Recovery after an intense game of baseball, whether amateur or professional, is essential to keep your body working the way you need it to in team sports.
You’re demanding a lot of yourself, so smart recovery is an essential part of the game. It’s what keeps you playing.
In this post, we’ll look at active vs. passive recovery: strategies immediately following baseball games and describe some key ways you can help your body bounce back from all that running, sliding and throwing you’ve been doing out there.
While it’s tempting to think that all you need to do to recover after a challenging game of baseball is to plunk down until you stop sweating, I need to burst your bubble.
Passive recovery does nothing to address muscle fatigue and tightness, or to help your other bodily systems recuperate. You need your circulatory system to be gently restored to a normal pattern of function and for your muscles to stay engaged.
When you sit down and do nothing, you’re shocking these essential systems, not supporting them.
Recovering actively is like atmospheric re-entry for your body. It’s the best way to avoid DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), because it coaxes your body back to its baseline function, instead of shocking it into going there.
But overdoing active recovery is just as bad as not doing it at all. That magic word “balance” crops up a lot on this blog, because it’s a key to all things physical.
Spending 5 to 15 minutes peddling a stationary bike at about a ¼ of your capacity is all that’s required to settle down your heart rate and to allow muscles to return to a comfortable norm. A leisurely jog on the treadmill, winding down to a walking gait, is also a desirable way to allow your muscles to recover.
Proven to be the most successful of all recovery strategies, a combination approach gives your body everything it needs.
Light cardio (as described above) combined with access to hydration containing a nutritional element (protein shake) can be followed by stretching exercises that allow the muscles to wind down with gentle movement.
Ice can also be helpful in the recovery process, in the form of ice immersion, or directly icing a joint or muscle group that’s been used extensively during the game (i.e.: the pitcher’s shoulder).
Following immediate recovery, players should seek to end the day with a nutritious meal that’s high in protein to feed tired muscles and a good night’s sleep to let the body do its nocturnal repair work.
Back & Body Medical
Back & Body is an award-winning Manhattan clinic which has now brought its inter-disciplinary model to New Jersey.
We treat all kinds of athletes here, from elite professionals to weekend warriors. If you’re a baseball player, we’ll support you with expert therapies under the rubrics of chiropractic, acupuncture, sports medicine and physical therapy.
We’re the baseball player’s best friend! Contact us to find out more about our services.