I'd been wanting to do this for a while now, and finally got around to it only after a heavy workout which DESTROYED my legs. I tried applying heat and then icing the sore muscles but even after the 2nd day, I could barely straighten my legs. I guess I didn't stretch my hamstrings enough, and I was definitely feeling the after-burn from the calves raises. Here's the leg workout routine that killed me...
Quads Hamstrings & Calves
The Lavacare Physiotherm pack is filled with special lava sand which has the ability to store heat or cold for long periods of time. The pack gives off deep, dry radiant heat that may reach deep tissues areas thus helping in alleviating pain, relaxing muscles, cramps and may help improving circulation. It's a bit heavy but feels nice and comforting when you put it over those sore muscles (or tummy for period cramps). Charlie bought it online from Firebox.com a couple of years ago, it's not listed on the site anymore but you could probably buy it from Amazon.com
The ice/hot bag is another useful thing to have. I bought it at the pharmacy for about $12. Fill the bag with warm water or use it as an ice bag. It's light-weight, which makes it handy to take while traveling.
Another quick way to muscle recovery caused by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is to take an Epsom salt bath.
Darren, a friend of mine, who has taken interest in MMA as a hobby, told me about the benefits of Epsom salt baths a few month ago. He said it really helps with muscle recovery, and besides being really relaxing, it has a ton of other benefits for your body.
Benefits of an Epsom salt bath
- Magnesium (found in Epsom salt) helps draw inflammation out of the muscles
- Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.
- Helps muscles and nerves function properly
- Combat muscle fatigue
- Relieve pain and muscle cramps
- Improved concentration and sleep
- Increased energy, elimination of toxins and reduction of inflammation
- Magnesium and serotonin deficiencies have been found to exacerbate PMS symptoms
- Starting Epsom salt baths as early as two weeks before your period will lead to less pain and significantly fewer negative mood changes frequently associated with menses
*Note: Consult with your medical provider before using Epsom salts if you are pregnant or have any medical condition.
How to make an Epsom salt bath
Making an Epsom salt bath is simple:
First things first; 1) break out your favorite rubber ducky. 2) Set a relaxing, spa mood with some scented candles.
3) Fill bathtub with hot or warm water. 4) Add between two and four cups of Epsom salt to the water.
5) Mix the water with your hands and allow the Epsom salt to dissolve.
6) Add five to ten drops of your favorite essential oil just before you step in the tub to maximize stress reduction.
My favorites are either lavender, rose or chamomile essential oils.
8) Shower immediately after the bath to rinse the Epsom salts from your skin, which can dry your skin.
(Caution: Epsom salt, due to its high magnesium content, is a laxative. Avoid ingestion!)
9) Dry off with a towel and keep your skin hydrated with your favorite body moisturizer.
10) Water aids in muscle recovery so make sure you drink enough water throughout the day!