Circulation plays a vital part in enabling your muscles to perform to the best of their ability. Whilst exercise helps, high intensity training can also make the legs swell and circulation can become restricted. Circulation can play a big part in eliminating muscle cramps, sore muscles and recovery. Since things like keeping moving and stretching (take a read of our stretching blog) are said to help improve circulation, we thought we would throw in a few that you may not have associated with until now.
Here are 5 ways for cyclists to improve circulation:
A really effective way to improve circulation is compression, as it works to fight gravity and assist in sending the blood back up to the heart. So as this helps to speed up blood circulation it therefore encourages muscle recovery and reduces a build-up of lactic acid. Not only this it works in minimizing muscle fatigue, faster recovery it also helps in preventing injuries such as pulled muscles. Compression clothing such as SKINS or KYMIRA can be worn in bed, in the day under clothes and during exercise. So this can be used whenever it suits you.
This super vegetable high in nitrate is most commonly known for helping cyclists’ performance by increasing oxygen in the blood and improving muscle performance. So for this reason it also helps to improve circulation around your body. Although an acquired taste, it can help to prolong muscle endurance and elevate cramp so it’s worth a few seconds of unpleasantness. You can have beetroot juice, or as a supplement to your main meal, or even in cake – read and try out some of our Beetroot Cake Recipes!
Staying hydrated may be a basic thing to do, but is often forgotten. The more dehydrated you are the thicker your blood gets, meaning your body is having to work much harder to circulate blood and oxygen around the body. By ensuring you are well hydrated is a good base to work with. So incorporate this into your daily routine to get a head start. We have a range of energy and recovery drinks that you can browse through at your leisure – hydration tablets such as High5 Sports Zero being amongst the most effective for a spark of energy during a ride. And while you’re at it, grab yourself a water bottle or two!
Elevate your Legs
Often overlooked, but one of the main advantages professional athletes have over amateurs is the quantity and quality of their recovery time. Both can tailor a training session which really pushes them to the max, developing their strength, stamina or skill. But whilst one returns from a hard ride to the daily jobs and chores, the other is able to prioritise their rest and recovery which then allows them to make the most of the following days training. A simple “exercise” to aid recovery in your legs doesn’t actually require any exercise at all. Spending 20 minutes after a ride with your legs elevated helps improve circulation in your leg muscles, preventing blood pooling and allowing the muscles to heal from the day’s effort.
If you didn’t know, Omega 3 Fish oils can help to increase blood flow around the muscles in the body during exercise. It also helps with inflammation and your general blood vessel health. This is a simple and easy way to help seek out a little bit of extra performance. MyVitamins have a brilliant range of Omega 3 products that have demonstrated benefits in preserving a healthy heart and general well-being.
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