When you are working hard toward a goal, sometimes you can lose sight of other things that are important, like taking care of your body and taking the time to rest. Recovery should be an essential part of your workout routine. It’s easy to get caught up in lifting more, running further, or getting faster, but pushing too hard and ignoring the signals your body is sending you is a good way to get sidelined and lose all the progress you’ve made. Proper recovery is actually the key to getting to those goals, which leads to the question: what is proper recovery?
In part one of this series, we discussed cold therapy, and how its ability to decrease blood flow and reduce inflammation makes it a great choice for treating sore muscles and joints within 48 hours of an injury or tough gym workout. It isn’t a cure-all, however, and some conditions, like back pain, are better treated through other methods. That’s where heat therapy comes into play.
Here at Alter’d Core, we care about helping you get strong, stay healthy, and reach your goals, which is why our fitness classes use the Lagree fitness method and the Megaformer machine to offer you a workout that is high intensity and low impact. You’ll be sweating, shaking, and burning calories, but you’ll be able to avoid injury thanks to our small class sizes and the hands-on instruction from our certified Lagree fitness method trainers. However, you probably won’t be able to avoid the soreness that comes with pushing your body to the limit. Keep reading to learn how heat therapy can help, and call our Hudson location today to sign up for your first Alter’d Core class!
What It Does
The benefits of heat therapy are, as you might expect, the opposite of cold therapy. Rather than constricting blood flow, heat dilates blood vessels and promotes blood flow. It can help your muscles relax, reduce or eliminate the build-up of lactic acid, and it can also be psychologically soothing, which has more of an impact than you may think.
When to Use It
Hot therapy is helpful for the later stages of soreness and pain, after the initial inflammation has died down. You can use it on strains, sprains, and tendonitis, and it is especially helpful in cases of chronic pain when compared to cold therapy. You can also use it warm up stiff muscles and tissue before activity. Another advantage over cold therapy is the relief hot therapy can offer for pain and spasms, specifically for neck or back pain.
When to Avoid It
You should not turn to heat therapy if the injured area is already hot or inflamed. It should also not be used to treat an open wound. You should be cautious of any circumstances or conditions that may make any exposure to extreme temperature dangerous as well, such as if the injured area is numb or you have a disorder that makes you insensitive to heat or pain.
How to Use It
There are several ways you can incorporate heat therapy into your workout routine. A hot water bottle, for example, may seem old-fashioned, but is very effective. You can also try a pad heated in the microwave, an electric heating pad, or a warm bath. Avoid any forms of extreme heat, which can cause more harm than good.
Take Care of Yourself
Whether you use cold therapy, hot therapy, or another form of therapy altogether, remember that recovery should be an important part of your fitness routine and overall health and wellness plan. You may feel better after trying one of these therapies, but remember that pain has a purpose, and that you should not schedule intense workouts back-to-back for risk of injury.
Keep Working Hard
Now that you have a recovery plan, it’s time to put your body to the test. Check out the schedule for fitness classes at Alter’d Core fitness center in Hudson and try it for yourself today! Our class sizes are capped at 14 people so you can get the individualized attention you deserve, and all of our certified personal trainers have been specifically trained to work with the Lagree fitness method and the Megaformer machine. See what your body can do — call today and ask about our new client special!