I used to beat my body up and expect it to just keep working, very naive I know! I still beat it up now, but I’ve got a recovery regime in place, which means as much beating up as it takes, it’s still able to deliver a good beating too!
It all started when I first went to see Sylvia Sobota at Nurture Your Body. She is an amazing wholistic therapist who specialises in looking at physical, mental and nutritional elements to deliver a complete approach and solution. Alongside my weekly treatments, she also recommended a range of products to help me look after my body. These included having regular Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) baths and using BetterYou transdermal magnesium spray on my muscles to help them recover. As I was also often covered in bruises, she taught me how to use Rocktape to help reduce the swelling and bruising (and to maybe stop me from hogging her stock of Rocktape on a regular basis!)
Let me start by explaining the importance of magnesium. This mineral is crucial for over 300 reactions in the body, including calcium absorption and normalised muscle function. It relieves muscle tension and cramping, improves bone and skin health, aids muscle recovery and promotes restful sleep. Without magnesium it is impossible for the body to produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), the universal currency of energy within the body. As magnesium provides stability in ATP by creating a complex within the molecule by binding to the phosphate groups. So it’s rather important!
Each morning I usually spray my neck and shoulders with BetterYou magnesium oil original spray, which is their purest oil and endorsed by the Informed Sports Initiative, meaning it’s been tested for banned substances by the world class sports anti-doping lab, LGC.
Each night I then spray my legs with BetterYou magnesium oil goodnight spray, to ensure both half of my body gets looked after and the unique blend of chamomile, clary sage and bergamot oils helps me get to sleep too.
In my kit bag I also have BetterYou magnesium oil sport spray and use it on any muscle that is feeling a bit sore before or after a workout. This has the added essential oils of camphor, black pepper and lemon oils to further aid training and speed of recovery.
Lucky duck gets to join too!
I also love to add a Lush bath bomb in, as they smell so delicious. My favourite so far is Avobath, closely followed by Brightside and the Big Blue one. Most recently I’ve brought a Dragon’s Egg one along with a Stepping Stone bar to try and help my feet recover from the hours and hours of barefoot training!
Overall, I find the magnesium sprays and salt baths essential to keep up with my full on training programme. The most amazing feeling is getting out of bed the morning after my salt bath and feeling like I’ve got a new body again!
So that’s the muscles sorted, but if only martial arts training involved a few sore muscles! I’ll admit I’m a bit of a peach and bruise rather easily, but a part of any contact sport is bruises. This is where Rocktape comes to the rescue. At first I just loved being covered in bright (normally pink) tape. After the first time I used it and took the tape off about a week later, it was amazing to see all the bruising had disappeared where the tape had been. By causing decompression the tape promotes a more normal fluid dynamic in the taped area. Resulting in swelling being able to better flow out of the area, taking with it toxins which result from inflammation and injury. Also blood has less resistance to enter the area, enabling it to bring in more oxygen and nutrients vital to further aid healing and recovery. This fluid effect results in the dramatic improvement in swollen and bruised tissue, which for me is essential! I can quite often be covered in a lot of Rocktape, which you might think would mean I can then barely move, let alone kick someone in the head! However, it has one of highest elasticity percentage of most tapes at 180%. Meaning it can help heal me, whilst also giving me full range of motion, so no-one misses out on getting a kick in the head from me!
Along with my optimal nutrition to help my body get all the essential nutrients to recover, I also have a bottle of CherryActive in the fridge and add it to my smoothies or just a glass of water to give me an extra antioxidant hit. This helps reduce damage to my body from oxidative stress, reducing muscle soreness and helping my recovery. I also often have a glass when I get in after evening training sessions as the montmorency cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which has been well documented to help improve sleep quality. It also just tastes delicious!
That may seem like a lot of stuff, but the difference it makes is 100% worth it, as it’s true that:
So having today done a 3 hour sparring seminar and having a 3 hour England squad session tomorrow I’m off to run myself bath and fill it with Epsom salts, BetterYou magnesium flakes, a Lush bath bomb and I’ll have a big glass of CherryActive too!