The workout isn’t really over until you’ve completed your post workout routine. A post workout routine is as important as the workout. Using a combination of cold therapy, massage and hydration, could make the difference to be a better athlete or just improve your health. Although all three of these can be a great combination, even adding just one of these post workout ideas can help reduce muscle soreness, improve flexibility, decrease stress, improve performance and make you feel better.
What is cryotherapy? Cryotherapy is the use of ice or extreme cold applied to the muscles and around the joints to aid in healing. Each time you challenge your muscles with strength training or cardio, micro tears occur. This is how the muscles get stronger. You break them down by fatiguing them. The healing cells of the body rush in causing temporary inflammation. By using cryotherapy and cold compress directly to them after a workout can increase your muscle recovery and decrease delayed onset muscle soreness. This means less pain the next day.
A cold plunge pool acts in the same way as cryotherapy. However, new tools like the Cryotherapy Massage Ball can be placed in your gym bag and used right after your workout. Place the Cryotherapy Massage Ball in the freezer overnight and then put directly into your gym bag. It stays cold for up to 6 hours after leaving the freezer. Keep in mind that the Cryotherapy Massage Ball works better than traditional ice that can be too cold and freeze the skin. The Cryotherapy Massage Ball works best when applied in a circular motion. It helps cool the muscles without freezing the skin and moves smoothly so it feels relaxing too. This tool can also aid in myofascial release which helps improve movement and flexibility.
Deep Muscle Massage
After the workout, a massage can feel great and help with recovery. It may seem that only professional athletes can afford to have an on-hand therapist on a daily or weekly basis. This is where a Deep Tissue Massage Ball can come in handy to aid in muscle massage. Massage balls can reduce tension, tightness, and soreness in your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. All these parts of the body need to be working in alignment for optimal athletic performance. Massage balls can increase your blood circulation when used after the workout. Improving circulation is key for healing and nourishing the entire body.
Deep Tissue Massage Balls are firm, and the circular shape helps it roll over the muscles pressing into the tissue. This increases circulation and helps with myofascial release. Keeping one in your gym bag can help make this a regular habit. For many people, the main spots to roll are the upper back between the shoulder blades and the hips to ease tension in the lower back. The key is to roll slowly across the muscle multiple times and then perform a complimentary stretch of the muscle. Recovery routines can make the difference between chronic muscle soreness and limited flexibility to a pain-free ease of movement.
Hydrate for Recovery
Knowing that the body is made of primarily water, it should be no surprise that water intake should be part of your post workout routine. Keeping a water bottle within reach is a simple reminder to drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, muscles become more inflamed, and it becomes harder for your body to regulate temperatures. Further, the muscles will take longer to recover. In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quarter of its water. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. “Just losing 2% of your body weight in fluid can decrease performance by up to 25%” according to Amanda Carlson, an NFL Training coach.
The extra 10-15 minutes these routines take, will help you feel better, improve your performance and increase happiness!