On Your Feet All Day? Here’s How to Recover Your Legs
If you work long hours in any job that requires you to be on your feet all day – from hospitality to manual labor – you’re going to feel it. These jobs are tough and you deserve to take care of your legs and back to ensure that you stay healthy – especially if you are also a keen exerciser. This is a short guide to give you the best techniques for looking after your legs and reducing discomfort.
We’ve already discussed sleep in another article, but it is worth repeating. Sleep is one of the most important factors in progress and recovery: the more, better sleep you get, the more you will recover and the more prepared your body and mind will be for improved performance.
The essentials: Spend at least 8 hours asleep, in a cool room with as little light as possible. Avoid screens before bed, and try to go to bed well-fed, well-hydrated, and as tired as possible. Keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible, each day.
Everyone knows that proper nutrition is a key to athletic performance and recovery. The dedication of top-level athletes to nutrition and recovery is something many of us aspire to – this shows just how important nutrition is for performance and recovery.
The essentials: Be sure to eat a diet that is high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Focus on reducing processed foods and increasing the amount of plant foods you eat.
Water is crucial for life, but it is also a huge modulating factor in the ability to recover and make consistent progress with health and fitness. Dehydration is a serious risk to health, and even mild dehydration can have a serious, negative impact on your performance and recovery.
The essentials: Keep a bottle of water with you at all times – you’ll be surprised how much you drink when it’s right there! Drink until your pee is relatively clear, and ensure that you never “feel” thirsty, as your body is already in a state of mild dehydration!
Mobility and Stretching
Mobility and stretching are a great, relaxing way to improve your recovery ability and make the best progress. Not only will this contribute to injury prevention and improved posture, but it can reduce the concentration of waste products in the muscles themselves and boost your long-term recovery.
The essentials: Stretching and mobility are neural phenomena, as well as flushing out waste products. Stretch more often, rather than for longer: 2 times a day is a great start. Foam rolling might be uncomfortable in the short-term, but is a great way to improve soreness. Stretching, in our opinion, is one of the most overlooked benefits to health, recovery, performance, and injury prevention.
This might not be much fun, but it has profound effects. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and soreness locally, which means that you can reduce leg-specific pain and soreness.
The essentials: Ice your knees for joint health, or try a cold shower on just the legs. It might get you hyperventilating, but as little as 2-3 minutes can make a real difference to how you feel!
Keep these points in mind to increase performance, clarity, and recovery.