As summer quickly approaches, the gym also heats up. When you kick your workouts into high gear, it’s important to continue to prioritize preparation and recovery as injury prevention methods.

To bring you top recovery advice, we chatted with Carron Manning, co-founder and clinical director of EXi. Manning has a wealth of experience in the NHS and private practice over a 20-year career span. Additionally, she supported the Team GB squad in preparation for the Olympics as a senior physiotherapist at the English Institute of Sport.

The EXi app was designed to make working out motivating and accessible for those with long-term health conditions. EXi is an NHS-approved and award-winning app available through a Gympass membership. 

What did your experience at the Olympics as a physiotherapist teach you about the importance of recovery?

Manning: “Recovery is essential for elite athletes. When you are working at such a high level at a major championship day after day, recovery is the most effective way to maintain your performance. The athletes who had the best recovery routines (which included active recovery, staying hydrated, the right nutritional choices, and cold therapy) were ready to go when they had to be and required the least amount of hands-on physio.

For everyone else, so long as you warm up properly and actively cool down, and you gradually build up your exercise intensity, you should notice that you actually feel great after exercise and recovery shouldn’t be such an important part of your routine. A gentle stroll is often all that is required on a rest day to remove any build-up of lactates, improve your circulation and gently work your muscles.”

What are a few ways to recover from exercise, physically and mentally?

Manning: “A few simple ways to recover from exercise are to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy snack after your workout, and doing light exercise on rest days. EXi has an audio-guided walk section in the app, allowing people to take a more mindful approach to being active – walking can be a form of recovery when done at a brisk pace.”

What is the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after a workout?

Manning: “Warming up charges your cardiovascular system by raising body temperature and increasing blood flow. Cooling down allows a gradual recovery of your heart rate and blood pressure. On EXi you can register your heart rate after each workout, this helps to measure that you are working at the right intensity to see progress for your goals.”

Do you believe exercise is medicine?

Manning: “EXi was built with the knowledge that exercise is a great preventative measure for long-term health conditions and prescribing exercise can be as effective as prescription drugs in some instances.”

Can you share 3 tips for someone struggling to find a type of exercise that works for their body/needs/lifestyle?

Manning:

  1. “Sometimes you have to try many methods before finding the one that fits.”
  2. “A ten to twenty-minute brisk walk around the block is better than no walk at all. Movement is key.”
  3. “So long as you’re meeting your prescribed minutes of specified intensity (low/moderate/high), the workout will make a difference regardless of what it is. EXi gives weekly exercise prescriptions, and then you can choose the workout that is best for you, this includes walking because it is something that most people can fit into their lives.”

Find a workout routine that works with your lifestyle using apps like EXi available to download through Gympass. Explore our plans options and get started on your wellbeing journey today. 

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