific needs. The combination of a budget home gym and an online personal trainer will come in far cheaper than a standard gym membership.
  4. Compare prices before you spend your hard-earned cash: Some retailers, especially supermarkets, sell protein powders and other fitness items at full retail price. This can sometimes be more than double what you might pay elsewhere. To check the huge differences, you can compare prices at Fitness Savvy.

Final Words

Gym memberships, sports supplements, and gadgets can add up to hundreds per month in costs, yet are mostly unnecessary. By sticking to the basics, setting up a home gym, checking

Family · Fitness · Football · Kids · Sport

Soccer for Children: A Guide to Getting Started at Different Ages

One of the very best things about soccer for kids is that they really can start at any age. It’s a very inclusive sport and is suitable for anyone regardless of height, strength or speed. Soccer is a relatively easy sport to learn when you’re just starting out, and it involves a lot of continuous action and running, which means it’s a great way for kids to exercise. Communication and cooperation are key skills on the field, which makes it a really nice way for kids to learn about teamwork (for more resources on teamwork and becoming a great footballer, take a look at Soccer Gap)

In fact, soccer is officially the most played sport in Australia, so they’ll always have friends to play with. According to a survey conducted by the Australian Sports Commission, 1,104,815 Australians participated in soccer in 2016. That’s over 400,000 more participants than AFL, and four times that of Rugby League.

There’s no ‘right’ age to start soccer, but here you’ll find some of the basics in terms of what you can expect in each age bracket, from 5 years old to 12 years old. Take a look…

5 – 7 Year-Olds

It’s really all about getting out and having fun at this age. Teams will be smaller, with usually only four players on the field, and each half of a game will only go for around 15 minutes. They also probably won’t have a goalkeeper. While they’ll start to learn the rules, they probably won’t be very strictly enforced – it’s more about getting familiar with the basics and giving them a chance to develop a love of playing.

Starting at this age can set up a great foundation for building skills and understanding the fun that can come from exercise. It also gives them an opportunity to develop strong friendships across their years of playing.

8 – 9 year-olds

By this age, there’ll be more players on the field, and there’ll be a goalkeeper too. The length of each half will probably be more like 20-25 minutes. Of course, it’s still mainly about having fun, but with more of an emphasis on preparing them for higher levels of the sport. Additional rules will be introduced, and some of that earlier leniency with enforcing them will start to reduce, giving them a chance to fully understand the details of the game. Some experts believe that 8 years old is the ideal age for kids to start playing soccer in a competitive team environment.

10-12 Year-Olds

This is when coaches will really start to focus on skills in order to provide them with a solid foundation of technical competence. At this age, children are ready for a more structured approach to training too. The number of players allowed on the field increases to 9 a side (at 10 years old) and then to 11 a side (at 12 years old). The length of the game also increases, with 12-year-olds playing full 30 minute halves.

While things are more focussed at this stage, the emphasis will still be on having fun and building positive experiences.

All children are different and it’s hard to say whether there is an ideal age to start soccer. But, whatever their age, there are many benefits of choosing soccer. It is a contact sport, but it’s not a collision sport, which means its relatively safe compared to a lot of other team sports (especially other forms of football).

Beyond that, it’s well known that there are a lot of benefits for kids who play sport – it contributes positively to their physical health, can give them a great range of social experiences and can give them a great sense of achievement as they build their skills. If your child is interested in sports, soccer may well be a great place to start. You could also get involved and help out the team once you’ve got some basic disclosure from CRB Direct.

A sports camp can be a great entry point and there are many soccer school holiday programs in Sydney or your local surrounding area that your kids can get involved with.