After a major sporting event such as an Ironman triathlon, Spartan Beast, or a Cross Fit Competition, our bodies want REST and RECOVERY. Not everyone has access to what an NFL football player might have available to them, but there are many less expensive resources to help you relax, rid your body of lactic acid build up, and get the most out of your recovery. I am sharing all the tools I know of to help you fully recover, so please comment if you have any other suggestions!
1. Compression boots. These are VERY nice for massaging tired legs. My Chiropractor tells me that runners can recover up to 45% faster using compression bibs. There are many versions of these boots, some more expensive than others. They offer a relatively inexpensive way to compress all the muscles in your lower body flushing out lactic acid. They make these for shoulders as well.
2. Float. That's right! This is the new trend in recovery. At the Dinosaur Egg here in College Station, you can go and float in a pod of warm water and epsom salts. This is just about the most relaxing thing I have ever done. No phones, no distractions, just you listening to calming music soaking your body in magnesium released from the epsom salts. For more on the benefits of epsom salts, click here: https://dinosaureggfloat.floathelm.com3.
3. Deep tissue massage. I find this to be very beneficial, especially for extra sore muscles. Massage is a great way to break up tightness, flush lactic acid, and help your entire body relax. Treat yourself! Some massage providers will give you discounted rates if you commit to coming at least once a month.
4. Foam Roll. This is one of my favorite go to recovery tools because it is inexpensive and you can do it just about anywhere. I paid about $30 for my 4 foot hard foam roller at Academy Sports and it has been one of the best investments I made. YouTube is loaded with many different ways you can foam roll just about any body part.
5. CBD oil. This is often used to treat pain and inflammation. CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting neurotransmitter receptor activity, reducing inflammation and pain. I don't know much about this stuff, but I do know a few friends who swear by it for keeping pain at bay. There is also a cream to apply topically, however this stuff is not cheap at $130 a bottle.
6. Chiropractor. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love knowing that there is a knowledgeable practitioner skilled at soft tissue and musculoskeletal intervention for athletes. A skilled chiropractor knows exactly where your pain is and has a pretty good idea as to what is causing it. It is best to find someone who is skilled in working with athletes. My chiropractor does a hands on technique called myofascial release which involves putting pressure into certain tissues to eliminate pain and restore motion. Although this sometimes "hurts so good" I feel that it is pretty effective for relieving pain.
7. PiYo Workout (Flow section) I swear by this program. Whenever I need a good stretch with balance, core work, and flexibility this is my go to program. If I am pressed for time, I do the flow and core sections of the program. Want to get it streamed to your phone or tablet? Click HERE!
8. Ice bath. Well, sometimes this is just the perfect answer to super tight hamstrings, glutes, calves, hip flexors, and whatever else hurts. Ice will instantly reduce inflammation by restricting your blood vessels. This helps to drain lactic acid out of your muscles. But you may want to have a hot shower nearby!
9. Eat foods that fight inflammation. I did a blog post on this a few months ago. When I searched "foods that fight inflammation" the one that came up the most was tart cherries. Some of my friends argued with me about the tomatoes though saying they shouldn't be on this list.