In the 360Wellness mobile application, you can keep track of your recovery time thanks to its integrated recovery tracker. Contrary to what some may think, recovery doesn’t only mean sleep and time away from our phone/laptop screens. It also entails other activities that contribute to our ‘me’ time and promote relaxation of our muscles.
These are just some of the recovery methods that may help your overall well-being when you’re not exercising or working:
Aromatherapy is a way to heal your body through plant extracts. It enables an overall feeling of recovery. The plant extracts are called essential oils. In aromatherapy, these oils interact with your body in two ways. First, by inhaling them, and second, by diluting and then absorbing through our skin.
There are various ways through which aromatherapy can occur. For example; using essential oils with diffusers or mixing them with body products (eg. lotions, creams, oils).
Aromatherapy’s origin is disputed as it has ties to the history of different countries, especially Egypt, China, and India. In Egypt, oils were used primarily by priests who had roles in religious and magical rituals. Essential oils became widely popular with their use in ayurvedic medicine, like when massages involve these aromatic plant extracts. Some of the popular aromas are rose for reducing depression and helping the liver and chamomile for headaches, and cold-like symptoms.
As we inhale, essential oils can affect us on different levels: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The aromatic particles of oils enter our body through our respiratory system. They can come through our nose and from there stimulate our nerves connected to the limbic section of the brain. This area has multiple functions. It associates with our nervous and immune systems along with our feelings and sensations.
There is a wide variety of essential oils. The most popular is eucalyptus, which helps with energy levels, relieves flu symptoms. Others include ginger to reduce inflammations and physical pain and lavender which is useful for insect bites and anxiety.
Electrostimulation consists of small electrical pulses that imitate those signals originating from neurons, a part of our nervous system. This therapy can either target muscles or nerves. When thinking about muscles, electrostimulation helps them contract. After contracting muscles multiple times, the circulation of blood in that area improves and helps your muscles recover faster. It can also be beneficial in building strength.
Electrostimulation works through small adhesive pads, called electrodes, that you place on your skin. Usually, more than one electrode is applied to the body area of interest. These are connected to the main device with a wire. This will then provide a steady flow of electrical pulses, causing your targeted muscles to contract.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at hundreds of previous studies and the effectiveness of electrostimulation and then designed its own research to evaluate this claim. It selected 3 different types of subjects depending on their level of fitness: untrained, trained, and athletes. It also conducted the study based on different electrostimulation approaches. One was the local electrostimulation, which targeted specific muscles, the whole-body one, which activates different muscles across the body simultaneously, and the combination method, which is a mixture of local and whole-body electrostimulation.
The experiment revealed that electrostimulation was useful for improving physical performance. This wasn't applicable to untrained individuals only. It also improved strength levels in subjects who have been training consistently for a long time. As a result, electrostimulation is as effective in recovering muscles and improving your fitness performance.
3. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a type of exercise that takes inspiration from martial arts. It consists of slow movements and deep breathing. It originates back to the 13th-century in China and today is popular worldwide for its multiple health benefits. For example, it relieves stress-related emotions, like depression and anxiety, and promotes relaxation thanks to its slow movements and breathing techniques.
A study from the Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry supports this as it compared different previous studies with a variety of subjects involved, like individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, those who had clinical depression as well as young people with disorders affecting their mental health.
Furthermore, a 2018 study from the Journal of Neuroimaging focused on the effects of Tai Chi by enrolling six healthy elderly individuals in a 12-week Tai Chi program. They compared their notes before and after the completion of the program. They found that this martial exercise can help generate new neurons and protect these cells from specific aging processes. Besides this, they also concluded that muscles recovered significantly quicker after the 12-week Tai Chi training.
If you want to recover either mentally or physically or both you can manually add your activities in the ‘Recovery’ section with the 360Wellness Recovery Tracker on your iOS or Android devices.