Everyone talks a big game about gains and going ham in the gym, but very rarely do people mention your body needs to recover from all that stress. Muscles are rebuilt at rest. Injuries must heal. Human beings cannot tear themselves apart, day after day in the gym and expect results. We need downtime and attention paid to our minor aches before they become major obstacles.
Down time can mean an hour hike at a relaxed pace, or a trip to get a massage. It can be a low intensity activity or a day spent in bed or on the couch watching TV. Listen to your body above all else - it will tell you.
Here are Five of my Go-To Items on Recovery Day
One of the best ways to mellow my beat-ass muscles is a nice, long hot soak with Epsom salts.
The magnesium gets absorbed into your skin and acts as a mild muscle relaxant, while the heat loosens everything up a bit.
These baths are great after long endurance exercises or hard weekends, after a fight, tournament, or just a shit ton of yard work.
To get some CLICK HERE.
THE BED BUDDY
Another heat source I love is The Bed Buddy. It's basically a long sack of rice you heat in the microwave for two minutes and drape it on your achin' bacon, wherever that might be.
I love it because I can wrap it around my traps or let it hang down my back. It's super portable and ready to go in just 2 minutes. Ladies, you can even use it for cramps.
Check it out HERE.
Ice is generally for injuries. I like to heat up tight muscles, but ice down tendon issues and sprains or swollen lumps on my face (it happens in combat sports) I also put it on the back of my neck if I'm queasy from a migraine.
This kind of ice pack is great because it is versatile. People who have knee surgeries get fancy leg wraps, but you can't use that on your shoulder or neck. The old-fashioned ice sack is a great workhorse.
Chill with it HERE.
I can't speak for all CBD balms, but I can speak for CannaBody. I had an injured shoulder and I needed more than one day of pain relief.
I wasn't sure what to expect, and I only used it intermittently. My shoulder pain diminished over the next week of using it. So, I stopped. But the pain came back a few days later and then peaked after a night of playing bear crawl tag at the 'ol dojo.
I busted out the CannaBody, again (I used Ginger & Violet 150mg) and applied it on schedule, 2x a day. Within a few days, the pain was gone and it has been gone since. I'm a believer. I've also used it on my sore ankles after long sessions jumping rope with similar results.
Find it HERE.
QUASI-SADISTIC MASSAGE TOOLS
Some knots do not respond to temperature changes or topical medicines. You have to actually work them out manually.
Foam rollers are great for opening the hips, quads, and lower back. They loosen the big knots and aid in mobility.
Massage balls are really good for the upper back, breaking up tension in the traps and rhomboid muscles. Pin them between your back and a wall and roll them around - the more pain, the better. They also relieve migraine tension for me.
Find the foam roller HERE.
Check out them balls HERE.
Try to remember that all of your hard work doesn't end at the gym. You also must take care of your body so you can use it longer. Treat yo'self. If you don't truly recover, the gains train is headed straight for that painted on tunnel in the middle of the brick wall. Trust me, you do not want to hit it.