Post-workout or in-between workouts RECOVERY might not be for everyone but trust me, you'll come back stronger. I put RECOVERY in caps because it's so important to rest and rebuild your body after really intense sweat sessions. You break down to build up, but you also need to heal. Rest days and sufficient sleep will help you bounce back. Take this advice from someone (me) who didn't sleep enough for YEARS! I still don't sleep enough but I get at the very least 6-7 hours a night. Anything less and I'm literally dead.
As someone who works out every day, I'm usually muscle fatigued or in some kind of pain. I developed a routine of recovery techniques and aids over the years to help me out. What follows are my favorite recovery tips, treatments and products to not just heal your body but soothe it, too! I'll always tell you that sleep is the best exercise because IT IS. This only applies to people who are actively working out though so if you're not active, scrap that!
I believe the most restful sleep comes from a mattress that immediately makes you sigh in comfort. Everyone's different so figure out your best mattress match. Mine is a firm mattress with a soft pillowtop--gets me every time! Pillows are also an important part of the equation. I experimented with so many brands. Literally hated most brands I tried, until I came across Oceano Gel Memory Foam Pillows from Brentwood Home. They feel so comfortable on my neck and shoulders, which is where I carry most of my stress and muscle pain. I highly recommend them!
It can be challenging to achieve a state or feeling of recovery without professional help. I stretch on my own but love an assisted hand from places like Stretch'd in New York and Stretch Pro LA throughout Los Angeles. I love getting the deeper stretches that only certified professionals can give. It's not painful or anything. You're just positioned in ways that allow for the deeper stretches to happen in parts of your body you woudn't think to stretch on your own. It's really simple and worth the 30 minutes to 1-hour that you might spend at one of these wellness studios. I always go when my body is screaming in pain at me or even before/after a big race (something to look forward to once they're happening again after this pandemic ends).
Another reason I like stretching and recovery studios is because they usually have Normatec Boots that you can chill in for as long as you like. I love the pressure and release feeling they send throughout your calves, thighs and feet. When I got a bad case of plantar's fasciitis about two summers ago (from running around too much in flip-flops), I went in for Normatec sessions non-stop in addition to medical treatment I was getting, and I was able to heal my feet before flip flop season was over. No more flip flops though!
Another recovery tool I swear by is my Sunbeam Neck and Shoulder Heating Wrap. I probably use it twice a week and it never fails me. I love how it hugs your neck, shoulders and a small portion of your upper back to relieve all the tightness and tension. If you prefer a wrap just focusing on the shoulders and back, there's THIS ONE.
They also make a mid to lower back wrap called the Sunbeam Heated Back Wrap, which I don't own YET but have already added to my amazon wish list. Let me know if you try it out :)
I'm not sure where you stand on CBD because it kind of became a big thing and then a really annoying trend. I know I was sick of hearing about CBD after a year of seeing every type of product marketed with it. BUT I have to say, this Lemongrass CBD rub from CBDforLife is the bomb. I have limited myself to just a select few CBD products and this is my top one that I keep in my nightstand. I rub it on my neck/shoulders and anywhere else I need soothing relief and it goes right to work! The scent is amazing (the make a few versions) and it feels really nice on the skin. If you're looking to buy any kind of aches & pains salve, this is absolutely what I'd tell you to get. It's $25 and I haven't run out in over 3 years.
When it comes to taking a rest day as a workout fanatic, my advice is DO IT! Or maybe wind your routine down to something restorative if your conscience can't handle a full day off. I always choose yoga for my restorative option but it could also be something like a long walk or a light jog. Everyone's different so I'm not going to preach about what's best for you. I can only tell you what helps my body recover, and I sincerely hope some of these tips and videos will inspire you to take recovery just a little more seriously.