Everyone needs compensation activities. Whether you do a sport on a professional level, or just from time to time for joy, or you have a sedentary job, everyone without exception needs a sufficient regeneration and compensation for our usual physical behavior and activity. Let’s look together on what exactly does compensation mean.
Basically it doesn’t matter what you do actively or passively. However, you prefer certain type of movement pattern. Dynamic change is good for our body, in order to prevent overload, insufficient regeneration and damage. There is a “rule” which says, if you want to reach some results in sport, you need to train a lot. That would be only one aspect of it. Constant training of one and the same aspect will work only to a certain degree and time. If you will focus only on developing strength, without doing any condition training to achieve endurance, you will only limit yourself. The muscle fibres get quickly tired after strength workout, and without any optional compensation they cannot regenerate properly. The result is zero endurance ability and decline in strength due to the overtraining.
Sedentary lifestyle is always the same in principle. Even if you feel like you’re not doing anything, your muscles have more than enough to do. Staying in one position puts enormous burden on your muscles. Spending 8 hours before computer also means a serious burden for our muscles, joints and cartilages. Intervertebral discs are being passively supplied with nutrients, which means they need to be pressed by the vertebras and consequently released from the pressure in order to absorb nutrients and water from the surrounding area. With long-term sitting they are constantly pressed, they get dry, and the risk of damage and herniation rapidly increases. Muscles of the human are programmed to do certain activity. They need to be contracted and released in order for the muscle fibres to function properly. This way they can reach optimal oxidation and nutrient supply, and they get adequately regenerated by removing the waste material from the body. But they are not enabled to do so, if they are in one position without any significant physical activity. Postural muscles keep the muscles in a straight position, even though they get less tired, but they are also limited. Constant activity without any regeneration shortens these muscles as a defence mechanism and starts a chain reaction of various other problems.
In order to stay healthy and have better results in sport, regeneration and compensation should become important part of your life. Basic rule of compensation is to logically use new patterns differing from the ones we perform normally. Simply said, we will incorporate into our training exercises which we normally don’t use, and we will combine sedentary job with physical activity. Compensation activities should therefore help us to regenerate.
As it is already written above, you cannot achieve top results without previous regeneration and preparation for the burden. The overloaded and burdened parts of the body will get back to the normal condition, the energetic resources are being regenerated, the metabolic process of removing the lactic acid from the body, which has been accumulated up from a physical activity is speeded up. Regeneration is natural process for our muscles, and it can be passive as well as active. Passive regeneration is happening automatically after relaxing our muscles. Active regeneration is basically every contribution to speed up the passive regeneration.
Forms of active regeneration are:
- Hydration and nutritions
During any kind of activity, you need to supply your body with either water or nutrients which our body burns. Rich diet with micronutrients and minerals is important for sufficient regeneration of the energetic sources. For regeneration of the muscle and nerve fibres is vitamin C and B ideal. Water intake varies from individuals depending on the age, gender, weight and physical activity. Generally we should drink at least 2 liters a day (coffee, alcohol and milk doesn’t count). This amount has to be of course increased during a physical activity up to 3-3.5 liters per day.
- Manual options of regeneration
Thanks to mechanical release of the soft structures in manual therapy and massage, we can help our metabolism with removing the lactic acid, tone down the tension of the overloaded muscles, removing the painful points on the muscle and improving the movement of the fascial layers.
- Physical options
Here you can use balneotherapy (bathing in water, spa) and physical therapy. By using many options of the heat therapies (sauna, paraffin therapy) we can affect the tension of the muscles and metabolic substances. Blood supply and increased regeneration is possible to achieve with different types electrotherapy. Among mechanically effective options is also kinesio taping, ultrasound, magnet therapy, shock wave therapy and many more…
Regeneration is not only aspect of physical character. And because we don’t have a body without a soul, also our muscles are affected by our mentality, and by the psychological processes. In practice it means that regeneration of the muscle cannot be sufficient without the psychological aspect of regeneration. It is scientifically proven that regeneration is slowing down if we are for example in stress. Therefore rest your muscles, and take time to calm down and fully relax.
Regeneration of tired and cyclically used areas of the body can be supported also by a physical activity, in which we actively use different parts of body or actively release those that we use. By every sport the compensation activity has to be carefully considered. As an example we can mention a kayaker who always burdens his upper body, and his legs are for the most part inactive. Ideal compensation can be athletics, more specifically: running. Another example is a professional chess player, who has to concentrate and master long-term sitting. In order for his performance to be on the top, he/she has to compensate the activity with swimming for example, where his/her psychic health and concentration will be stimulated in a completely different way and at the same time, he/she adds sufficient dynamics to the muscles, in order to keep a long static position.
Different options of regeneration do not really matter, every individual can choose whatever way suits him the best. Everything depends of realizing and being aware of your own body.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic