Heat or Ice After Exercise??
Traditionally ice has been used to reduce inflammation after a workout. However, there has been a shift in thought over the last few years due to a surge in scientific research that proves that reducing inflammation slows down the healing process.
The research suggests that ice delays the healing of muscles. This impacts muscle recovery after a workout because muscles are strategically torn during strengthening sessions. Ice applied to a muscle strain has been shown to delay healing because it reduces inflammation. The inflammatory process is the first stage in the healing process and is necessary in order to continue to the next stage.
Instead, experts suggest movement, compression, and elevation. The movement must be within a range of low pain and can often be done in the form of a cool-down. This can include light jogging, biking, or walking for 10 minutes post exercise. The compression and elevation do not reduce inflammation, but rather guide the swelling away from extremities or areas where gravity forces it to settle.
Although ice may feel good to warm and sore muscles, consider the alternatives after a strenuous workout in order to maximize recovery times. Every advantage is helpful for those who are always looking for a competitive edge.
See the following article for more perspectives on using ice after a workout: Heat or Ice After Exercise
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