One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is about recovery.  “After a workout, what should I do?  Should I heat or ice?”  Most people heat.  Get in the hot tub or take a hot shower or use a heating pad.  Which, as it turns out, is the wrong thing to do.  Especially immediately following a workout.  The better thing to do is use cold-therapy.  Take a cold shower (as much as you can stand) or an ice-bath if you’re REALLY brave.  The thing is, heat promotes blood flow.  I get that.  But therefore, it also promotes the flow of inflammatory cells and fluids into your “damaged” tissues.  Thusly slowing the healing process that your body must go through.  As we’ve known for years with injuries, ice helps reduce inflammation and take away swelling.  Therefore, the body is able to get out of its “injury” phase and into it’s recovery phase more quickly.  Exercise recovery is just like injury recovery.  Just instead of talking about the process over days, weeks and months, the body is working in hours and days.  Studies bear out that cold therapy following workouts can speed up the recovery process and even lessen the soreness that athletes may feel.  So, instead of the hot tub, hop in a cold shower after your workout.  Soap in warm, rinse in cold.  Something like that.  Get your body back up and running faster, and feel invigorated and better.

 

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