High-impact activities like tennis, running, squatting, and lunging can be harsh on your knees, ankles, shoulders, and other joints. To avoid pain and injury, it’s important to listen to your body, slow down if you need to, and recover properly after exercise.
If you have a sore joint, ice is a great drug-free pain reliever. You can place an ice pack on the area for up to 20 minutes or take a dip in an ice bath to reduce all-over inflammation. Ice baths aid your recovery by changing the way blood and other fluids flow through your body, which can help you (and your tired muscles) bounce back quicker after a particularly intense workout.
It’s also important not to skip your cooldown — however tempting it may be. Taking a few minutes for intentional stretching is worth it, and your body will thank you. For starters, stretching is a good way to relieve pain and tension while increasing flexibility, which can help improve your joint health over time. It can also increase the range of motion in your joints and increase blood flow to your muscles, reducing the risk of injury.