Keys to Maximize Exercise Recovery

Keys to Maximize Exercise Recovery

By Dr. Michaela Falkner

Exercise in some form is always an essential part of any health regimen. But, how do you keep at it when you are sore from your last gym session? The very physiology of exercise involves inflammation, muscle breakdown, and lactic acid buildup. So, how do you get back at it sooner and safer than before?

Before starting any regimen, its best to talk with your doctor and discuss options for faster recovery and a healthier you. Here are some quick tips by alternative medicine physicians in Sonoma County help to alleviate muscle soreness, decrease inflammation, and keep you at your peak:

Magnesium Gel
  • Magnesium is great at increasing blood flow, decreasing cramps, and helping your mitochondria (powerhouses of your cells). We can only absorb so much magnesium through our gastrointestinal tract before it can cause diarrhea. A way to concentrate magnesium to a specific area is magnesium gel. This can decrease inflammation and alleviate cramps and soreness when applied topically. Magnesium can also be optimally absorbed through vitamin injections, such as our Active Body vitamin injection.
Contrast showers
  • Many athletes swear by ice baths after a tough workout. There are increasing studies showing that muscles recover faster and performance increases when contrast baths are used. Contrast showers are easy to do at home. You run a hot shower and stand in it for about 5 minutes. Turn the water to cold and stay under it for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times. A study of rugby players showed that athletes performed better and reported being less sore the day after contrast baths versus 5-minute ice baths.
Castor oil
  • Topical castor oil is amazingly anti-inflammatory and can be used for everything from detox, to hormone balancing, to aching joints and muscles. Just be careful, it stains!
Herbal formulations
  • There are many herbal formulations you can make yourself and find that offer great relief from muscle soreness. Some examples are passionflower, Siberian ginseng, Cramp bark, and cordyceps. Let us know if you would like us to custom formulate for you.
Proper Nutrition: Protein, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
  • Don’t forget to give your muscles the building blocks to repair and grow. A good protein powder and BCAAs are integral to fast recovery and muscle repair. Feeding your body is one of the most important things to do in helping to build muscle and alleviate soreness. Other amino acids that aid in increased blood flow, increased growth hormone secretion, and muscle building are: choline, glutamine, and arginine.
Mitochondrial Support
  • The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. These little organelles (organs within the cell) need the proper nutrition to function properly and make the proper “juice” to make your muscles go and recover. Carnitine and acetyl L-Carnitine have been shown to decrease inflammation and carnitine is one of the key components in energy synthesis of cells, including muscle cells. B-vitamins are also imperative to make those powerhouses run. Hill Park offers a few customized nutrient injections that target mitochondrial support like Active Body or Performance Enhancer.
Hormone Optimization
  • Make sure your testosterone and DHEA levels are optimal so you can grow your muscles and recover faster. Also making sure your thyroid and adrenals are in tip top shape will also help to recover and get the most from your workout. Also, try our Hormone Balance nutrient injection to boost levels faster!
SLEEP!
  • Sleeping at least 8 hours a night will not only help you wake rested and energetic for another gym session, but also helps to increase growth hormone. Growth hormone is secreted by your anterior pituitary gland mostly at night during deep, restful sleep and while doing strenuous exercise while fasting. Growth hormone production is interrupted by EMF (electromagnetic fields). So, make sure to keep that alarm clock and your phone, at least 6 feet away from your bed.
Massage and Homeopathy
  • All of these are great for maintaining health, balance, and alleviating soreness. See your practitioner for help with these different modalities.

All of our vitamin injections are available on a walk-in basis, no appointment is necessary.

As a doctor and a fitness enthusiast, I’d love to help you recover faster from workouts and keep your nervous and endocrine system healthy while you gain strength, endurance, and health!

I offer complimentary 15-minute introductory consults to learn who I am as a doctor, my approach, and if our Hill Park Integrative Medical Center is the right direction for you.

Call our team to schedule at 707-861-7300.

Understanding Perimenopause

Information about Perimenpause

Perimenopause is the window of time before menopause, which can be as long as a decade or more of changes prior to having a last period. The symptoms of perimenopause are often totally unrecognized by the general medical community, even though it is a time when women are seeking the most medical care. The hormonal fluctuations during this time influence change in our physical, mental, and emotional health that can significantly alter a woman’s sense of well-being as well as her relationships.

Many women are quite familiar with the symptoms of perimenopause: changes in her menstrual cycle: either heavier/lighter flow or more irregular than they have been, hot flashes or “warm rushes”, brain fog, difficulty losing weight, night sweats, joint pain, tendonitis, vaginal discomfort during intercourse, anxiety, depression, fatigue, palpitations, emotional lability, loss of libido, and a whole lot more.

One of the more challenging issues of perimenopause is that our brain can become like a “sieve” where words and tasks are easily lost, making multi-tasking a really difficult course of the day, at one of the busiest times of our lives.

Stress plays a significant role in the early onset and rapid progression of perimenopause. It is common that women will have hormone imbalance due to chronic stress while entering perimenopause, possibly worsening the symptoms and adding momentum to the process, which can have a negative impact on our fertility, and overall health.

Along with the overt symptoms, there are risks to the decline in hormones: bone thinning and osteoporosis, alzheimer’s disease, insulin resistance/diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. This is an important window of time to examine a personalized “risk reduction” approach to hormone fluctuations such as family history or existing conditions so that the transition toward menopause does not have a cost on the decades of health ahead.

While some women are just moderately inconvenienced by these symptoms, they can be quite severe for other women. Often times the medical messaging is to just “live with it”, but this is pretty dated, and frankly… not sufficient. There are many treatment options that integrative medicine and naturopathic doctors offer to effectively balance hormone fluctuations and minimize symptoms while not interrupting the natural process of perimenopause.

Women have been finding their own medicines to balance their health since the beginning of time, but sometimes we need help when our own approach is not quite enough, or uncertain. After a detailed medical interview, if necessary, one of our doctors can help to test your hormones levels, along with thyroid and adrenal hormone levels, or any additional tests that may be important for you. We can then formulate a treatment course that will be personalized to your symptoms, hormone balance, and overall wellness.

Perimenopause and hormone health can be a smooth, safe, and even enjoyable experience with the support of nutrition, herbal medicine, bioidentical hormone therapy, self-care, acupuncture, and an experienced doctor to help find the right course for you. Contact us at 707-861-7300 to reach out to the office staff.

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