Recovery is key to optimum performance
Teams, players athletes & physios are always looking for the best methods to help sport stars recover from their gruelling training sessions as quickly as possible.
Some teams & individual sports stars use massage, stretching sessions, relaxation therapy, steam baths, yoga and swimming to help overcome stiffness.
But the recovery method which has become the choice of the top athletes & players is the cryotherapy ice bath.
You may ask why you would jump into an ice bath after a match / competition, when all you want to do is rest with a few cool drinks and a massage.
The reason lies behind what the cryotherapy ice bath does for a sportsman after a hard day at the office.
To understand how the ice baths work though, we first need to understand what recovery is all about.
In simple terms, it’s about helping the muscles, tendons, bones, nerves and all the different tissues used in sport recover from their workout.
A car needs a complete overhaul with new parts and tyres after a Formula One race, the body needs to service itself and its parts for the next day, next race or next match.
The body does this with the help of the blood vessels that bring oxygen to the tissues and remove the waste products of exercise, the most common being lactic acid.
Too much lactic acid build up can cause the muscles to function poorly and over a long period of time feelings of fatigue, heavy legs and general tiredness can set in.
So how do cryotherapy ice baths help to boost the body’s recovery processes and prevent injury?
When you get into an ice bath the cold water causes your blood vessels to tighten and drains the blood out of your legs.
So when you get out of the bath, your legs fill up with ‘new’ blood that invigorates muscles with oxygen to help the cells function better.
At the same time, the more blood coming into your legs, will have to leave as well, draining away and at the same time taking with it the lactic acid that has built up from game / competition.
Most of the players at major tournaments will be taking cryotherapy ice baths regularly after training sessions to help their muscles stay fresh and avoid injury.
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