A physical therapist explains how to recover from a tough workout

Erica Fritz, a physical therapist and the manager of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Center at Hospital for Special Surgery, explains how you should stretch for your workouts. The following is a transcript of the video:

Soreness is a very common thing, and it’s interesting because soreness after activities usually doesn’t onset right away. We call it delayed onset muscle soreness. Usually happens 24 to 48 hours after the activity. 

One of the most important things for muscle recovery and for your body is to make sure you stay hydrated. We see a lot of athletes, especially in athletic training, who are dehydrated and that’s a very dangerous thing.

So make sure you stay hydrated, whether it’s water, using sports drinks. I wouldn’t just do straight Gatorade alone. You want to mix it with some water as well.

Also, you want to do some sort of active recovery exercise. For example, the day after a big sporting game you don’t need to go do full-force exercises, but you might want want to do some light jogging, exercise bike, something to keep your muscles going to pump out any sort of muscle soreness that you have.

But you need to give yourself time to recover. So you want to go, like, half-speed with everything that you’re doing.

Stretching is important. So stretching has been shown to reduce muscle pain and discomfort. So doing those prolonged static stretching the day after exercise is beneficial.

And then also things like massage. So we really use foam rolls a lot at Hospital for Special Surgery with all of our athletes. If you ever see us at a Road Runner event or a race, we’ll have foam rolls out.

Because getting on a foam roll can help lengthen the muscle, but it also really is effective at reducing soreness and discomfort.

Also, rest is important. We see a lot of tendinitis overuse injuries. And it’s because people want to go, go, go every single day. But when you’re working out, you get little microtears in the muscle. And if you keep getting these microtears day in and day out, it leads to tendinitis injuries. So, rest.

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