5 products every golfer needs to boost muscle recovery
Stay on track with those New Year resolutions with these recovery tips
The new year always brings new fitness goals and resolutions. Whether you’re looking to add a few yards off the tee, rehab a pesky injury or just focus on overall wellness, it’s important to take care of your body when starting any new fitness regime. Far too often we hit the gym hard on Jan. 2, and we’re left with sore muscles and skipped workouts (and hopefully not injuries). Here are a few ways to ease the pain this year—and prevent sore muscles from disrupting your goals.
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The No. 1 way to prevent or relieve muscle soreness is to stretch. Regardless of fitness experience, it’s essential to warm up and cool the body down around workouts and activity. Even if it’s just a quick range session, take 10 minutes minimum for a head-to-toe stretch. Take notes of areas of the body that feel tighter and modify your activity to any limitations your body might have. After particularly strenuous workouts, dedicate another 10-15 minutes later in the day for another session—even if it’s a quick stretch during commercials when you’re on the couch. You’ll be glad you did. Stretching will help prevent injury, relieve soreness, improve range of motion and reduce tension.
To take the stretch session to the next level, consider adding in some massage techniques to enhance circulation and target sore areas directly to keep the body loose. Whether using a percussive massage gun for deep tissue work or simply rolling a golf ball under your feet, sports massages will reduce inflammation, support a healthy range of motion and flexibility, and relax the mind and body in the process.
If you’ve pushed your muscles too hard, you’ll want to treat soreness like you would an injury. The age-old RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is a simple and effective way to get you back on your feet. While you can typically use anything in the freezer to ice tender areas of the body, wearable ice packs are an easy way to target pain while going about your day. Compression tights, socks and sleeves can also bring relief and comfort when your legs are feeling beat.
Topical balms, gels and lotions
For a little extra help, topical balms, creams and gels can help ease pain on the spot or prep muscles for activity. Look for products that contain ingredients like arnica, menthol or lidocaine. Be sure to test any product in a small area first to avoid any skin irritation as many of these topical analgesics will create intense sensations of cooling or heating upon application as the ingredients get to work.
In addition to taking care of your muscles externally, it’s also important to stay hydrated, focus on quality sleep and refuel your body with whole foods to support recovery from the inside out. A larger focus on wellness and recovery will enhance any fitness goal and promote longevity in results.
And that all adds up to better (and more) golf!