Anyone who exercises regularly will have occasional workouts that place a large amount of stress on the body. These can help a person to move through plateaus and build muscle mass. The hours or days after this kind of workout can be painful. Swollen joints and muscles will make moving normally difficult. Fortunately, there are five tips that will help to make recovery easier after a strenuous workout.
5. Compression Garments
One way to help recover is to wear compression garments on the arms or legs. Compression sleeves and stockings are woven garments that apply graduated and consistent pressure to the limbs. This moves the blood through the veins. It improves circulation so that more oxygen reaches the muscles and joints. The increase in circulation and oxygen helps to remove acids from the muscles that cause aches and pains.
4. Hot and Cold Packs
Specific areas of the body can be addressed through the application of hot and cold packs in sequence. This involves placing a cold pack on the area for a few minutes and then replacing it immediately with a hot pack. The process can be repeated several times to reduce swelling and aches. This works by forcing the blood vessels to constrict and then dilate quickly. It removes byproducts in the body that can cause soreness.
Stretching or performing very light exercise immediately after a strenuous workout is known as active recovery. Stretching gives the muscles a chance to slow down naturally instead of stopping immediately. The gradual reduction in activity allows the body to start delivering essential nutrients to the muscles and organs. This will reduce the severity and duration of any swelling or pains afterward.
2. Relax In a Hot Tub
Hot tubs are full of hot water and often have soothing jets that provide some pressure on the different parts of the body. The hot tubs available through retailers like bullfrogspas.com are an effective way to recover after a tough workout. The heat and motion of the water dilates blood vessels and relaxes the muscles. This gives the body the time it needs to start healing and rebuilding muscles. A hot tub also relieves swelling for an hour or more even after a person steps out of the water.
A final way to recover after a strenuous workout is to get a massage. Massages lower swelling and relieve pain through physical contact. It improves the circulation and triggers the release of beneficial chemicals. Individuals who cannot get a professional massage can use massage devices or manual rollers to get much of the same effect in targeted areas.