Issue #166


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 Questions with Cover Model Vanessa Dominguez

Video Interview with Amateur Figure Vanessa Dominguez

Vanessa Dominguez, Michelle Williams, Allyssa Robbins, Cristina Rifo & Fiona Sarah Faith

How Quicker Recovery Means Accelerated Gains
by Tina Jo Orban


How Quicker Recovery Means Accelerated Gains by Tina Jo Orban

April 7, 2019

Injuries are no fun. (Unless you are a masochist—then they might be). But for the majority of us injuries mean unwanted pain, dysfunction, and the dreaded time off training. There are some things you can do to speed-up recovery time. The logical path of the claim, “How Quicker Recovery— Means Accelerated Gains” goes something like this:

Decreasing your recovery time means back to your training sooner and back to training sooner translates into accelerated gains. That is, you get to your fitness goals quicker. Also, when you get injured even just maintaining your physique can fail. I am an adherent of the tried and true motto ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Some proactive steps to avoid injury in the first place: Make sure you hydrate properly, get good nutrition, don’t train when you are sleep deprived. A side note not only has research shown more injuries occur such as highway accidents and house-hold injuries[1] with lack of sleep, but also sleep is when our bodies repair. Consequently, you also won’t be repairing damaged tissue as expeditiously when you are sleep deprived.

Make sure you warm up. People always ask should I do cardio first or weights. It is not really an either or. I feel it is a preference and what your goals are. Do you tire after cardio or are you energized? After hitting the weights for an hour do you feel like doing cardio. That is, do you feel like getting your heart rate up? You know yourself. This is up to you. Warm up either way! The purpose of warm up is to get blood flowing to the muscles to do the work. This creates more pliable, flexible muscles that are less likely to strain while exercising. This also means your tendons and ligaments are less likely to sprain. (We strain muscles, sprain ligaments/tendons). For example, you don’t just jump in a squat-rack, toss an Olympic bar on your shoulders, and load it up with max weight and start repetitions. You could, but you’re risking a big hurt. Thus, prevention from injury is key.

Conversely, let us say you have sprained an ankle or pulled a muscle or sustained any other of the countless injuries that can beset our bodies. How can we heal quicker? And how can we get back to the logical path aforementioned? Here are a few cutting-edge and some archaic remedies.

There is massage and of course foam rolling you can do, but one of the best things you can do is drink plenty of water. Ok so this is a Pleistocene remedy. Oh, back to the water! Yes, it can help prevent injury and decrease recovery time once you are injured. I know that is trite— right? You need to lose weight what do people say? “Drink more water”. You need to clear up your skin: “Drink more water”. You want to lean out, “Drink more water”.  Prevent an injury: “Drink water!” You pull a muscle; “Drink more water”. Wait. What? Yes.

It is physiology. When you train, it is known that muscle sustains microtears, to rebuild those tears you need protein and the catalytic enzymes (an anabolic process) to repair. The means or the medium in which this occurs in is water. Really, it is plasma--- the liquid portion of your blood. Cells need a fluid environment to carry out metabolism. Anyhow the same holds true for other tissue trauma. You need to be hydrated in order for these physiological processes and repairs to occur. In fact, research[2] has shown that dehydration can cause further muscle catabolism. So, drink plenty of water post injury.

I did an internship at a sports medicine/physical therapy center called, The Reikes Center. This was well over fifteen years ago and all the rage then to regain muscle strength post an injury was e-Stim. This is electric stimulation, where patches (electrodes) are attached to the affected muscle group as a whole, say the quads and a controlled electrical charge creates contraction. The interesting part is, it is it of course an involuntary stimulus creating contraction to motor units that are voluntary. It lightly activates motor neuron groups and appears to have benefits in increasing blood flow and expediting lymph drainage because of the activity. So, repair remedy number two: e-Stim.
Next up, is not for the frugal. It is regeneration therapy. The patient’s own stem cells are extracted typically from bone. A specialist then injects the injured tissue site with the material (stem cells). (Apparently scientist also “grow” tissue in labs for regenerative therapy). This field is called regenerative medicine. Stem cells then divide and become specialized, they “differentiate” into muscle cells or neurons “nerve cells” and/or connective tissues. That is they become what type of cell your body needs to allow for rapid regeneration and healing. (Oh boy, that college comparative embryology class is paying off right now!)                                        Lastly, at least for the scope of this article, is HBOT[3]. (I keep thinking hot robot). Jokes aside, this is serious science. The fact is that we inhale air with only 21% oxygen. That is fine for life. To speed recovery scientist have discovered that if you can immerse your tissue with oxygen that is inhale 100% oxygen and where the atmospheric pressure is increased, it causes kind of a saturation in the cells and body fluids. This oxygen saturation gets to damaged or blocked areas. Oxygen increase also assists the bodies immune system (WBC’s) to help decrease chance of infection. (In lacerations or skin breach injuries (cuts). So, there you have it. Prevent getting injured in the first place, warm up, stay hydrated, get adequate rest and nutrition.
If you do get hurt, you can get massage or foam-roll, but you should drink plenty of water. Or you can let technological advances in medicine help you out such as, e—Stim, regenerative and or Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.

[1] Fatal accidents following changes in daylight savings time: the American experience. Pubmed.gov. 2019.Varughese J, Allen RP. Sleep Med. 2001 Jan 2 2001.

[2] How water Helps Muscles Recover from Exercise” sourced; April7 2019 https://woman.thenest.com/water

[3] “What is HBOT?”  Resourced from Harch HBOT  April 6b 2019.https://hbot.com/faq/


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