Endurance training encompasses much more than the hours you put in at the gym, your programming, and the loads you lift. For training to have its desired effect, athletes ought to fuel properly and recover effectively.
Recovery periods allow our bodies to rebuild what was broken down during training, adapt to the stress of exercise and become stronger. This cycle is known as hypertrophy and wouldn’t be possible without rest.
Having recovered our bodies fully after training, we’re able to get the most out of upcoming sessions with replenished energy stores and repaired damaged tissues.
The best athletes alternate between intensive physical training and rest and recovery periods. It’s no secret overtraining increases an athlete’s risk of injury, and the way to counter this is recovery.
An imbalance caused by overly intensive training and inadequate recovery will not only lead to injury but also to less effective training sessions.
Which means building recovery into your training schedule will allow you to work out harder and consequently can help improve your performance.
THE POWER OF RECOVERY
Athletic recovery is as important as training and nutrition.
Exercise is stress and, while it does provide lasting physical and psychological benefits, it also creates traumas or microtears in your soft tissue, specifically your muscles. This can lead to soreness and pain.
Muscular tenderness and stiffness are common symptoms of fatigue and exercise-induced muscle microtrauma. Metabolic by-products such as lactic acid also accumulate within your cells after intense exercise.
These are all by-products of training, but volume also needs to be considered. An increase in training volume can lead to overuse injuries or strains if not balanced correctly with recovery.
In order to get the most benefit out of training, athletes should set specific time aside to recover.
There are many recovery methods available to athletes nowadays. The ones available to anyone are sleep and rest days. Yet many athletes like to take a more active approach to their recovery.
There are abundant devices that assist us in finding appropriate ways to make the most out of our exercise while maintaining our bodies healthy and injury-free. Tools like foam rollers, infrared therapy and air compression massagers have grown in popularity in the last couple of years.
While the benefits of each will vary depending on every individual’s needs, growing research has found they have a positive impact on delayed onset muscle soreness, perceived fatigue, muscle damage and inflammatory markers post exercise.
Allowing your systems to heal efficiently will enable you to put all-in efforts during training and in competition. Essentially, the quicker you can recover, the more you can get out of your training. Consequently, the more progress you make.
AIR COMPRESSION DEVICES AND RECOVERY
The Air Relax Boots are a digitally controlled air pressure system that provides dynamic compression to limbs compromised by poor circulation.
“Compression garments add external pressure. Blood can easily pool in the extremities, especially in the lower limbs due to gravity,” writes exercise physiologist Ross Hamilton in his guide for recovery after training on BOXROX. “The extra compression helps squeeze the blood out of the muscles and back to the lungs and heart. This allows fresh oxygenated blood to replace it.”
Air compression devices have been used in medicine for years, and were once reserved for patients with serious muscular and circulatory disorders.
The Air Relax Air Compression Boots offer targeted compression modes with multiple pressure levels and different settings. They fit tightly around the leg and foot, and the compressed air that fills the boot presents a specialist’s sports massage feel.
Its benefits are said to include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Boost lymphatic fluid movement (reduce potential swollen legs/feet)
- Removal of lactic acid (reduce muscle fatigue)
- Improved flexibility
- Recovery stimulation
- Boost oxygen distribution
This is backed by research: a 2017 study found that external pneumatic compression mitigated a reduction in flexibility and pressure-to-pain threshold (the minimum force applied which induces pain), as well as reduced select skeletal muscle oxidative stress and proteolysis markers during recovery from heavy resistance exercise.
Another study concluded that peristaltic pulse dynamic compression is a promising means of accelerating and enhancing recovery after the normal aggressive training that occurs in Olympic and aspiring Olympic athletes.
Research suggests that wearing compression garments may help increase blood flow and reduce swelling, and experts recommend them to promote an increased clearance of lactic acid.
There are processes that occur during training which lead to a reduction in function of the muscles. We can promote certain mechanisms through recovery techniques which allow us to get back to a fresh, ready-to-train state.
High-intensity exercise like CrossFit® causes an accumulation of metabolic by-products like lactic acid within cells. Air compression boots like Air Relax’s can help filter lactic acid build-up in limbs.
The massaging effect of compression lowers feelings of stiffness and reduces tightening or aching muscles after a long workout.
HOW COMPRESSION BOOTS CAN HELP PERFORMANCE
Minimise recovery time and maximise recovery effect for better performance.
When you rest, you create an environment for healing from exercise so that the microtraumas in your muscle tissue can repair. Recovery also enables your body to efficiently clear out metabolic waste. Compression garments could reduce exercise discomfort by limiting sore muscles and preventing cramps experienced after exercise.
Air compression boots could help keep the body healthy over a longer period of time, thus helping you avoid unnecessary niggles and injuries related to intense exercise. Less time off because of injury means more time training and therefore better performance.
A 2018 systematic review of 40 studies on compression garments found that they show a positive trend towards a beneficial effect during recovery, with subsequent performance improved in five of the eight studies where it was measured.
Adding air compression boots to your recovery routine can aid in the process of adapting to the stressors of exercise, an adaptation which translates into better performance.
WHY CHOOSE AIR RELAX RECOVERY SYSTEM?
Air compression boots might never replace a good massage therapist, but for some athletes, massage therapists can get really expensive. Accounting for the boot’s benefits, cost and convenience, they’re a solid option for athletes looking to maximise their recovery.
The Air Relax Air Compression Boots are easy to use and present no complexities or difficult fittings to wear.
Many users have commended the product for having a quiet motor (enabling them to watch TV while inside the boots for one particular athlete) and for it’s flawless fit. The boots come in three different sizes to accommodate for your leg length.
Transport and storage are straightforward, and the boots can be used as part of group therapy or by yourself. They are also easy to integrate into your exercise and recovery program, as no significant additional time is needed to set-up the product.
Recovery is a factor you have control over, make sure you do.