Regeneration of the legs and the whole body after sports

Sport brings us joy, a pleasant feeling, satisfaction, and fatigue. However, if we take sport, whether at the pro level or as hobby players, at least a little bit seriously, we should not only take it from the body but also care about it. The performance is preceded by regular training, pre-competition preparation, and essential recovery. The body needs time to repair microtraumas that occur during movement, training, or competition performance. If we don't listen to the body's signals for a long time, all this can lead to stagnation of performance, illness, greater susceptibility to injury, overtraining, fatigue, apathy, and doing sports only by force of habit and with persuasion until the end.

And what can we do for our bodies? 

It is important to replenish all important nutrients from quality sources. We should not forget about protein and also a quality source of fats. We don't exclude carbohydrates either, but we try to include polysaccharides. Quick, simple sugars should be avoided. The diet should be regular.

After sports, it is recommended to include appropriate relaxation, e.g., pleasant, non-violent stretching, so-called regenerative stretching, to reduce muscle tension. Our body and tired muscles will certainly appreciate a massage or self-massage. Regeneration can also be promoted by the action of cold, where the subsequent warming and increased blood circulation positively affect the human body. Yoga, days off, other sports to compensate, and, of course, quality sleep should not be left out of the regeneration process. During sleep, we flush toxins out of the body and regain new strength. Its deficiency can also be the cause of various diseases.

The necessary equipment and footwear are also an essential part of sports. We should not forget about the regeneration of the feet. Sports shoes do not always suit the function of the foot, but they are needed for doing sport. How do athletes' feet feel in cleats, skates, ski boots, ballet shoes, or high heels of dancers?

It's clear that this footwear enhances athletic performance, but it doesn't think much about foot comfort. Looking at the athlete's feet, it is immediately obvious whether or not they are taking sufficient care and regenerating after the sport. If we don't think too much about our feet, they will start hurting sooner or later. Few people realize that the foot has to bear an incredible load when moving. And what can we do for our feet whether we play sports professionally or just as a hobby?

If possible, give your feet freedom outside of sports or training. Choose appropriate footwear that does not restrict the shape and function of the feet. Can you recall the athletes on TV? With that in mind, many athletes take off their shoes immediately after exercising. Your body and legs will simply tell you what feels good :-D If possible, take a walk on natural terrain. 

Another simple way to relieve your feet is a gentle foot massage or self-massage. Just sit down and intuitively use your hands to treat your aching feet. If we would like to target individual touches, we just need to interlace the fingers of the hand between the toes and use the hand to move the foot gently. We can also flex individual toes and massage the sole; if we find a sensitive spot, we can use pressure/point massage. Don't forget to move the heel bones, circle the ankles, and gently treat the Achilles tendon. The roller can be successfully used on larger muscle groups of the lower limbs.

Feet will also appreciate massaging with various spiky hedgehogs or rollers or walking on orthopaedic mats or sensomotoric carpets. The foot can perceive various stimuli thanks to the different shapes, surface textures, and hardnesses. This increases the responsiveness of the foot and better contact with the surface. All these stimulating stimuli increase blood circulation and massage. By feeling the foot better, we will control it better, and this will help us improve our athletic performance. Orthopaedic mats also help us to solve various foot problems. 

In addition, we should not neglect hygiene, foot care, and pedicure. This also belongs to the regeneration of our feet. Overloading the feet during sports or wearing sports shoes that restrict the feet can cause blisters, redness, or blackening of the nails in various places. Any change in this regard also affects the work of the foot and its perception. Pedicure will take care of our feet but we can also treat them with a bath or bubble bath with herbal salt. Nowadays, there is a plethora of products to choose from to treat the skin on the feet. The athlete should then also have properly trimmed nails that do not press anywhere in the shoe and do not restrict sports performance.

If you treat your feet like this, your feet will really thank you. After this treatment, socks with toe-splitters (adjustable) can be put on the feet to support the effect of the treatment and give the foot the freedom and space it needs.

Take care of your feet, for they carry you all your life.

Mgr. Soňa Barvenčíková, Certified physiotherapist