- Physiological strategies, eg cool down, hydration
- Neural strategies, eg hydrotherapy, massage
- Tissue damage strategies, eg cryotherapy
- Psychological strategies, eg relaxation.
- Cool Down
- Gradual restoration of heart rate, ventilation, adrenaline levels and metabolism to pre-exercise state.
- Without cooling down after an episode of physical activity, blood pooling is triggered which can cause dizziness.
- Cool down helps in removing waste by-products, including excessive lactic acid that can cause muscle stiffness and soreness.
- Recovery of fluid after a training session.
- Replaces loss of electrolytes, carbohydrates, salt and water.
- One liter of water should be consumed for every kilogram of body weight lost.
- Water or sports drinks are common supplements for fluid recovery.
- Water and sports drinks have abundant electrolytes and dissolved nutrients therefore can make up the loss of minerals.
- The use of water during exercises to relieve pain and assist metabolism.
- The buoyancy of water supports the athlete’s movement and allows muscles to float.
- Maximum efficiency is obtained when combined with exercises involving gravity assisted movements such as jumping, walking.
- Use of cold water reduces body temperature, causes vasoconstriction promoting fresh blood flow, diminishes feelings of pain and fatigue.
- Hot water can also be used to achieve increased blood flow and well as replenishment of fatigue.
- Post cool down endeavor for overall relaxation of the body and mind to relieve tension and stress caused from training.
- Massage can be included as a pre-performance warm-up step as it stimulates blood flow in the muscles providing flexibility and supply of oxygen.
- A form of massage known as Rehabilitation Massage is designed specifically for treating injuries that allows restoration of muscles to a fit state so that athletes can return to their sport with minimal recovery time.
Tissue Damage Strategies
- A mode of treating muscle injuries that involves cooling and compression.
- Cryotherapy triggers vasoconstriction that helps in slowing down tissue inflammation and building up of wastes.
- Ice massage is a common method of cryotherapy where ice blocks are consistently run over the injury location.
- Helps in realigning of muscle fibre and removal of lactic acid.
- Putting the body and mind in a state devoid of anxiety and stress.
- Useful for situations where athletes may feel a lack of concentration and confidence following extensive training and repetitive tasks.
- Relaxation triggering factors differ from person to person.
- Common techniques include: