Updated: Jul 17, 2020
If you're working out hard you have to take the time to also work to recover your body. Given that most of us aren't able to get a massage right now or don't feel comfortable being in close quarters with a stranger I put together a list of my favorite muscle recovery tools.
Ice and heat! I used to hate icing my body until I realized how well my body responded to ice therapy when I injured my hand 4 years ago. Not all of us can stand an ice bath but I'll assure you it's a game-changer! Hot/Cold therapy works to constrict the blood vessels via cold application and when you apply heat that new oxygenated blood returns and helps with your muscle recovery. I've found that when I spend time with ice I am less sore after an intense workout.
There are also some great tools for deep tissue massage. For many the Theragun and Hypervolt are expensive purchases, if you still want to be able to provide yourself with relief without draining your pockets here are a few tools that I use regularly.
Deep tissue massage is critical for recovery, no it isn't the kind of massage that makes you totally relax - in fact it's the kind that hurts. You have to be mindful of how much pressure you're applying but typically the pain should only last for a few seconds before the muscle starts to release. This is my favorite tool for self-massage recovery and it saves my thumb from doing all the hard work. Pair that with my favorite CBD balm and it's a match made in recovery heaven.
I just want to take a moment to highlight the Wildflower brand overall. I have been an avid customer of theirs and if you've been lucky enough to take a class of mine you know that this is often in my goodie bags. I live by their brand and have for like 3 years now. I have had people with chronic back pain tell me that this is the only thing that's worked for them and have heard from their kids that their dad is walking faster than ever.
Recovery isn't all about your muscles, you have to think about the fuel you are giving yourself too. I'm a huge fan of yummy protein drinks as long as they are... YUMMY. The Barry's fuel bar was my first good experience with delicious protein drinks. Here are the ones that I keep stocked at home to help my muscles recover after long runs and hard workouts. I also live by these between meals, especially when I'm working from home and have meetings during lunch.
Lastly, the best recovery you can provide yourself is rest when you need it. No, I'm not saying it's ok to skip your workout because you're feeling lazy. I'm saying that you need to listen to your body; sometimes your body needs more time to recover than your mind. You need to know when you're pushing yourself too hard and when you need to rest!