One strategy that works is alternating hot and cold showers (30 sec cold, 90 sec hot) three times. Iced baths also work on a similar recovery principle. By cooling the muscles this helps reduce further muscle damage, similar to icing a bruise. A tip with iced baths is to try to have the water around 10-13 degrees.
Too cold and you can burn your skin. Too warm and it can lose its impact. Try to stay in the bath for around 10min. Check with your health professional or doctor for general guidelines if you have any health or circulation problems. A useful book on the subject is found at www.mastersathlete.com.au/masters-athlete-book/
Some real world stories:
You will often see football players walking through cold water on the day after their game. These recovery sessions at the pool or beach are vital for reducing muscle damage and getting them ready for the next game.
The Australian Baseball Academy kept a record of all their athletes' injuries and niggles. Over a week the list would stretch over three pages. With the introduction of iced baths and recovery techniques the list came down to half a page. This meant that the athletes were getting more out of the same amount of effort. The same applies to your exercise. By reducing muscle damage you are speeding up your recovery and helping get the most out of every session.
Well-Being Australian Theologian explains this is a universal principle. Short-term pain often leads to long-term gain. The discomfort in your muscles after exercise leads to a stronger body. When times are tough we only see the pain. We can't see out of the dark valley. But God sees the big picture. God walks with us through these dark valleys and makes us stronger. The end product is a faith that is able to praise God even greater than before. The Bible records Jesus' words about his up-coming death and resurrection (John ch 18 from vs22). Jesus' students are filled with grief, but Jesus explains that out of this great loss something far greater will come. A joy that is described as an eternal joy.
"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."
The resurrection does not remove the pain of your loss. But it proves that it is a loss with a certain hope and joy.