woman with heat pack after workout

One of the best forms of treatment for muscle injuries is heat therapy, one form of which can be found in heat packs. Heat therapy has long been associated with relaxation and comfort, but also provides healing benefits and pain relief, and can be helpful when used in conjunction with exercises such as yoga and pilates.

Heat packs before exercise

The question of whether a heat pack should be used before engaging in yoga and pilates is a complicated one. Many experts see the value of using such packs following a workout, in order to soothe stretched muscles, but using them beforehand is less common, and often seen as counterproductive. Nonetheless, there is an argument for using a heat pack prior to undertaking such exercises.

For one thing, it can be risky to stretch muscles that are cold, which is why athletes are recommended to "warm up" before attempting serious exercise. Warm muscles stretch with considerably greater ease than is the case with cold muscles, and the improvements in flexibility can be easily seen and felt. For those unable or unwilling to engage in such warm ups, a heat pack that directly applies warmth to the muscles that will subsequently be stretched in yoga or pilates class can help to serve the same purpose.

Heat packs after exercise

Exercises such as yoga and pilates can result in sore muscles, either immediately or up to 24 hours after the workout. Heat packs are an excellent and convenient way to help sore muscles, as, while a long hot bath is certainly nice, it is not something you can do for very long, especially when you have a job to go to. Heat packs warm muscles and increase blood flow to the affected area, easing the soreness of the muscles and reducing inflammation, with the application of low heat directly onto the area that is most affected. The Body Wrap features an elasticated strap which enables you to apply heat to the affected area, while getting on with your day. These, and other effective heat packs, are available from Sainsbury’s pharmacies, selected Tesco and Lloyds pharmacies, and via our website.