How To Reduce Inflammation and recover properly
Pushing the limits is undoubtedly the way to go for anyone who wants to continue improving and hitting targets. However, training overload often leads to chronic inflammation which puts you at the risk of injury if care is not taken.
What does inflammation mean?
Inflammation is the body’s default immune response when there is an acute injury like an infection or a swollen ankle sprain for example. It causes increased blood flow to the affected area and little blood flow away from the area, which makes it swollen, red and painful if there is any physical contact or effort. Under high volume of work, stretch, strain or stress, the body may experience chronic inflammation, which is more severe in damage and painful.
Running long distance or tough short distance races leads to muscular, cell and tissue damage which will naturally heal by sleeping adequately. Sleeping is an efficient and compulsory part of inflammation recovery and even prevention, even sleeping a few hours less than normal after running or working out can trigger responses from the immune system which will lead to inflammation. However, enough rest in this case is relative as it is dependent on individual body or situation, just make sure you sleep as much as you need to.
The Right Diet can Work Wonders:
The need for good diet is probably the most over flogged topic on the internet today so I won’t bore you with diet plans and intricate theory. There are numerous options to eat efficiently and provide the body with the right nutrients to repair damaged organs and reduce inflammation. I will give you an over view though;
-Vegetables: 4-6 servings of various types of vegetables daily will come in handy. A few of the best vegetables to tackle inflammation include; onions, garlic, broccoli, kale, spinach and peppers.
-Excess Sugar: Avoid the obvious, but also foods like pizza, white bread and white pasta. Stick to better carb sources like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, fruits and vegetable.
-Consume Healthy Fat:
A good portion of anti-inflammatory fats (e.g Omega-3) can be found in avocados, raw nuts, and wild fish.
Pro-biotics are good at upsetting the natural order of things. Yogurt, Kefir or supplements are some options to explore to add pro-biotics to your diet.
Both eating healthy and sleeping well are good recovery habits, but the other personal decisions you make while you have inflammation are also very important. Go slow with your physical activities and rest when needed. As your recovery progresses, try to decrease the rest until you feel fit and ready to push again.
Photo by David Baird