Posts Tagged ‘Heat’

Feel the HEAT!!!

September 4, 2012

This is the 2nd part of a series about recovery modalities. This post will exam using heat in order to recover from one workout to another. While cold is beneficial during the acute phase (first 72 hours). Heat is recommended after the inflammatory response has been resolved.

The application of heat increases circulation by dilating blood vessels which then allow enzymes and nutrients to reach the affected area in order to continue the rebuilding process.

I’ll use heat first thing in the morning. Many times I wake up with a tight back. I keep a heating pad close to my bed. So when this happens I’ll slide the pad under my back, turn it on and allow the heat to do it’s work. This is done by the heat increasing circulation. The increased blood flow loosens me up.

All heating modalities whether they are from a heating pad or heat pack should not be applied directly to the skin and should only be used for 20 – 30 minutes in order to achieve the correct physiological effect.

One thing you want to keep in mind during these recovery phases. Whether you are feeling the soreness of a hard workout or you have truly strained or pulled a muscle the first modality to use is ice. This should be easy to remember. The area that is affected is inflamed. You’re only going to bring this response down by cooling the area. After the first 48-72 hours and the inflammation has come down you add heat to the area. Heat increases blood flow which in turn allows nutrients to assist in the rebuilding phase. Here’s the tricky part. This will all work as long as you don’t continue to stress the area that is recovering. If you’re going to do this then it’s back to the ice.

Listen to your body. There can be fine lines between being injured and being very sore from hard work. There is no reason why you can’t work other body parts while another is recovering. Your body changes during the recovery phase. NOT during your workout. The workout is the vehicle in which your body is forced to change to adapt to the intensity you just placed on it. And this is all done during the recovery phase.

Do you use heat for recovery? If not what do you do?

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