Fast recovery from exercise is often touted as the holy grail. Being able to train again in the shortest possible timespan is the key to enhancing performance but doing this is a delicate balancing act in terms of preventing injury and overtraining. Accelerating recovery with light therapy, is it really possible?
What is recovery?
Recovery is defined as the restoration of physical and mental function after physical stress, usually resulting in a higher level of performance. Physiological recovery is the return to baseline levels of physical and mental function, while psychological recovery is the return to baseline levels of motivation. The goal of recovery is to allow the athlete to train and compete at their peak levels as often as possible, without suffering from overtraining.
What Is Overtraining?
Since its discovery in the mid 1800’s, overtraining has been described by many different terms including “over-fatigue” and “exhaustion”. The main symptoms include increased fatigue, diminished ability to perform daily tasks, depressed mood, muscle and tendon pain, reduced athletic performance, sleep disturbances, increased appetite, weight gain, and reduced immune function.
For athletes, the main symptom is a loss of performance. Anecdotal evidence suggests that overtraining is common among athletes and recreational exercisers. In fact, a study performed by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that the majority of adults engage in at least one episode of overtraining per year.
Overtraining can be caused by numerous factors including excessive volume, poor nutrition, and inadequate recovery. Overtraining is the result of training at a level of intensity or volume that is greater than the body can handle. Overtraining is often confused with over-exertion or over-straining, but these terms are not synonymous. Over-exertion and over-straining may occur as a result of performing a task to near-maximal capacity. Overtraining can also occur when a person performs a task for longer than they are capable of recovering from.
How can red light therapy help you recover faster?
Researchers have found that when we’re injured, our bodies send out signals to repair the damage. If we’re unable to repair the damage, the body releases chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. Since the body only has so much energy available, it is unable to recover from physical stresses that are too much, or prolonged. Red light therapy’s primary mechanism is the restoration of cellular energy though stimulation of the mitochondria. When your body is depleted, Red Light Therapy is one of the most effective ways of bringing you back to a fully functioning state. It works by exposing the body to a specific wavelength of light which triggers stem cell activity in the body. This increases your body’s ability to repair and heal itself. This is achieved enhancing the bodies natural process in a painfree and drugfree manner. Athletes can also double up the process by performing gentle stretching, yoga or myofascial release while exposing their body to the healing effects of Red and Near Infrared light.
Many professional athletes and sports teams are embracing the healing properties of light therapy in their recovery and injury prevention routines. Experience the benefits for yourself with LumiRed high powered LED panels.