Recover in the tub after intense workouts
One of the most overlooked areas in a wide range of fitness enthusiasts’ routines is post-workout recovery.
When I ask people what they do after a brutal workout, their answer is usually nothing. Even if their body can recover from a long training session, are they really getting the most out of their workout the next day? In my case, I need to properly recover so I can maximize my output for the next workout.
When my body feels beat up after an intense training session, I take an ice bath. I fill my bathtub with cold water and 30 pounds of ice and sit in it for about 10 to 15 minutes if I can. Although it’s uncomfortable, the benefit outweighs the discomfort.
An ice bath constricts blood vessels, reduces swelling and reduces the amount of tissue broken down after strenuous exercise. Afterward, your body begins to warm up, and your blood flow increases, which speeds up circulation and helps heal the broken-down tissue. It always helps me even though some people might say there are no conclusive findings for this. Why not try it and see how your body responds?
I also recover with Epsom salt baths, mostly after long runs of more than 10 miles. I soak in the tub with warm water and 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt for 20 minutes. The skin absorbs the magnesium and helps relieve muscle cramps, pain and inflammation. An added bonus is stress relief. Salt baths are great for my recoveries and help me to relax after long runs.
Another key way to recover after intense workouts is to stretch. You should make sure you prepare prior to working out by warming up the muscles being used, but also stretch afterwards to recover quicker and remove built up lactic acid.
When I was younger, I took my body for granted and worked out hard every day without worrying. Now I’m paying for that mistake.
Don’t sacrifice recovery if you want to perform at a high level and become a better athlete. Your body will thank you.