Why do Recovery?
Whether it’s muscle soreness from an intense workout or chronic pain from an old injury, it’s natural to look for some relief. So many doctors will prescribe painkillers that demand continued use for chronic pain. This doesn’t fix the problem; it only masks it. Let’s look at some natural ways to aim for recovery.
Benefits of Ice/Hot Baths
Extreme cold can help to relieve an aching and sore body. Submersing oneself in a tub of ice water also can have additional benefits. It can assist with reducing pain and can also help to prevent or reduce soreness later. Adding ice baths to your routine can make for a quicker turnaround for the next workout. Some research points to increased mental health, central nervous system health, and increased immunity. Talk about a lot of benefits!
On the flip side of extreme cold, let’s look at hot baths. A hot bath increases blood circulation which can help sore and tight muscles to relax. It can be used in conjunction with training sessions to prolong the positive benefits of the session as well as reduce overall recovery time.
What is a Contrast Bath?
Now that we’ve looked at cold and hot baths, we’ve covered baths, right? Well, not quite. There’s another method called a contrast bath that just might help. A contrast bath consists of soaking the body in hot water for a period and then quickly submerging it in cold water right after. This cycle is repeated for generally 20-30 minutes.
What does this do, and how does it benefit the body? The quick change of warm to cold helps to quickly open (from the heat) and close (from the cold) blood vessels. This is to help decrease swelling and inflammation.).
From a Wet Bath to a Dry Sauna
Removing baths from the equation, we come to another treatment method. Saunas have been used for hundreds of years and offer a variety of potential health benefits. Let’s look at dry saunas specifically.
A dry sauna is a room that reaches higher temperatures with low humidity to make one sweat. How can this be beneficial for someone trying to recover? The removal of toxins through sweating is positive. This can help the body to recover quicker. Studies are also showing that dry saunas can increase heart health as well as help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Recovery from injury and workouts as well as long-term health benefits!