Performance and recovery go hand in hand when training or doing physical activities, regardless if you’re an athlete or not. In fact, athletes and their trainers utilize light therapy to improve their performance and muscle health and optimize recovery. To expound further, this article will tackle optimizing performance in fitness, improving the recovery process, and breaking down the significance of light therapy.
Optimizing Performance and Improving Recovery
Optimizing performance means paying attention to the body and how it functions, to live and train the body, and to find the best way to support its functions. Performance is not based on how hard or heavy are the weights you lift or the number of kilometers you’ve run; it is how effective your performance is and how you match it with your lifestyle (with the way you eat, drink and sleep).
On the other hand, recovery is about the effectiveness of the body’s healing process and the conscious effort of being in your best shape by enhancing your workout. It is also about utilizing the body’s tools and functions to effectively finish the jobs required daily.
Physical Performance and Recovery
Performance and recovery are correlated to one another. In exercising or training, if you want to improve fitness, workouts should be consistent. To get stronger, faster, and bigger, certain efforts must be made to increase performance levels. The recovery process is essential in health. It contributes to the workout; it is the downtime between training sessions or a break due to an injury or a period of healing from any exhaustion experienced.
Breaks like cool-downs, rest, and ample time of sleep give your body time to recuperate. They also allow healing for the muscles and tissues affected, strained, or damaged from workouts or training.
Performance is better when recovery time from soreness or inflammation is maximized. It also helps prevent burnout, fatigue, and possible injuries. If recovery is not made right, your physical performance may not reach its optimal state. Some athletes and trainers even make a recovery a priority over training itself. They believe that when an athlete recovers better than their competition, they will train harder in the long run.
Recovery is for Everyone
Even if you are not an athlete, you should know how to let your body rest, heal, and recover properly from any form of injury or physical activity. Everyone has their own activity levels to maintain. It may not be sports-related, but everyone demands effort from their bodies on a day-to-day basis.
When Recovery is Not Prioritized…
Regardless if you are an athlete, your body has limits. And if you push too hard, the body can break down and perform worse, especially if you didn’t observe any recovery time. Overtraining and pushing the body beyond its limits can affect performance in the short term or long term. Chances of injury are higher when you don’t allow yourself to recover, and it may also affect hormonal levels and the function of the immune system. The body needs time to process inflammation or any injury.
Inflammation and the Importance of Recovery
Inflammation happens when the body responses to danger or strain. It often takes place during a strenuous workout. When exercising, inflammation may indicate muscular damage. And when a muscle is “damaged,” it means that the tissue is growing and undergoes repair to get stronger.
Experiencing inflammation is a normal part of the growth and repair of muscle tissues. However, if you won’t set aside time for recovery, your inflammation may worsen over time and lead to greater health consequences.
4 Easy Ways to Improve the Recovery Process
Here are some ways that can help you improve your body’s recovery process:
- Body awareness
The body speaks when it sends signals to the brain. Sometimes, we dismiss these signals because of training goals. This may eventually lead to fatigue and injury. When you experience pain or when your muscles are sore, it is important to give your body time to recuperate. You must also be aware of your heart rate, especially at rest, as it may be saying something about the state of your health.
- Getting enough sleep
Besides giving your body time to recuperate, deep sleep also allows the body to digest and process fat and recover from inflammation or damaged muscle tissues. It is harder for the body to recover from pain, strain, fatigue, and injury when you’re sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night. If you’re struggling with getting enough sleep, try doing meditation or speak with a doctor so he/she can advise you about developing a sleeping routine.
- Eating a balanced diet.
Getting the right amount of whole foods, good carbohydrates, protein, and good fat can also boost your performance and recovery. Lowering your intake of processed foods, alcohol, and sugary drinks can also help decrease inflammation.
- Aiming for balanced and healthy cells
The performance and recovery of our bodies depend entirely on our cells. When our cells are creating and using energy efficiently, our bodies recover faster. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy is released to give us power in what we do. The process of creating ATP energy works best when our body and cells are well-balanced, reaching a state called homeostasis.
Light Therapy, Performance, Healing, and Recovery
High-quality devices are now available in the market to help athletes and trainers enhance the body’s natural healing and recovery process through light therapy.
Light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses LED lights to deliver red and near-infrared light to the skin and cells. It promotes efficient cellular ATP energy production and helps restore the balance of cells and tissues. Light therapy can be done before or after a workout. Some even do it both times — before and after a workout, depending on their goals.
Pre-conditioning with light therapy before working out can also help strengthen muscle performance. It can limit muscle damage and strain, lessening the chances of inflammation or soreness. When used after a workout, it promotes the speedy recovery of muscles and accelerates its adaptability to exercise. It also helps the body process acute inflammation after physical activity.
The Relationship Between Light Therapy and Muscle Cells
Muscles are composed of millions of cells that need to release ATP energy to fulfill the body's jobs, balancing exercise and stress. Light therapy helps improve cellular ATP energy, glycogen synthesis, oxidative stress reduction, and protection against muscle damage from exercising. Light therapy also helps improve blood circulation and oxygen availability, which allows better healing and recovery. It helps with the overall improvement of physical performance and faster recovery times. It also helps limit fatigue from exercising and strength training.
Recover and Improve Your Performance with Light Therapy
As discussed, light therapy promotes faster healing and recovery and soothes cells under stress when doing strenuous workouts, incurring injuries, and experiencing inflammation. When you set aside time for recovery, you give your body and cells what they need to function, thus improving your overall performance.
At Kaiyan Medical, we offer high-quality light therapy devices to help you achieve and maintain your fitness and performance goals. If you have questions about our products and the brands we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will respond to you as soon as possible.