For a speedy recovery and pain prevention; cooling down after Rugby is vital
FIRST IS THE ‘WOW, I THINK I GOT THROUGH THE GAME OK!’ STAGE.
This is where we foolishly forget that our muscles, ligaments and tendons have been torn, burned and smashed into for a prolonged period of time by men/women of various strengths, girths and body fat ratios. Then comes the Frankenstein’s monster/non-oiled tin man who’s been covered in electric shock buttons stage. What is happening during this horrendous stage is that our muscle fibres (myofibrils) have been damaged and need to repair so lots of inflammatory processes are taking place as the body undergoes the repair process.
FEED YOUR BODY
In the immediate aftermath of a game it is imperative that you get some good food/fuel into the body. All the effort that was made making that amazing crunching tackle or 5m pushover try (sorry 80m sprint beating 4 people on the way to the line) has left your energy stores low. This means stocking up on calories, particularly simple whole food carbohydrates (as well as complex ones, vegetables, proteins and good fats). Berries and nuts are a great immediate post-match snack but try to avoid processed sports drinks and powders. Follow this up with a hearty meal (preferably cooked by someone else after all that effort!). Make water or at least watery beer your beverage of choice.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOURSELF?
The body is designed to move (no matter how much you feel you don’t want to the day after), so the next day do some light recovery work (walking, cycling, yoga, Pilates or good old fashioned stretching!). The thing which governs all of this activity (your brain and central nervous system) needs time to recover, so if you do get your kicks lifting weights in the gym then give yourself at least 3 days off destroying iron. Not having this time sets you up for future injury, poor health and less time on the rugby field!
HOW CAN HALSA HELP YOU?
Now for those bruises and sore joints, most will advise you to reach for the ice pack. Recently the P.R.I.C.E acronym (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) for injured joints has been proven to be outdated and can lead to injuries becoming chronic (long term). It is better to compress the joint (get your friendly Halsa Chiro/Physio to show you how) with voodoo floss/resistance bands and move that joint as much as possible while remaining pain free. Obviously a trip to your local Halsa clinic post game is a must (most athletes I see here are adjusted pre and post-game). This will aid recovery and allow you to be a happier, healthier, better rugby player!
As the greatest rugby spectacle in the world has just past, be thankful that you will not be trying to tackle 15 blokes running at you as if their lives depended on it.
Stay happy and healthy!