Workout Recovery: TO ICE OR TO HEAT?

Workout Recovery: TO ICE OR TO HEAT?

So, you’ve been killing it with your workouts lately. You’re looking and feeling better every day. GO YOU! But are you listening to your body? There are caveats to that old "No pain, No gain" saying. It’s easy to do damage when you’re pushing your body to its limits.

First, it’s so important we’re saying it twice, always listen to your body. If you’re breathing harder than usual, take a break. If something feels off, stop. Take a walk, stretch, grab some water… you’re running this ship, do what feels right. 

Having said that, we’re here to help you steer. Here are some general guidelines that can help with workout recovery. 

hot and cold clay pack

The first thing to know is that ice constricts blood vessels, while heat dilates them. If the goal is to reduce swelling, ice is your answer. Like a local anesthetic to numb the sore area. Ice is most effective within 48 hours of an injury. Try 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off for inflamed joints or muscles. Elevating a sore limb while icing can also help bring swelling down.

Since heat increases blood flow, it helps soothe non-swollen aches likes chronically sore arthritic joints. When muscles feel tight, add some heat. In general, heat therapy is more effective on old injuries that have become aggravated – like stiff tendons or lower back spasms.


  1. Not only is soaking in a Jacuzzi or bath relaxing, but 20 minutes can promote blood flow and help “knotted” muscles relax.
  2. Our Clay Pack (found in this month’s 5-item box!) can be heated or cooled and is a must-have for anyone ready to be proactive with their workout recovery.



  • A new injury, within 48 hours (non-open wound)
  • Swollen muscles and joints
  • To constrict blood flow (e.g. when there’s swelling)
  • To numb overworked tissue
  • Sprains, possible bone fractures (get X-ray ASAP)


  • Chronic pain (e.g. old injuries acting up)
  • Osteoarthritis, tendonitis
  • Stiff muscles and tendons (non-swollen)
  • Pain from neck or back spasms
  • To increase blood flow (e.g. relaxing tight muscles)

Don't forget! Tag us in your workout photos @ellieactivewear and #loveellie for a chance at a social shoutout!

Also, be sure to pick up your hot and cold pack in the February 5-item Ellie box.

Ellie February 5-item box

The above are suggestions. Always consult a doctor if you are experiencing an injury for the first time. And unless noted otherwise on packaging, never use ice or heat directly on skin.