Maximizing Your Pickleball Recovery
Pickleball can be a fun way to exercise, but it can still be hard on your body if you are not careful. You have to ensure that you do not push yourself too hard, as you do not want to get hurt. Here are some simple ways to maximize your pickleball recovery.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is our bodies’ time to recharge. Having a regular sleep schedule and a full night’s sleep can help you feel better overall. However, when engaging in physical activity like an energetic game of pickleball, your body will need extra time to recover. Ensure that you can sleep for a good eight to ten hours the night after your game, especially if it is your first time exercising for a while.
Take a Bath
Ice and hot baths are excellent ways to relax your body. Ice baths are better for times when you push yourself too hard or play a vigorous game. It is best to take an ice bath after especially tiring workouts or games.
Hot baths, on the other hand, are better for tired bodies. Heat increases blood flow, which helps your muscles relax and heal faster. On top of that, it is also a chance for your mind to rest.
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Do Some Yoga or Stretches
Light movements after a workout can prevent tight muscles and can improve flexibility long-term. Stretches help your body return to a natural position and cools down your muscles. Going straight from exercise to a relaxed posture can be a little shocking for your body, so stretches or yoga will help you transition to a slower pace.
In the same vein, an excellent way to ease your recovery post-game is to warm up beforehand. Gentle stretches, like twists, lunges, and bends, loosen your muscles to prepare them for activity. Some players prefer a brief jog or a few short sprints to elevate their heart rates and ease the change into exercise. You can also use both pre- and post-game stretches to pay special attention to any areas that are particularly sore or tight.
Do Full-Body Workouts
When not playing pickleball, full-body workouts can improve your overall strength, endurance, and recovery speed. If your body is used to regular exercise of any kind, it is easier to engage in activities like pickleball without feeling too worn out afterward. Your muscles will find it a lot more comfortable to engage in physical activity when they do it often.
While your goal is to minimize your chance of common injuries or muscle strain, should either occur, R.I.C.E. is the best course of action. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compress, elevate.
Rest your body, especially whichever part is hurting. Ice the muscle if it is sore, as cold reduces pain and swelling. Compress the area with a bandage to reduce swelling, and elevate whichever part of the body is hurting. All of these have the added benefit of helping to reduce recovery time.
As long as it is safe for you to do so, take Ibuprofen or Naproxen. If it is a serious injury, or if the pain lasts for an extended period of time, schedule a visit with a doctor.
Know your Limitations
While playing, pay attention to your body. Listen when it tells you to take a break and watch your limit. Pushing yourself too hard can cause muscle pain and strain, which can then lead to injury.
In serious cases, overworking your body could result in microtears in your muscles. You want to take a break before you reach your burnout point, so you have to pay attention to how your body is feeling.
Get a Massage
Massages are a great way to relax your muscles and ease any tension or tightness. They also help to improve circulation, reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and increase flexibility. Not only will your muscles feel better, but massages are a tried-and-true method of mental relaxation, so you can also de-stress your mind
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body needs a good diet to have the energy for exercise. Ensure that you are consuming enough protein, vegetables, and carbs, so that you have enough energy to play your game and not feel drained afterward.
With these tips, you will be able to play a great game of pickleball without feeling exhausted, strained, or tense afterward. You have to take care of yourself and pay attention to your body’s needs. For more tips on how to have the best pickleball experience, check out The Complete Pickleball Beginner’s Guide. Now you can head out to your next pickleball game and feel confident that your body will not be exhausted or strained!
Trey SizemoreTrey Sizemore is the founder of pickleballhut.com, and the host of the 'Dinking Out Loud' podcast. Trey has been playing pickleball for several years and loves helping others discover this great game and improve their skills. Trey has launched several online resources with the goal of helping players of all levels improve their game through multi-format instruction.
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