Disc golf is some great exercise! Whether you’re playing for fun or playing to lose weight, the sport we all love is very strenuous on our bodies. From using our shoulders to throw to stretching out for a throw to walking up to a mile or more per round, the normal round of disc golf, or disc golf workout, can really take a toll on you physically and mentally.
So today, we’ll be looking at what you can do to recover after an intense round out on the disc golf course. And I’ll show you a step by step plan to help you fight soreness, reduce mental and physical fatigue, reduce inflammation, and help you repair and recover fully so that you can get back out on the course as soon as possible.
My 11 step disc golf recovery and repair plan
The 11 step body recovery plan that I’ve come up with is a plan that I personally use to try and help myself recover from soreness, pain and injury. This plan includes everything from taking daily supplements to using repair cream and making sure to take the steps necessary to help you body heal and repair itself after tough rounds of disc golf. This 11 step plan is a way to stay healthy for disc golf and all the other exercise you do. Here are all of the steps:
Step 1 – Supplements
Step 2 – Ice
Step 3 – Heat
Step4 – Penetrex
Step 5 – Compression
Step 6 – Water
Step 7 – Nutrition
Step 8 – Flexibility
Step 9 – Strength and fitness
Step 10 – Sleep
Step 11 – Focus on your body
So what is recovery after disc golf?
Recovery after a disc golf workout, or any exercise for that matter, refers to the act of allowing your body to rest, recover, and repair from any muscle damage done during physical activity. Pretty much, if you work out, your body suffers damage in the form of small microtears of the muscles. In order to stay healthy and avoid injury, your body needs to repair that damage.
Recovery is an essential part of maintaining a physically fit body and is important for you if you want to continue practicing and playing disc golf as much as possible. Recovery is also a crucial part of your workout plan. It’s simply letting your body rest and repair itself so that you can get back out on the course.
Why is recovery after your rounds important?
Making sure to let your body rest and repair after rounds is important for a couple of reasons:
1. Avoiding injuries: the main goal of letting your body recover is to avoid unnecessary injuries that will prevent you from playing. When you play disc golf, even if you don’t physically exert yourself that much, your body is still getting a workout from walking the course and throwing the disc. Whether you realize it or not, you’re exercising. And because of that, you need to take care of your body. You can do this by actively completing all of the steps listed below.
If you don’t let your body recover from tough rounds and exercise, you can easily become inured. And if you’re injured, you should most definitely rest and recover. I ended up injuring my rotator cuff awhile back and I did not follow my own plan. I didn’t let the injury recover and instead kept playing through the pain. This almost led me to needing surgery on my rotator cuff. Instead, I took a multi-month break and it mostly healed itself.
2. If you play disc golf a lot: if you play a lot, your muscles will continually need rest. Proper recovery time and steps to help your body heal will help you continue to play as much as you’d like to.
3. If you play disc golf and workout a lot: if you play a lot and workout a lot like I do, your body will need a lot of help with repair and recovery. I strongly urge you to take this post seriously so that you can maintain your body and continue to perform at the top of your game.
4. Strength: recovery is not just good for preventing injuries, but for helping your muscles grow as well. If you want to build strength, use recovery as a time to help your body get stronger so that you can dominate on the course!
The 11 step plan to recovery and repair after a disc golf workout
Step 1 – Supplements
The first step in this recovery plan is to make sure you are taking some supplements that aid in health and recovery. Using these both before and after your rounds, as well as after workouts, can help your body heal faster and more efficiently. That will help you get back to the course faster for another round.
Now you will need a couple different supplements to aid you in the recovery process:
• Multivitamins: this is basically a lot of the essential daily vitamin needs packed into one pill. The cost of a month’s supply is about $12 bucks or less and after about a week, you should notice some increased energy levels. This supplement helps your body maintain the necessary vitamins and minerals to be able to recover effectively after physical exercise. Check out the Mens One-A-Day multi here on Amazon. That’s usually what I get. You can also check out some other benefits here on DrAxe.com.
• Protein: this supplement is something that I take regularly and is one of the best ways to help your body recover after strenuous workouts or disc golf rounds. Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. Not only are they a good fuel source, but serve to help repair muscle tissue as well. That muscle repair is one of the main pieces to the recovery puzzle. In order to recover better, you need to add protein into your recovery plan.
My favorite protein is the Optimum Nutrition protein in the cookies and cream flavor. That’s about $30 bucks for 2 pounds. Lately, though, I’ve been getting the Musclepharm Combat protein power in the same flavor. That’s a little cheaper at $32 bucks for 4 pounds. You can grab both of them above from Amazon.
• Any other popular supplements like creatine or BCAAs: there are also some great recovery supplements such as creatine or BCAAs. You can learn what both of these are from the links in the previous sentence. Both of these supplements work a little different in the recovery process than vitamins and protein.
While they don’t necessarily help your body recover from exercise, they do prevent muscle damage from exercise. This makes it easier and quicker for your body to recover from tough rounds on the course. You can grab creatine here (link to Amazon) and you can get some BCAAs here from Amazon as well.
If you look into these supplements, you’ll quickly see that they’re not always cheap. I get multivitamins, creatine, and protein for about $50 bucks a month. So not outrageous, but not cheap either. If you don’t want to drop the cash on a bunch of supplements, I recommend at least buying a good multivitamin.
Step 2 – Heat
Most people think that ice is the first thing you should go to after a disc golf round, workout session, or any other form of exercise. Ice is beneficial, but it’s not the first step after exercise. Heat, on the other hand, is what you should use.
Heat helps to increase blood flow to the damaged areas of your body. In the couple of hours after damage from exercise, you want as much blood flow to those damaged areas as possible. Heat applied first after a round of disc golf can help get blood to the muscles and allow them to start repairing themselves.
One of the best ways to get heat onto the muscles is by taking a hot shower. You may have to shower anyway if you’ve been sweating so just take a few extra minutes and let the water hit those muscles. You can also do a little bit of static stretching while you’re in there.
The other way to get heat onto your muscles is by applying a heat pack. I love heat packs. I’ve got a few ice packs that can be switched over to heat packs as soon as they de-thaw (and vice versa). But if you have heat packs with a wrap that can go around a particular body part, that would be ideal. Grab some gel-like heat pack inserts or an all-in-one heat wrap here on Amazon.
Caution: Skip the heat packs with corn meal or sand as they can attract unwanted bugs into your home.
Step 3 – Ice
The third step in this plan starts after your round of heat. Use ice for 10 minutes after your 10 minutes of heat. Then alternate for a couple of rounds. You can do something like this:
Heat – 10 minutes (shower/heat pack)
Ice – 10 minutes (ice pack/ice bath)
Heat – 10 minutes (heat pack)
Ice – 10 minutes (ice pack)
Applying ice to your sore or overworked body is extremely beneficial to you, because after working out, your body has a lot of inflammation in it. Inflammation is the body’s way of healing and protecting itself from infection. But too much inflammation is a bad thing. Putting ice on the sore areas can help to reduce some of that inflammation and allow the good inflammation to help repair and restore your muscles. Just like with the heat wrap we have above in the last section, you can try something like this ice wrap to help you heal.
But you need to get some blood to those muscles first before you put ice on them. This article, from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, recommends that you apply heat first after any workout, then ice after that.
Step 4 – Penetrex
The next step in our plan is the use of a really great inflammation cream called Penetrex. Now I’ll go ahead and tell you that this stuff is a little expensive. But it works. Period. A small tub of this stuff costs around $19 bucks here on Amazon, but it is totally worth it. I love this stuff, because as soon as you start applying it to your body, it feels cool and immediately starts taking some of the pain away. It’s not a miracle cream, but it’s pretty close. Use this liberally on body parts that are sore or in pain.
Step 5 – Compression
The next step is putting on your compression gear. Compression gear is a really great way to help yourself recover after a tough disc golf workout. Compression gear is great because it helps to increase blood flow to the areas that are compressed. This increased blood flow can help the body filter out harmful byproducts of exercise, allowing the body to continue healing as efficiently as possible.
With compression, you can either choose to get a full piece of clothing or a smaller compression sleeve. If you watch sports, you will notice athletes wearing colorful sleeves. Those are compression sleeves. They make them for legs, knees, arms, and other areas. Compression clothing comes in whatever article of clothing that you want, all the way down to compression socks.
Step 6 – Water
After you’ve completed steps 1 through 5, we’ll move on to step 6 – hydrating the body with water. Now hopefully you already drink a decent amount of water in both your daily life and on the course. You need water all throughout the day and to help you stay hydrated through tough rounds. But this step will focus directly on hydration after your exercise/disc golf workout.
After your workout, your muscles will be damaged and in need of repair. We’ve already talked a bit about how drinking a protein supplement can aid in muscle repair. The crazy thing is, water can help your muscles grow, too! You see, when your body starts repairing your muscles, your body starts a process called protein synthesis. This process helps repair and build muscle. And the more water you drink, the more effective this process is at repair and recovery.
Basically, the more water you drink, the faster you can get back out on the course for another disc golf workout. So make sure you drink at least a half gallon to a gallon of water per day when working out – or 4 to 8 regular water bottles. The closer you can get to that gallon number, the better off you will be in helping your body recovery from exercise.
Along with your gallon of water, you can also hydrate yourself in other ways. I will usually throw a bottle of Lipton mixed berry diet green tea into my recovery process as it’s got some vitamins in it that can help you. It’s also got a small amount of caffeine to perk you up a little bit. Also, check out healthline.com’s resource here with a few other hydration options.
Step 7 – Nutrition
Step 7 involves making yourself a very high-quality meal then continuing to practice healthy eating habits.
Good nutrition is very important if you want to be an elite athlete. If you read about the diets of athletes in the best shape of their lives, you won’t read a lot about cupcakes, donuts, fast food, sodas, and other simple carbs or sweets. And while those are fine in moderation, if you want to play at a high-caliber level (and allow your body to recover properly), you need to eat healthy.
Try making a meal like:
1. Grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables
2. Pasta with spaghetti sauce covered in shredded and parmesan cheese
3. Steak with corn on the cob and green beans
All of those require just a little bit of time, aren’t very expensive, and are great for your health. Those are the meals that will help your body repair and recover as effectively as possible. I got this book, “Healthy Meal Prep,” a little while back and it’s a really great way to prep delicious, healthy meals for yourself.
Step 8 – Flexibility
Step 8 requires you to stretch out a little bit.
After all of the previous steps, and a little digestion from that meal, take some time to stretch out your body. By stretching after exercise, you’re helping your body stretch out all of your contracted muscles from the day’s workout. This also helps your body wind down and it can prevent a little bit of muscle soreness the next day. Stretching after your workout isn’t the thing that’s going to completely repair your muscles and it isn’t the end all be all in this recovery plan. But it’s a small way to continue to helping yourself repair damaged muscles. So don’t skip stretching after your workouts.
We’ve got a great post to help you stretch out all of the muscles in disc golf called, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game.”
Step 9 – Get plenty of rest
Once you’ve completed steps 1 through 9 to the best of your abilities, you should be nearing the end of your day. Now this is where sleep comes into play.
Regarding your sleep, you need to make sure that you get at the least 5 hours of sleep per night or more. If you can get between 5 and 7 hours per night, you will be golden. And if you can’t get that, just do your best to get as much sleep as you can. This post on the Bulletproof blog is pretty interesting and provides a citation to a huge study on how much sleep you should get per night.
Even though this step is near the end of the post, it’s not any less important. In fact, your ability to sleep may be one of the most important factors for recovery and muscle building, according to this article on Bodybuilding.com.
Regardless, sleep helps you heal and, because you sleep for about 25% of your day, sleep is absolutely crucial for recovery. So you also need to sleep as well as you possibly can. I’ve tried a couple different sleep supplements and here are two that I really like:
So just make sure that you sleep well because lack of sleep can lead to lack of mental focus and injuries (as the body doesn’t heal as well). If you do get that good night’s sleep, there are many great benefits other than just recovery. You can read more about that here on verywellhealth.com.
Step 10 – Strength and fitness
Step 10 requires you to continue working out. Even though disc golf is a good workout in and of itself, you need to have a good workout regimen when you’re off the course. The next few days after you play should be filled with workouts of other muscle groups. Here’s a simple weekly workout plan for you.
Simple workout plan:
Monday – chest
Tuesday – back/small core ab workout
Thursday – shoulders
Friday – arms
Saturday – disc golf/cardio
Sunday – core ab workout
Now I do stray from this but this is my weekly schedule that I try to keep up with. It seems really intensive but I like working out and I feel good from it. You can also just do cardio or workouts that benefit your disc golf game. If that’s the case, check out our post, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit.”
Step 11 – Focus on your body
In the last step of this plan, I want you to look back over everything that you’ve done and ask yourself two things:
1. Have I done everything from this list and a recovery standpoint to take care of my body?
2. Is there anything on my body that is still hurting or very sore after a day or two of recovery?
Once you ask yourself those two questions, you’ll now have a good idea of what I want from you out of this last step – to make sure you focus on your body. After you understand that, think about something.
You have to give yourself enough time to recover after disc golf or any other exercise
It sounds like, up to this point, that you’ve done a lot of great things to help yourself recover more effectively. But nothing helps like giving yourself an appropriate amount of time to recover fully. A normal person can recover from vigorous physical exercise in about 2-3 days. All of the steps before this will help you recover better, but you need to give yourself atleast 2 or 3 days before you play again. You can exercise everyday, but it’s best to rest a muscle that you used today for at least those 2 or 3 days. For example, it’s best to rest your legs on Sunday if you used them heavily in a round of disc golf on Saturday.
Why should I rest? Well, because it’s highly likely that your legs won’t start recovering until the next day or two after. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This article on WebMD talks about it a little bit more. They do say that you should keep working out but definitely give your body some rest so that it can recover.
Over the next couple of days, do the steps: take supplements, use ice, use heat, apply Penetrex, use compression gear, drink lots of water, eat healthy, stretch, exercise other body parts to get them stronger, and get as much sleep as you can. All of that will guarantee great recovery results.
But make sure you understand the difference between injury and soreness. If the pain is just soreness, even though it’s uncomfortable, you will recover after a couple of days.
If the pain is injury-oriented and limits you from physically doing normal things throughout your day, stop exercising and playing for at least a week. After 7 days, assess the injury and ease your way back into exercise if the pain has subsided. Still hurt? Just assess the pain weekly and make sure to take it easy while you’re hurt.
And If you take care of your body this well all the time, you will be in phenominal shape and will be able to play and exercise as much as you’d like!
You can also check out some more of our awesome related content.
You can also grab a copy of our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks to help you immediately start improving on the course!