It goes a little something like this: The faster and more effectively you recover, the sooner you can get through another tough session. And the sooner you get through another tough session, the faster you're going to see results. Here, recovery secrets from top Equinox pros.
The Remedy: Contrast water therapy (during your post-workout shower, alternate two minutes of hot water with 30 seconds of very cold water; repeat four times).
The Science: "Hot water dilates blood vessels, while cold water constricts them. Alternating between the two extremes brings blood to the muscles and helps remove waste products, reducing post-exercise soreness."
The Pro: Paul Spector, M.D., Equinox tier 4 educator
The Remedy: Tart cherry juice (eight ounces)
The Science: "Inflammation is another main source of post-exercise pain. Tart cherries appear to have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. Food scientists at Cornell University developed a cherry-juice preparation, Cheribundi (available at Whole Foods), that I have used with clients as a recovery drink with great results. My favorite is Whey Cherry. It's cherry juice with a mix of carbohydrates and protein to maximize repair and recovery. But don't drink it before a workout. Research has shown that the use of antioxidants before working out can block the natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory effects of exercise."
The Pro: Michael Olzinski, exercise physiologist and Equinox fitness manager
The Remedy: 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio
The Science: "Following a hard day of training, muscles need blood flow to deliver the nutrients and amino acids necessary for repair—and the tighter they are, the harder it is for them to repair themselves. Light cardio the day after an intense workout gives muscles a chance to move through a full range of motion, loosening them so they can more easily recover."
The Pro: Giovanni Roselli, Equinox tier 4 fitness coach and group-fitness instructor
The Remedy: Self-myofascial release (foam rolling)
The Science: "Exercise literally breaks down muscle fibers, tearing them apart. During the recovery process, the fibers eventually reconnect, making them even stronger than they were before. Foam rolling helps facilitate that healing process by increasing blood flow throughout the body while releasing tight fascia and alleviating general stiffness."
The Pro: Alex Zimmerman, exercise physiologist and Equinox tier 4 manager
The Remedy: Compression socks
The Science: "Compression socks improve the venous return. After your workout, your blood is flowing, and you don't want it to pool at your feet. If you use compression socks to compress your feet and force that blood flow back up into your body, you'll see faster improvements and better results."
About the author:
Q by Equinox is the daily blog of the luxury fitness brand. Check back here weekly for new posts that tap into Q's stable of world-class trainers and experts to keep up with all things health and well-being.