Wellness

6 Formulas to Improve Your Workout and Recovery

6 Formulas to Improve Your
Workout and Recovery

These days, we’re picking up workout habits that might be unfamiliar (if this is your first time running in a while, you’re not alone), inventing new ways to achieve old goals, and willing our way through practices we thought we needed a drill sergeant of an instructor to finish. What’s making the transition easier is setting routines to streamline, solidify, and bolster whatever it is we’re doing. That means having the right gear on hand for the best workout possible—and giving just as much care and attention to cooling down and resting up.

the prep work

  1. Two things to think about as workouts move outdoors: taking care of your skin from the outside (that means getting your hands on a really good, clean sunscreen) and taking care of your skin from the inside. We approach the latter with a gummy supplement from Sundaily called The Base Layer, which combines vegan vitamin D3 and an antioxidant-containing plant extract called polypodium. Polypodium, which comes from an Ecuadorian fern, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for its benefits to skin health, and it has decades of research behind it in modern academic literature. We pop two first thing in the morning before heading out.

    Sundaily The Base Layer
    Sundaily The Base Layer goop, $39
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  2. Whether you’re going low-intensity or planning on working up a serious sweat, let us remind you that you can’t do your body much good if you’re dehydrated. This water bottle is a favorite because it’s self-cleaning: The digital UV-C light on the inside of the cap helps purify the bottle (and your water) every two hours. So it’s good for refill after refill—even if you tend to neglect a wash-out here or there.

    Larq Self-Cleaning Bottle
    Larq The Larq
    Self-Cleaning
    Bottle
    goop, $95
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  3. We swear by a preworkout foam roll. It increases blood flow to the muscles, builds a bit of heat, and makes us feel looser and more agile whether we’re getting ready to flow from asana to asana or hit our long run. Go for a roller that’s not too hard and not too soft, like this one from fascia expert Lauren Roxburgh. For a tutorial, check out Roxburgh’s foam rolling routine to wake up the body.

    OPTP LoRox Aligned Foam Roller
    OPTP LoRox Aligned Foam Roller goop, $52
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THE WORKOUT
ESSENTIALS

  1. For at-home workouts from yin yoga to high-intensity body-weight training, a no-slip mat is a solid foundation. This one is considered the holy grail of yoga mats for a reason: The extra-grippy texture means we feel more comfortable whether we’re down-dogging, lunging, and holding planks. That said, it needs a little breaking in, which happens naturally with time and use. (You can speed up the process with the salt method, which involves a generous pour of coarse sea salt, a twenty-four hour wait, and a good wipe-down.)

    Manduka GRP Yoga Mat
    Manduka GRP Yoga Mat goop, $128
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  2. These stretchy exercise bands add resistance to leg workouts and come in three weights. Some ideas: You can wear a thicker band right above the knees to make squats, crab walks, and side lunges more challenging. A lighter one fits nicely around the ankles if you’re doing kickbacks. With a little creativity, they work for upper body movements, like bicep curls and tricep presses, too. And we like that they’re made of a thick, durable material that doesn’t roll or pinch.

    Super Training Products LLC Hip Circle Sport Pack
    Super Training Products LLC Hip Circle Sport Pack goop, $38
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  3. Weighted wrist bangles come in clutch for workouts where holding hand weights gets in the way. These are light—just a pound—but you really feel the difference. We got two pairs: one for the wrists, and another to wrap around the ankles for an extra lower body challenge on walks, in livestreamed Pilates classes, or just dancing around the house.

    Bala Bangles Weighted Wrist Bangles
    Bala Bangles Weighted Wrist Bangles goop, $49
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  4. An easy way to get your cardio in (and recall the glory days of elementary school PE): skipping rope. Great if you don’t have a lot of space. Harder than you remember. And now, as connected as your smartwatch. This one pairs with your phone through Bluetooth to record your stats (jump count, calories burned, and time elapsed) and track preset interval-training workouts.

    Tangram Smartrope Chrome
    Tangram Smartrope Chrome goop, $80
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THE DOWNSHIFT

  1. Cooling down the breath? Every bit as important as cooling down the body. This simple tool—inspired by shakuhachi, the bamboo flutes traditionally used by Japanese monks—is designed to naturally elongate your exhales to center the mind. It’s great for settling into your postworkout calm. Take that deep, full inhale, lift the Shift to your lips, and release your breath gently (don’t rush or push) for eight to ten seconds at a time.

    Kosumō Design The Shift
    Komusō Design The Shift goop, $105
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THE RECOVERY
SMOOTHIE

Our revitalizing postworkout smoothie looks like this: one packet of Four Sigmatic’s Superfood Protein (it’s plant-based, with pea, hemp, chia, coconut, and pumpkin seed protein), two tablespoons of Golde’s Matcha Turmeric (we usually make this as a latte, but we’ve been throwing it in smoothies lately, and it’s so good), a banana, and oat milk. Between the wellness-boosting turmeric in the Golde formula and the blend of adaptogens and functional mushrooms in the Four Sigmatic protein powder—ashwagandha, eleuthero, reishi, chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and turkey tail—there’s a lot of good going on here. Blend it up, sip it down, and reap the benefits.

  1. GOLDE Matcha Golde
    GOLDE Matcha Golde goop, $29
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  2. Four Sigmatic Superfood Protein Packets
    Four Sigmatic Superfood Protein Packets goop, $40
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THE BODY SOOTHERS

  1. There’s a reason we’re all obsessed with this massager. When we’re feeling tight and achy, the Theragun Elite brings quick relief. It’s lightweight and ergonomically designed, and it delivers up to forty pounds of force at forty percussions a second. And the chances we come out on the other end exclaiming we’re a whole new person are high.

    Theragun Theragun Elite
    Therabody Theragun Elite goop, $399
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  2. For the spots that need gentler attention, this kit gets into all the nooks and crannies of your fascia to ease out tension and tightness. The infinity roller feels especially good along the spine (lie down on it and roll) and across sensitive joints (we use a flat hand to glide it over the front of the hips and shoulders). The body sphere soothes the belly and pelvic floor. And the aligned domes feel great stimulating the hands and the back of the head.

    OPTP LoRox Aligned Life Kit
    OPTP LoRox Aligned Life Kit goop, $60
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  3. These chewable tablets are our secret weapon. They’re formulated with homeopathic ingredients that target soreness, stiffness, and muscle pain. They’re organic and non-GMO. And they’re what we reach for when we’ve gone a little too hard.

    Genexa  Arnica Advantage Genexa Arnica Advantage
    Genexa Arnica
    Advantage
    goop, $15
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  4. If there’s a better way to end a sweat sesh than a long, restorative soak, we haven’t heard of it. We’ve been taking our tub time with a scoop of Phys. Ed.—our blend of pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts, Celtic Sea Salt, arnica, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils from turmeric, ginger, frankincense, rosemary, lavender, and wintergreen—to help us bounce back after a particularly tough workout. Marinate in it for a full twenty minutes after your workout, wrap yourself in towel, and sweat it out for twenty more minutes to get the full, utterly revivifying effect.

    goop Beauty Phys. Ed. Recovery Bath Soak goop Beauty Phys. Ed. Recovery Bath Soak
    goop Beauty Phys. Ed. Recovery
    Bath Soak
    goop, $35/$32 with subscription
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THE TOTAL RECHARGE

Giving your body what it needs postworkout is about more than the immediate window after class ends. You have to go for the long game. Adequate hydration and restful sleep are top priorities to keep your body functioning at its best.

  1. If drinking enough water is more of a something you know you should be doing and less of a something you are doing, this is the best and simplest tool we know of. Ulla slides onto any water bottle and blinks any time you haven’t taken a sip in a while. It’s fully automatic and has a battery life of six months—time enough to develop hydration habits that last.

    Ulla Hydration Reminder
    Ulla Hydration
    Reminder
    goop, $30
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  2. During a workout, your body breaks down muscle. Sleep is when it’s built back up. And in order to optimize strength and muscle gain, we have to get a good night’s rest. A weighted blanket like this one helps us fit in those z’s. Throw it on top of your existing covers (or lay it over just your sheets), nod off, and wake up having gotten what you need.

    Baloo Cool Cotton Weighted Blanket
    Baloo Cool Cotton Weighted Blanket goop, $169
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