Serious athletes know success is the product of dedication to training, nutrition and recovery. Adapting your diet, practice plan and off-ice workouts to fit your daily schedule is important, but so too is the significant – and often overlooked – impact of developing a range of recovery strategies to give your body proper rest.
Refuel your body
You know that huge feeling of hunger you get after a solid skate? That’s your muscles talking to you, so start listening! After a heavy workout your muscles are starving! Build on all that effort you just put in by refuelling with a mix of fluids, carbs and protein within 30 minutes of exercise. That’s what your body needs to promote natural recovery so you can push even harder tomorrow.
Don’t waste your workout
At the end of a long day that included intense training, you’ve earned the right to unwind and relax. Clear your schedule and book some much deserved time with your bed. A deep sleep will allow your body to power down, rest and recharge so you can be ready every time your line is called upon.
Foam is your friend
If after proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep your muscles are still sore, focus more on your post-workout cool down.
Take time to stretch the affected muscle groups and use tools like foam rollers and exercise bands to target problem areas. Those extra minutes on the mat will pay off the next time you’re trying to chase down a loose puck.
As always, turn to the pros if irritation or injury persists. Book an appointment with a registered massage therapist or physiotherapist and see results from their professional expertise.