Even if you practice freestyle, strokes and flip turns, or go for competitions, you will get tired and eventually leave the pool. By then, it is time to use a swimmer shampoo, dry yourself with a swim towel and allow your body to recover.
Post-swimming (and injury) recoveries are essential to every swimmer as it allows the body to rejuvenate. Giving your body ample time to recover is crucial as it helps reduce the possibility of injuries, allowing you to get back stronger.
Even though swimming is a low impact sport, compared to land-based sports, trying to recover by staying off swimming might take long. Obviously, nobody wants to take long before returning to the sport, hence, one might need to speed things up.
This article contains seven useful tips on how to recover quickly from swimming. To get back stronger and faster, take these simple steps below.
7 Useful Tips on How to Recover Quickly From Swimming
When performing physical activities such as swimming, the tissues of the muscles are stress and it develops micro-tears. As a result of this, the muscle tissue begins to rejuvenate and the recovery process is initiated.
Although the process is natural, one can speed things up so you can get ready for action in no time. Below are seven useful tips on how to recover quickly from swimming.
The importance of resting cannot be overlooked! Resting is one of the best ways to get your body back in shape. Including adequate rest periods or days in your routine will go a long way in improving your physical and mental health.
If you really want to enjoy the sport with minimal risk of injury, resting is highly recommended. There are two types of resting which you can start including in your swimming routine – in-between and post-training resting.
If you intend to have two or more practice sessions in a day, you should consider in-between resting. Instead of jamming them up together, you can take a short power nap. Yes, a short one, it should not be too long so as to prevent tiredness or sluggishness.
You need to be super active to continue other training sessions therefore around 30 to 50 minutes will be best.
Post-training resting allows more time to rest than the in-between resting. Since you do not have any more practice, you can take a deep rest.
You may decide to sleep, listen to music with a swimming headphone and other effortless activities. Provided you’ve practiced in-between resting, recovery during post-training resting will be super effective.
You probably must have heard this a thousand times! You might wonder why this is important. Swimming involves the use of your major muscles (arms and legs), therefore, your body sweats. In fact, you sweat a lot in water even though it’s not obvious.
About two-thirds of the human body is made up of water and many essential internal activities of the body rely on water. Water is needed for muscle repair, nerve function, absorption of nutrients, synthesis of protein and other processes associated with recovery. It also helps to lubricate your joints. Often times, weight loss is associated with liquids.
Dehydration may result in fatigue, stress, cramps, sluggishness and an increased risk of sustaining an injury. In a nutshell, it will affect your performance even by 20 percent. It is best you keep a bottle of water in your swim bag.
Perform Light Workouts Before Swimming
The importance of priming to a pump is just like that of workouts to a swimmer. Regardless of whether you just got back from an injury or not, you need to exercise your body to stay fit.
Prior to any practice or competition, you should consider performing light workouts. Light workouts help to remove some rustiness in you whilst boosting your cardio and strength.
Ideally, you should engage in light workouts for about 20 to 30 minutes. You may take a walk, practice yoga or even stretch. You can make use of stretch cords and dumbbells since they are proven to be effective. The essence is to warm up prior to jumping into the water.
Perform Active Resting
So active resting is quite different. As you continue to swim, moving your arms and legs, with time, you will gradually start feeling tired and weaker. This situation is known as muscle fatigue and, at this stage, you will sluggish and might want to start slowing down. In a nutshell, the ability of your muscles is decreased.
Before you become too fatigued and unable to continue, practicing active resting will be ideal. Active resting is also called easy swimming. The main idea is to mix low-impact swimming techniques with your practice routine e.g. floating in the water while using a pool float. This will facilitate a reduction in oxygen demand and also slow down your heart and respiration rates.
See Also: 15 Best Pool Noodles for Swimming
Get Enough Sleep
For every swimmer, sleep is very important! It is a simple way to recharge your brain for the next day. Even if you force yourself to a pool, lack of adequate sleep will result in weakness, disturbed glucose metabolism and increased risk of injury. It can also affect your mental health causing poor focus, sluggishness, and low reaction times.
Unfortunately, sleep debts can accumulate, hence, sleeping is inevitable. The more you train, you will require enough sleep to get back on track. The best way to recover quickly from swimming is to allow your body to work on its own.
As a swimmer, you should at least enjoy up to 7 hours and for optimum recovery, eight hours or more is better. While you sleep, the recovery rate is pretty high as the growth hormone gets more efficient and repairs are done in every part of the body.
To get the best out of your sleep, you need to have a regular schedule. Having a sleeping pattern implies that you wake up and sleep at about the same time in the morning and night respectively.
You should cut down on alcohol and caffeine as they can affect your sleep quality. You should also avoid TV and smartphones when it’s about time to sleep.
Watch You Eat and Drink
Just like land-based exercises, swimming burns a lot of glucose and, somehow, you need to replenish them. Glucose is stored in the body as glycogen hence when your body needs it, the liver converts the glycogen to glucose, making it available for your body to assimilate.
Glycogen, on the other hand, is sourced from carbohydrates, therefore, you will be requiring more of it.
Carbohydrates are important for optimal recovery. Before you swim and after you swim, you need to provide your body with adequate fuel (carbohydrates).
Taking enough carbohydrates before swimming will help to keep glucose (energy) levels high. After swimming, you should also refuel your tank to increase your rate of recovery prior to the next day.
Ideally, you should consume foods that have a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3-to-1 or even 4-to-1. This will facilitate muscle growth and repairs and glycogen replenishment. You may also consider fruits and fruit juices but alcoholic and caffeinated foods should be avoided.
Massages are of great benefit to one’s health and will help you speed up your recovery. Getting a quality massage will help to alleviate tension, stimulate blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
This is particularly helpful if you have been involved in a series of swimming practice or competitions. You can book an appointment with a therapist, notwithstanding, getting a massage at least once in a month is good.
Meanwhile, you can have the foam roller and lacrosse balls at home for a light workout session prior to entering the pool. Lacrosse balls can help relieve tension in your glutes, prevent hamstrings, and improve flexibility in the arms and feet.
Foam rollers are a simple tool that allows you to massage yourself. It can help to reduce soreness, eliminate muscle knots and improve flexibility too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Looking for answers, here are some frequently asked questions on how to recover quickly from swimming.
You should always create time for recovery as it affects your performance as a swimmer. Poor recovery will cause fatigue, sluggishness and even the risk of getting an injury. However, if you are really going to continuously enjoy swimming, the above seven steps should be taken seriously.
By now you should be able to accelerate your rate of recovery. You should create enough room for a regular sleeping pattern, eat carbohydrates adequately, perform massages and light workouts, and drink enough water. Recover fast, enjoy swimming!
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