Check Out These Workout Recovery Methods
Working out is a lot. Sometimes it goes beyond the physical. A workout routine can be a little meditation, a way to destress from the day that was, or a way to prepare for the day ahead.
You’d think that the post-workout soreness would be the most of your worries after you leave the gym. However, your workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself.
Workout recovery is another time commitment, but no less important. As you get older, your pre- and post-workout routines play a huge role in your physical fitness. You can’t just jump out of bed and run a marathon (unless you can, which kudos to you).
Workout recovery is more than just going for a little walk or doing some light stretching. Some of the most effective recovery methods go off the beaten path.
Though you might turn your head on these recovery methods, your body will be thankful for these workout oddities.
Sleep is such an important part of our lives. Sleeping is your body’s way to rest and recover from the day you had and to prepare for what’s to come. Sleep is also indispensable in your body’s recovery from a workout.
Picture it: you just broke your personal best on the benchpress. Your chest, traps, triceps, and even your mind are all on fire. What better way to recover your body and mind than to take a little 30-minute nap?
Granted, taking a nap will be difficult or even impossible depending on your daily schedule. For our daytime working readers, taking a nap is usually a luxury reserved for the weekend.
Taking a nap too late in the day will likely harm your night-time routine when it’s truly time to clock out for the day. Check out our “How to Unlock the Secrets to Restful Sleep” blog to learn how you can optimize your sleep journey.
However, taking a nap after a workout or hard run can do wonders for your body, including:
A general rule of thumb is to not take a nap too late in the day. If you are unable to nap during the day, improve your nighttime sleep habits for proper workout recovery.
You’ve seen people on social media enter some large tank with their heads sticking out. It’s more than just some online trend (though it very much is one) and they are very much doing it for their health.
Cryotherapy is such a well-known recovery method that talking about it ceases to sound weird, but it’s still a head-scratching routine at its core.
After a hard and grueling workout, the athlete will enter the tank in staggering sub-zero temperatures (usually around -200 degrees Fahrenheit). A normal session lasts for about three to five minutes.
In that span of time, the ridiculously cold temperatures help speed up the recovery process by decreasing the body’s blood flow.
Cryotherapy also decreases muscle soreness and tiredness, making it a favorite for professional athletes going through the wear and tear of their sports season.
Though cryotherapy chambers cost more than a pretty penny, there are usually centers around the area to get a cryotherapy membership.
What’s more likely to send a chill down your spine: the therapy itself or the membership cost?
Where cryotherapy tanks submerge you in a frozen tundra, sensory deprivation tanks immerse you in a room of complete silence.
More specifically, sensory deprivation tanks are dark, soundproof tanks filled with a foot or Epsom salt water. All you have to do is float in the water.
The catch — as we mentioned earlier — is that the tank is completely soundproof, making the small waves the soundtrack of your mind.
Sensory deprivation tanks are proven to help with chronic pain, tension, headaches, and muscle tension.
But let’s address the elephant in the room — the soundproof one to be exact. Sensory deprivation tanks help athletes in ways beyond the physical.
You’re cut off from the outside world in just about every way. The sights, sounds, and even gravity of the outside world are completely shut off in favor of this unique brand of solitude.
Because sensory deprivation tanks are such an assault on the senses, athletes have reported having hallucinations while in the tank. One can see this is the athlete mentally resetting their mind after a workout.
Once the body adjusts — physically and mentally — athletes credit sensory deprivation tanks for the following:
Sensory deprivation tanks allow you to recover from a workout while giving your mind some overdue exercise. Though it might sound extreme, it might be worth a shot.
Leg day just took a whole new meaning (well, sort of). Compression boots are another out-there tool for workout recovery. This time you don’t have to surrender yourself to subzero temperatures or complete solitude.
As the image suggests, compression boots are oversized, full-legged boots an athlete wears after a workout.
Like the other methods of workout recovery mentioned, compression boots help speed up your recovery process after a long run or cycling session.
Any avid runner knows the familiar pain of muscle soreness. Though most of us prefer to (literally) run through the pain, compression boots help drastically reduce the post-run soreness.
Compression boots help reduce stiffness and increase flexibility. Though these lego-shaped machines might make you less mobile at the moment, they help increase your blood circulation.
The benefits of improved blood circulation include:
The main catch is that compression boots aren’t cheap. You could say they even cost an arm and a leg (emphasis on the leg). In any event, they are a more than worthy investment for serious runners and cyclers.
Everyone’s fitness journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. As you get older, workout recovery becomes an increasingly important aspect of your routine.
The athlete you are at the starting line is just as important as the one who crosses the finish. Warm up and do some light stretching before you venture out.
Once you racked those weights or wipe the sweat off your treadmill, get into that cryotherapy chamber. Float in that silent sensory deprivation chamber. Relax while wearing a pair of good old compression boots.
Workout recovery is as important as the workout itself. You’re meant to be a stronger athlete than before, not one who’s always in pain. Be the athlete you’re meant to be with these off-the-wall workout recovery methods.