Can't afford regular massages? Don't despair. This spring-loaded contraption squeezes muscles like a masseuse's hands. Especially great on quads, calves, glutes, and hip flexors. (Sore from trying to lose weight? Recalibrate your body's fat-burning furnace with our Abs Diet!)
$99; roll recovery.com
Print-and-Go: Stretches That Decrease Recovery Time
Take your compression tights to the office with work-appropriate attire from RejuvaHealth. Founded by a deep vein thrombosis survivor, RejuvaHealth makes medical-grade compression tights (as well as leggings, thigh-highs, and knee-highs) that actually have some style. Available in a variety of patterns and colors, RejuvaHealth hosiery makes sure you don't look--or feel--like a grandma.
$70 and up; Rejuvahealth.com
Eliminate the need for an ice bath by swapping your foam roller for a ColdRoller. When tossed in the freezer for at least two hours, this stainless-steel tool will stay cool for up to three. Use it to iron out kinks in muscles and fascia while reaping the added benefit of cold compression.
Sole--a company known for their orthotic-rivaling custom footbeds--has taken that same idea and transferred it to a post-exercise flip-flop. This super supportive sandal moulds to your feet, offering generous arch support and a wide platform on which they can expand and rest.
Be careful what you wear on your feet. Here are 4 Shoes that Wreck Your Body.
Video: Gentle Yoga Recovery Routine
Recover on the go with these innovative leggings. The circulation-boosting compression tights have strategically placed pockets for reusable ice inserts that help reduce swelling in quads, hips, calves, and more.
This isn't your ordinary mouth guard. In fact, it's not designed for contact sports. This lower profile mouthpiece sits snuggly on lower teeth, helping to prevent cortisol-releasing jaw clenching and open up airways. Research shows the extra oxygen can increase strength by up to 20 percent, reduce lactic acid by up to 25 percent, and speed up reaction time by up to 12 percent. (Search: Lactic Acid Lies) To maximize results, you can upgrade to a custom-fit guard for $250-$400, depending on your location and your dentist's fee.
Give aching feet a rest by slipping into a pair of shock-absorbing silicone and cork shoes. Barefooters' soft, seam-free construction is anti-microbial and houses a bumpy reflexology insole that stimulates and supports feet. Available for men and women.
$100; planetshoes.com (Use the coupon code "ELITE" for 20% off through 12/31/12)
Great for running or cross-training that involves lateral movements, these full-length compression tights feature crisscrossing bands that stabilize the knee and support legs muscles. The result? Increase circulation and shock resistance, which translates to less fatigue.
Cool down or warm up muscles with this comprehensive kit. The three components--a high-density foam roller, a low-density foam roller, and a rolling stick--allow you to adjust the intensity of your self massage, ensuring optimal pain relief. (Video: Foam Roller Primer) To learn a complete myofascial release routine, follow the included instructional DVD.
Cure back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and more with these five easy-to-master Yoga Poses.
Legs aren't the only body parts that tire. Increase your upper body endurance with this nylon-blend crewneck. Generous ventilation zones keep muscles cool while compression panels support muscles without inhibiting movement.
Build the ultimate upper body with this 15-Minute, High-Intensity Plan.
Here's another (less painful) alternative to taking an ice bath. Simply freeze the included gel packs, slip them into the cloth compression leg sleeves--velcro straps allow you to adjust the stricture--then put your feet up for 15 minutes. The combination of cold and compression prime your muscles for peak performance.
Don't freeze out nutritious foods from your diet this winter. Stock up on these Cheap and Healthy Foods for Cold Weather.
For the ultimate in recovery tights, slip into a pair of Zoots post-workout. They offer gradient, muscle-specific compression (18-30mmHg) and come in six sizes so you can find the optimal fit. Wide stirrups ensure even your arches get some love.
Exercise is the single best way to torch more calories all day long. Don't let these 3 Workout Mistakes rob you of your postworkout burn.
What's one of the most effective ways to boost recovery? Get a full night's sleep. Help your body wind down by sleeping on a this memory foam mattress topper. Company research shows that if offers 400 percent greater airflow compared to similar products. By helping to facilitate your body's natural nightly drop in core temperature, this breathable bed addition signals to your body that it's time to sleep.
Retire your packs of frozen peas. Hyperice delivers two essential inflammation fighters: ice and compression. Each neoprene wrap features a refillable ice pack and is ergonomically designed to hug a specific body part, such as the knee, increasing circulation. But the key element is an air-release valve. Pressing it removes pockets of oxygen that develop in the anti-microbial chamber as the ice melts, maintaining constant pressure between the ice and the skin.
$80 and up; hyperice.com
If cold and snow are putting a damper on your fitness routine, get outside and try one of these 6 Hard-Body Winter Sports.
Keep your glutes, quads, and hamstrings content while maintaining some modesty: These circulation-enhancing compression tights come covered with a pair of lightweight shorts. Because the Lycra is made with moisture-wicking, quick-drying nylon yarns, you can even wear this dynamic duo to your next triathlon.
Wake up muscles pre-ride or revive them afterward: This gentle warming cream ramps up circulation and quickly calms cranky aches and pains thanks to methyl salicylate, an active ingredient found in aspirin.
$9; chomperbody.com (Use the coupon code "PD8OXLGUSBMS" for 30% off through 12/24/12)
Do this active-isolated stretch to Relieve Your Tight Iliotibial Band.
If you're a fan of massage sticks, you'll love the Moji 360. This portable device lets you control the intensity and has the added benefit of using stainless steel ball bearings, which allow for multi-directional (think: circular) massage movements.
Speed up running recovery with four easy DIY Massage Techniques.
If you've ever had to rehab from an injury, you may be familiar with muscle simulation. This therapy triggers muscle contractions using electrical impulses delivered via electrodes. When used for recovery, research shows it can increase blood flow 4.5 times faster, remove lactic acid, release endorphins and promote muscle relaxation. But you don't have to see a physical therapist to get the results. Compex makes safe home-use stim units, like this one, that includes an "active recovery" setting.
Upgrade your workout--and transform your body--with these 15 New Muscle Builders.
Save money on massage sessions by harnessing the healing power of your body weight. This kit by Gaiam includes a 25-minute DVD that shows how to incorporate the three therapy balls into a gentle, rejuvenating yoga routine.
Wear these socks during exercise or afterward to boost muscle-flushing circulation. The graduated compression ranges from 14MMHG at the ankle to 8MMHG at the calf, which helps prevent blood from pooling by pushing it back up towards the heart.