Ways to Recover, Relax and Pamper Yourself after a Workout

After a long walk or workout, reward yourself with a recovery session that includes ways to relax. It's OK to pamper yourself after a good workout. You will even need to nourish your muscles so they can build and strengthen.

Good Long Soak in the Tub

Soaking in Spa Tub
Soaking in Spa Tub. Copyright Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji/Moment/Getty Images
Fill up the tub with warm (not hot) water and add Epsom salts. Enjoy a nice soak that will help soothe sore muscles. It's important not to roast your muscles in hot water, they are already overstressed. Bonus points if you have a jet tub.

Foot Spa

Conair Foot Spa
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
After a long walk, your feet need a good soak to refresh them. It is wise to add Epsom salts to the water if you are getting blisters or hot spots, as that helps dry them up. There are many models of foot spas available. I have a Homedics JetSpa and it works wonderfully. It has jets and bubbles. It is a vast improvement over the two plastic bags I used to use. But slightly less portable.

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Put Your Feet Up

LegLounger. Courtesy of Amazon
After a long walk (or any long day on your feet), it feels great to put your feet up while having good support under your knees. It's not easy finding the right combination of pillows for the job. I tried out the Leg Lounger, a which is designed just for this purpose. It adjusts easily for angle, elevation, and firmness. Its teardrop shape and handles let you vary the elevation without getting up. You can change the firmness with a turn of a button so self-filling air pillows inside can fill or release. This beats using pillows or wedges for elevating your legs.

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Chocolate Milk or Your Favorite Latte

Chocolate Milk
Chocolate Milk. Wendy Bumgardner ©
You can buy all kinds of fancy sports recovery drinks, but researchers say chocolate milk or your favorite latte work just as well. After a long hot walk, I love an icy mocha slushee (Dutch Bros. calls this the Dutch Freeze) from the nearest coffee shop. The key is getting some protein from the milk and some carbs from the chocolate syrup or other flavoring syrups. This gives your muscles the building blocks they need to make the most of your workout. Nestle's provided chocolate milk at the end of the Portland Marathon.

Body Scrub

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub. Courtesy of Amazon
At the end of the soak, I like to get off the sweat, dirt and dead skin with a spa body scrub. So many different kinds are available, you can choose your favorite. They vary in the type of gritty stuff they put in to do the scrubbing - everything from sugar to ground grapeseed to bamboo. Some of them sound like yummy desserts. I need to choose those that use natural fragrances as I am sensitive to fake perfumes.

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Mint Energizing Foot Cream

Mary Kay Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion
Mary Kay Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion. Courtesy of Amazon.com
You've soaked, you've replenished, now treat your feet to some cool mint lotion that will help restore that energetic feeling. A good foot cream will also moisturize your feet to keep your calluses soft and prevent painful cracked skin. If you are training for a long distance walk, don't remove those calluses as they help keep you from getting a blister in the same area. Save the pedicure till after your big event.

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Plush ThermaTherapy Neck and Hand Wrap

Carex Bed Buddy Plush ThermaTherapy Neck & Hand Wrap
Carex Bed Buddy Plush ThermaTherapy Neck & Hand Wrap. Courtesy of Pricegrabber
Ready to relax in your recliner, listen to music or your favorite mindless television show? Moisturize your hands -- they get dried out from walking. Pop this plush warmer into the microwave for a minute or two to heat it up and slip it around your neck. Put your hands into the handwarming pockets and R-E-L-A-X. It has a light scent of lavender and chamomile.

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