Strong Workout, Stronger Recovery!


CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The American Heart Association says that running is good for your heart. But for every 100 hours of running, the average runner will sustain at least one injury. But, there are things you can do after a run to cut the risk of a future injury.

Take your pick: swimming, running, biking … no matter how old you are, your body takes a beating. Just ask 13-year-old Braxton Bokos.

“I competitively swim all year round,” Bokos told Ivanhoe.

He trains hard and he recovers even harder.

Gina Pongetti, MPT, MA, CSCS, Achieve Orthopedic Rehab Institute, Sports Medicine shared, “For an ounce of exertion in the body, you need two ounces of prevention after. You can’t just run 20 miles and expect for your body to actually say ‘hey that was great, let’s just do it again tomorrow.’”

Pongetti is a former gymnast and triathlete. She now runs a facility offering tools and techniques to help athletes heal more quickly between grueling workouts. Pongetti says when you focus on recovery after a workout …

“The next day when you work out, you will actually be able to put more energy into the workout as opposed to the body still residually recovering from the day before,” continued Pongetti.

And this will lower your risk for fatigued-based injuries, such as sprains, strains and stress fractures. Pongetti’s recovery facility offers cryotherapy to reduce inflammation, electrical muscle stimulation to improve blood circulation, and massage therapy to reduce muscle soreness after an intense workout. Swimmer Jen Conroyd braves freezing temperatures to do cryotherapy.

Conroyd stated, “Cryotherapy has made a really big difference in my recovery and my performance. I’ve noticed a big difference in my speeds and my times.”

And, no injuries.

Conroyd continued, “You give as much attention to your recovery as your work cause you don’t want to do is get to training 20 miles and the next thing you know, you‘re injured and you’re out and you can’t finish the marathon.”

Pongetti says if you don’t have access to a high-tech recovery facility, self-massage with foam rollers, massage sticks or even tennis balls to help reduce muscle stiffness.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery and John Cherry, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.  

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BACKGROUND: Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still overtrain and feel guilty when they take a day off. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes. Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss. Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance, and increased risk of injury, among others.


TIPS TO MAXIMIZE RECOVERY: The recovery process needs to be proactive, planned and effectively executed. It’s important to remember that you break your body down when you train, your energy stores are depleted, your muscles and other tissues are broken down and your body is in a fatigued state. The following are some tips to maximize your recovery. Every 3 to 5 weeks, plan a recovery week. Perform at half your maximum performance and you’ll feel refreshed and energized. Ensure you have 24 to 72 hours rest between intense training sessions involving the same muscle group. Try to develop a regular sleeping routine where you go to bed at a similar time each night of the week. Remove distractions like light, smartphones, and TVs. Eat a post-workout snack that contains roughly 50 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein. Finally, massage from a therapist or self-massage with foam rollers, massage sticks and even baseballs can reduce muscle stiffness, promote circulation and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle. Achieve Orthopedic Rehab Institute, involved in this story, offers manual physical therapy to help heal muscles and tendons, taping for stability and muscle activation and massage therapy to reduce muscle soreness after an intense workout.


NEW RESEARCH: Researchers report in a new study that people who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs, or from egg whites, after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein. This process is called protein synthesis and happens during the post-workout period. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites. The discovery, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the widespread practice of throwing away egg yolks to maximize one’s dietary protein intake from eggs is counterproductive. “The yolks contain protein, along with key nutrients and other food components that are not present in egg whites. And, something in the yolks is boosting the body’s ability to utilize that protein in the muscles,” said Nicholas Burd, a University of Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health who led the research. “This study suggests that eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to getting one’s protein from isolated protein sources,” Burd continued.


* Contact:  Gina Pongetti, MPT, MA, CSCS, ART-Cert.             Lisa Stafford, Public Relations                          

(630) 212-1226