Chill Out: Why your next workout should be followed by an ice bath

June 14th, 2011

Feeling the burn after yesterday’s workout? Logging strenuous workouts will inevitably yield muscle inflammation as your muscles slightly rip and tear in order to build up mass. To decrease recovery time, as well as your aching and moaning, stop by a gas station, pick up several bags of ice and prepare to chill.

Cryotherapy, or “cold therapy,” constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity. This works to reduce swelling and tissue breakdown, which we associate with pain and the “I’m never doing that again,” mentality. “Ice baths don’t only suppress inflammation, but help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles,” says David Terry, M.D. Additionally, ice baths work by producing greater and longer lasting change in deep muscle tissue, and are a more efficient means of cooling larger groups of muscles at the same time, says physical therapist, Nikki Kimball.

While there’s no exact formula for how long you should soak, or how cold the temperature should be, specialists recommend keeping temperatures between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and soaking times between 10 and 20 minutes.

Need another GREAT way to not only post-cool, but pre-cool as well? The innovative and stylish Hyper Vest COOL was created to chill the body’s core temperature and lower heart rate with gel or phase change cooling packs. The Gel pack, designed for deep, low temperature cooling, around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, maintains its temperature for up to an hour. While the Phase Change pack cools at 58 degrees for two to four hours.

Pre-cooling with the Hyper Vest COOL allows the body to reduce the amount of energy spent on maintaining and cooling its core temperature.  For recovery cooling, the vest is a quick and efficient means of cooling vital organs simultaneously, while allowing the user to move around freely. Check out the YouTube video below to see Hyper Trainer Bill Meyer using the Hyper Vest COOL, and discussing the importance of properly cooling and recovering after a workout.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx-IAhegQaI[/youtube]

Moral of the story, recovery and pre-cooling are both important components that build strong, healthy bodies, and ease the road to recovery. So after your next grueling workout, or before one for that matter, try out an ice bath or COOL Vest and take note of the positive results they will have on your performance, endurance and recovery.

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