SKIP ICE CUBE FACIALS
Cold therapy can be a safe way to reduce inflammation, redness, and puffiness. But some beauty sites have taken the practice too far by suggesting people rub ice cubes over their faces. Low temperatures constrict the blood vessels, first reducing blood flow to the area and then counteracting that effect by boosting circulation, which makes your skin look brighter. That said, ice cubes are so cold that they’ll have the same effect as a windburn, leaving redness and tenderness, say experts.
Instead, use a chilled crystal or stone roller, which will be cold enough to stimulate blood flow but not as freezing as ice. Plus, rollers are easier to maneuver on your skin and allow you to practice lymphatic drainage. The massage technique moves fluid out of your tissues to further reduce swelling.
QUICK-HIT DESSERT: MINT-LEMON VERBENA GRANITA
Serve this palate-cleansing dessert after bolder flavors like grilled meat or pizza. Lemon verbena is said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while mint helps to stimulate the digestive system. Though lemon verbena is often available in farmers markets, if you can’t find it, Brooklyn-based recipe developer Beth Lipton recommends using lemongrass instead: Trim off the top and the base of the stalk and remove any tough outer layers. Bruise the lemongrass stalk with the non-sharp edge of a knife, then add to the pot with the other ingredients before bringing to a simmer.
FREEZE FOR 10 SECONDS.
Cold exposure can reduce the microtrauma in the body that results from intense exercise, says Alex Zimmerman, director of the Tier X program. That means taking a cold shower within 24 hours of a workout could help you recover faster and feel less sore. A shot of cold water can boost your mood, too, which can help you achieve peak performance, Zimmerman notes. He recommends starting with a 10-second burst of cold water at the end of your regular (warm) shower, then slowly building your tolerance until you can handle the cold for five minutes.
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