Pro athletes will try anything to recover from hard workouts and play the next day. Plus, they are trying to extend their careers. They know that the wear and tear these long sessions in the gym can take on their bodies can lead to injuries and a shorter career. Recovery to them is just as important as the workout or practice. It should be to all of us as well. In this video, I discuss some tips to help you recover from your workout.
Ice, ice bath or cold shower
I admit that ice might not be the most fun idea. Putting a cold pack or a bag of ice on your sore hamstring or lower back might not seem so bad, but the idea of jumping in a bath full of ice water might scare away the most avid fitness enthusiast. People who do it, though, really like it for recovery. A tough, but still doable, alternative might be to jump in the shower, keeping the water cold.
Even if it’s once a month, a massage can loosen up tight muscles from hard sessions in the gym. While some experts debate the long-term benefits of massage, it can certainly feel good while working out problem areas.
Stretching or using foam rollers after the workout
Stretching tight joints or muscle groups is thought to be key to preventing injuries over time. Right after a workout, when your muscles are still warm, can be a good time to stretch the areas you just worked. Foam rollers have become a popular alternative to static stretching.
Sleep might arguably be the best way to recover from your workout. The harder you work out, the more you need sleep to let your muscles heal the microscopic damage and grow. With our busy schedules, most of us fail to get the sleep our bodies need. Rough gym sessions only make that deficit worse.
Remember, this is not medical advice. As always, when trying any treatment like these, or a more invasive one like whole body cryotherapy, you should talk to your doctor first to make sure it is appropriate for you.