We all have fitness goals, and we all know that you have to work hard to reach them. However, your journey to get strong or lose weight doesn’t end when class does. Recovery is a key part of making progress — after all, getting benched by an injury is certainly not going to help you get better. The low-impact core workouts we offer here at Alter’d Core can help you avoid injury, but so can the right recovery methods, and you may even be able to avoid delayed-onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS. So in today’s blog, we’re going to help you determine the right recovery methods for you with the classic debate: hot or cold therapy?
No matter what your fitness goals may be, Alter’d Core can help you get there. Our fitness classes are based on the Lagree method and utilize the Megaformer machine to offer high-intensity training that is gentle on your joints. We keep our class sizes small so our instructors can offer personalized attention, and we focus on the Lagree fitness method to offer you real results. Continue reading to plan for a pain-free recovery and sign up today for your first Alter’d Core class!
What It Does
The benefits of cold therapy lie in the way cold temperatures affect your blood vessels. In response to ice or a cold pack, your blood vessels contract, which decreases blood flow. That may sound like a bad thing, but decreased blood flow can reduce inflammation and swelling, and therefore reduce the risk of tissue damage. Cold therapy also comes with the added advantage of pain relief, numbing the area and minimizing the pain signals going to your brain.
When to Use It
Cold therapy is the ideal recovery option for up to 48 hours after an injury or a particularly grueling gym workout. It should be your treatment of choice for swollen or inflamed muscles or joints, and it can also be effective for strains.
When to Avoid It
If you just went for a winter run, then adding more ice to the situation is not going to help. Don’t use cold therapy if your body temperature is already low, or if you have any open wounds or blisters that may be affected. It should also be avoided if there is a risk of cramping, and it’s not the ideal treatment for back pain, which may be aggravated by the low temperatures. You should also be very careful if you have a disorder affecting blood flow or a condition that affects your sensitivity to extreme temperatures or pain, as it may be hard to gauge any problems or negative consequences before it’s too late.
How to Use It
There are a lot of ways to use cold therapy, whether you want to DIY a solution or find something ready-made at your pharmacy or sports goods store. There is a wide variety of pads and compresses that can be cooled in the freezer for this purpose. You can also try a cold bath, although if you are not a hardcore athlete with a trainer and a health practitioner to consult, we don’t suggest trying the ice baths you may have seen on TV. There are also some easy, at-home ways to use cold therapy, whether you want to wrap a bag of frozen vegetables in a dry cloth or you just want to freeze water in a small paper cup to be used for cold therapy massage.
Take the First Step Today
Cold therapy is a good choice for treating aches, pains, and inflammation within 48 hours of an injury or gym workout, but it’s not always the best practice. Heat therapy can pick up the slack, and you can learn more about its advantages and disadvantages in part two of this series. Before you can worry about recovery, however, you need to find a workout routine that challenges you!
Alter’d Core offers one-of-a-kind fitness classes that will help you lose weight, build long, lean muscle, and improve your posture with one unique method. Our Megaformer machines will have you sweating, shaking, and earning every minute of that recovery. Are you ready to see the difference it can make? Call our Hudson gym today and ask about our new client special!