9 Reducing Inflammation Tips To Be A Better Triathlete

For athletes, inflammation is an issue that is often seen, but it needs to occur for tissues to heal and for stronger muscles to be developed. When we do physical activity, it can cause injury to our body which leads to our body’s natural healing itself.

Inflame and intense physical activity are commonly linked. If you have ever experienced tenderness the day or two post-exercise (which is a common occurrence), that is due to inflammation. The crucial factor is the level of exposure and duration.

Will Cole, a specialist in functional medicine and writer of The Inflammation Spectrum, stated that although inflammation is produced by the immune system, it isn’t necessarily bad. “We need healthy balanced inflammation levels in the body. Inflammation helps fight off viruses. Assists in healing wounds. It is essential to protect the human organism from illnesses. So, in balance, it’s very important.

Cole states that the disruption of inflammation can lead to issues when it’s thrown off its regular balanced state. “Chronic inflammation is the problem.”

Chronic inflammation is no joke. There is a strong link between serious medical issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and others. Additionally, it can hurt our ability to play sports, possibly even preventing us from engaging in our beloved activities.

You can clearly see that it is beneficial to manage inflammation. According to physical therapist David Gershkovich, DPT, founder of Riser Physical Medicine in New York City, someone who is not as inflamed in their body will experience improved health, be more effective in their tasks, and have greater success in their endeavours.

Although it is rarely serious, long-term inflammation can cause discomfort, and limited movement, and make it difficult to recover if it is not treated or overlooked.

In this article, we’ll explore how to decrease inflammation and foster healing for sportspeople so they can regain their optimal capacity.

1. Plan and Take Rest Days

Taking days off from physical activity is a fundamental component of any athlete’s regime as it is the most effective method to aid in recovering from exercise and lessen discomfort. Rest periods allow your body to recuperate and repair itself from the strain of exercise and contests.

Schedule your days off ahead of time to help you adhere to your routine and prevent yourself from overexerting. On days off from exercise, it’s essential to engage in activities that improve recovery, such as low-impact movement, de-stressing, and simply taking it easy (who knew!).

2. Incorporate Restorative Light Movement into Your Routine

Using restorative light motion is a beneficial approach to diminishing inflammation and enabling recuperation. This activity is a great way to restore circulation and clear away metabolic wastes from body tissue, resulting in minimized muscle discomfort and rigidity.

Ideally, it is best to give your body a break between workouts, however, doing this type of light activity won’t get in the way of your recovery and isn’t as strenuous as exercising. Light movements include activities like:

  • A walk or slow jog
  • Gentle stretching
  • Yoga Swim lightly
  • Bike at a low intensity
  • Low-impact movements with light weights

Doing all of these activities will also aid in keeping your joints and muscles active, which is vital for preserving the scope of motion.

3. Prioritize Your Mental Health

It is essential to take care of your mental well-being when you are coping with inflammation and healing.

It is normal to experience brief episodes of stress; however, if it is sustained over an extended period it can be detrimental to one’s immune system and cause a heightened level of inflammation. Here are a few ways to manage stress:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Connect with friends and family
  • Take an ice bath
  • Find healthy outlets for stress, such as journaling or meditation

As well as trying out the strategies mentioned above, it is imperative to get assistance from specialists if you are having difficulty managing your tension alone. Including practices aimed at reducing stress levels, such as awareness, contemplation, and focussed inhalation can aid in calming oneself. Professional assistance is an option for more serious matters such as trauma or intense worry.

4. Do an Ice Bath Post-Workout

  OOOh That’s fresh !!!!!

Ice baths are popular among athletes for a reason. They are beneficial for healing due to their numerous medicinal advantages, such as decreasing inflammation and discomfort in the muscles.

The cool water causes the blood vessels to narrow and restricts the circulation of blood to the affected muscles, which can help lessen the pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

Fill a tub with ice and cold water to complete an ice bath. Soak in the bath for between 2 and 5 minutes. After taking an ice bath, be sure to keep yourself warm by wrapping yourself in a towel or a blanket, or by doing some bodyweight exercise.

If you’re dedicated to limiting swelling and bettering the way you restore yourself, think about buying a cold dip tub to strengthen the ice bath therapy you conduct in your own residence.

5. Hot and Cold Therapy / Contrast Therapy

Using alternate hot and cold sources like packs or water is a form of hot and cold therapy to reap the advantages of both. The advantages of hot and cold treatment involve decreasing swelling, relieving discomfort in the tissue, decreasing the decline of muscle power, and abating muscle injury.

If you’re curious about how to apply hot and cold treatments, it’s quite uncomplicated. For areas that are not very large, you can put into use two different bins (or packets) of liquid – one warm and one icy – and change off between them for a couple minutes each until you would like to cease.

This method is especially effective for dealing with problems concerning the hands and feet, however, it can also be used on any part of the body. Some people choose to rely on basic hot and cold packs, but others may opt to take hot and cold showers, alternate between an icy bath and a warm bath, or a like manner.

6. Add Extra Produce To Your Diet

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is an effective way to reduce inflammation due to the high content of antioxidants they contain. These antioxidants provide protection against cell damage.

They provide beneficial vitamins and minerals that help with recovery. A good quantity of fluid that is necessary for the body’s cells to repair themselves can be found in numerous fruits and vegetables.

Some of the finest foods beneficial for reducing inflammation are tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards.

7. Avoid Refined Carbs and Sugar

Eating refined carbohydrates and sugar can lead to inflammation since they can cause an imbalance between the beneficial and detrimental bacteria in the body. A few examples of processed carbohydrates are white bread, noodles, cakes, sweets, and a variety of cereals consumed for breakfast.

An alternative to eating processed carbs and sweet foods is to substitute with natural, unrefined elements such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources and healthy fats.

8. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

Two of the most frequent sources of inflammation are booze and tobacco. They can hurt cells and can cause numerous health issues even if physical activity is not taken part in.

Consuming drinks with limited amounts of alcohol should not impede your recovery process, although it is best to not drink either before or after exercising for optimum results.

9. Get More and Better Sleep

Resting is necessary for restoration since it is when the body rebuilds cells and tissues. Lowering stress levels can help avoid inflammation that can develop if these levels become too elevated. To get more and better sleep, you may want to consider incorporating these habits:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool
  • Limit screen time before bed

How can taming inflammation make you a better athlete

1. You get stronger and faster

According to Cole, reducing inflammation can lead to increased energy levels. “Your output will be increased. Your performance will increase. You’ll actually have more energy to work out. You will have the potential to achieve greater results because you possess the strength and endurance to put more effort into your training, which will in turn yield better results.

If there is continual inflammation in one of your body parts, like an ankle or knee, it most likely has an issue due to the underlying pathology, according to Gershkovich. Once you deal with that issue and get rid of long-term inflammation, you can perform at a higher level.

Once the inflammation in the area is brought under control, an athlete should be capable of being able to demonstrate the full range of motion during their sport and not be limited by it. Gershkovich remarks that this could be done. I would suggest that their body would be able to initiate muscle contraction more quickly and that their joints would work more efficiently without inflammation being a factor.

If you can successfully control the amount of swelling in your body, this should help improve your athletic performance in activities such as running, spinning, Pilates, and basketball.

Studies indicate that ongoing inflammation may be linked to a decrease in muscle mass and strength, which is not helpful in those trying to increase their athletic performance.

2. You recover more efficiently

Gershkovich claims that athletes who employ recovery approaches to combat swelling, for example, nutrition, ice, compression, rest and gentle mobility work, should be able to heal more productively resulting in improved performances. If athletes push themselves too hard and do not take the necessary measures to manage the stress that follows exercise, decrease inflammation, and give themselves ample time to rest, they may become susceptible to sustaining an injury.

Physical activity is effective in some ways because it causes an inflammatory reaction, but it is a transitory inflammatory response — not a long-term, damaging one. Small tears in your muscles due to the strain of an intense exercise lead to momentary swelling in that area while the body repairs the damage while you rest.

That’s why you experience the sort-of-enjoyable ache that comes with attempting something different, lifting heavier weights, or pushing yourself in any way.

When you practice intelligent recovery methods you can help prevent long-term inflammation, allowing you to perform at a higher level during your next workout and keep yourself free of injuries that could slow down your progress.

Cole states that after an event, the recuperative process is drastically more effective when you have reduced your inflammation levels, leading to the body bouncing back faster.

3. You feel more confident

You may restrain yourself from pushing too hard to safeguard any area of your body that is distressed or unsteady as a result of continuous irritation.

If you evade carrying out the physical activities which your sport requires of you or if you evade certain movements because you are concerned with pain, stability, or even inflammation, you will not perform at your best, according to Gershkovich. “You’re not going to rely on yourself.”

Without the inflammation and the concession that provoked it, you can wholly commit to the progression, secure in the knowledge that your body will be there for you. Gershkovich believes that if an individual has greater flexibility and also a lower risk of inflammation, they will be able to achieve superior results.

4. You have more fun

It makes a lot of sense that if we find more pleasure in our chosen sports, our performance would be better.

Cole asserts that a lot of people keep putting in the effort, either because it’s expected by society or out of their own personality traits. The truth is, if your body is in good condition, you can take pleasure in the experience instead of viewing it as a difficult and unpleasant task because you will be more comfortable in your own body.

You will also relish the joyful sensation after a workout extra. Cole emphasizes that if a person does not have constant inflammation, the activating dopamine benefits of exercising, and its positive impact on someone’s attitude will be very apparent. When you feel energized to exercise and experience a sense of accomplishment afterwards, you will likely stick to your routine and make progress.

5. You feel better in general

Chronic inflammation can create a wide array of effects, including extreme muscular aches that inhibit regular activity, joint pain, fatigue, frequent colds, digestion issues, mental issues such as anxiety and depression, and more.

If you have any of those concerns, it’s not likely that your performance will be at its highest level – and in some cases, the issues may be serious enough that you may not even be able to participate. Controlling inflammation can improve your physical and mental well-being, enabling you to reach your peak performance in the activity you pursue.


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