13 Post-Workout Products to Get You Back to the Gym
After a satisfying gym workout, our bodies have earned some much-deserved self-care. As you exercise — whether you’re running, doing Pilates, or lifting weights — your body goes through a complicated breaking-down-and-rebuilding process in order to transform your muscles to be stronger as time goes on. So it’s only natural that after these rigorous routines you need to take some time to let the inflammation go down and rest your muscles in order to avoid soreness or injury. Instead of sacrificing your next gym day because you can barely move, speed your recovery using these helpful tools.
No matter what your favorite exercise is, taking time to roll out your muscles at the end of a workout can make a huge difference between feeling lousy and feeling invigorated the next day. A simple hard foam roller will work deep to loosen those muscle knots that can sometimes form when you’re in Beast Mode.
It’s important to be aware of your back and neck when you’re at the gym, but even the best and most careful of us can still get soreness in these areas at the end of a workout sesh. To avoid injuries, gently massage these delicate muscles with this little ball roller. (It’s also great for relieving stress if you find yourself hunched over a desk at work.)
Runners, meet your new best friend. Not only is this spiky little ball amazing for getting people with plantar fasciitis back on their feet, but it’s also an essential post-workout tool for people who stress out their foot muscles pounding the pavement.
One key way to avoid next-day soreness is stretching. And while it’s sometimes easier to get a deeper stretch with the help of a buddy, another person isn’t always available. Enter this handy strap: Simply put your arms or feet into the loops to target every sore muscle.
Ice is an essential part of the RICE method (that’s rest, ice, compression, elevation), which is a recommended way to avoid muscle fatigue and speed recovery. While an ice pack can be a more economical solution, it’s not exactly convenient, like strapping on this therapy wrap and getting on with your day.
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. De-stress as you rest your feet or other tired muscles by soaking in a hot Epsom bath scented with soothing eucalyptus or lavender. These soaks are also great for softening calloused feet to prep for deeper massages.
Remember the RICE method? Compression can help speed recovery after a workout by reducing swelling and augmenting blood flow. After you’re done with leg day, don these comfy but compressing yoga pants to soothe your glutes.
If wearing yoga pants all day isn’t an option, you can also slip on these leg sleeves that fit snugly beneath your clothes. Look like a business professional on the outside while treating your muscles after your morning gym sesh.
Runners, it’s important to treat your feet like royalty. While your leg muscles obviously need some tender love and care, remember that your feet are also working hard to propel your forward — and need the same amount of attention after a long jog.
Stretching, ice, and compression are all good ways to recover for another day of shredding it at the gym. But all of these things are rendered moot if you don’t hydrate. Keep your H2O handy in a water bottle that you’ll be happy to show off.
If you’re still feeling the pain even with all your post-workout self-care, you can still opt for some natural pain relief by slathering on some arnica gel. Arnica has been used for centuries to treat muscle pain, heal bruises, and reduce swelling.
After you’re done working your healthy body, don’t forget to refuel. Above everything else, your muscles need protein to recover quickly so you can get moving the next day. Lean meats, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese are all great options, but when you’re too busy to cook, grab a tasty protein bar.
Replenish and rehydrate your body with a sports drink full of potassium, electrolytes, coconut water, and vitamins. Plus it has no artificial flavors and has only three grams of sugar per serving.