Fatigue Fighters Checklist:
After each session
Drink and eat
Walk/move (at least ten minutes)
Hot and cold shower
Evening / end of the day
Hot / cold – shower / spa / sauna
Stretch and self massage (especially legs)
Practice relaxation 10-15 minutes before going to bed
(Music, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, visualisation, breathing exercises)
Monitor how you feel each day
Get up at the same time each day
Record how you feel – Great – OK – Tired/Stuffed
You need at least four hours between training sessions
Water therapies are much undervalued in Australia. Showers, spa, baths, float tanks and saunas (dry baths), provide ideal environments in which to stretch and perform self massage. Contrasting hot and cold showers, or using a warm spa with a cold plunge pool provides an increase in peripheral circulation and neural stimulation. Pressure jets and shower nozzles enhance muscle relaxation by stimulating light contractions in muscles.
Collectively this promotes both physiological and neurological recovery. Athletes need to be reminded to rehydrate before, during and after treatments as sweating tends to go unnoticed in wet environments. It is also important that treatment times are monitored carefully (see guidelines for Baths/Showers/Spa). There is a tendency for athletes to linger in the warm environment and offset the benefits of the treatment through dehydration and neural fatigue. Athletes should feel relaxed but stimulated afterwards, not sleepy and lethargic.
Guidelines for Baths / Showers / Spa*
How to Use
Rehydrate before, during and after session Clean skin with soap and shower off beforehand
Alternate: Hot (35-38C) Cold (10-16C) Shower 1-2 minutes [10-30 seconds] repeat x3
Spa/Bath 3-4 minutes [30-60 seconds] repeat x3 Shower and rehydrate to finish
When to use
Showers can be used anytime. Before, during session. Spas and baths are best left till the end of the day
*Note: do not use if the athlete has a virus or cold or recent soft tissue injury.