If you are working out hard, you should recover hard.
That’s the idea behind the Chicago Recovery Room, a space designed to help athletes of all levels heal and avoid injury. From people who are working out regularly to people preparing for a marathon, time focused on your recovery can help your body get stronger safely, said owner Liz Yerly, a physical therapist and athletic trainer.
“The room is designed for anyone that works out,” said Yerly, though many members are endurance athletes or people who are hoping to stay active as they age.
For some people, a couple stretches after a long run aren’t enough. The idea is to bring the recovery tools available to professional or collegiate level athletes to the general public, said Yerly.
That includes low-tech stuff like ice baths, foam rollers and stretching tools, but recovery can get pretty high-tech too: Chicago Recovery Room has NormaTec compression garments, which pulse on your legs, hips and arms to help move fluid and lactic acid build up along. The room’s ColdOne Compression Wraps can minimize inflammation, and hot wraps can loosen up stiffness.
Members and visitors can drop in after a tough workout — Yerly said the most benefits come within 24 hours of the exercise — and help themselves to whatever they need. On your first visit, you meet with a therapist to talk about what your plans are and what kind of recovery you’ll need. After that, you can come in on your own.
Therapists at the room also offer therapeutic massage by appointment, which targets muscle groups that take a beating in your workouts.
Many runners preparing for the fall’s marathons came to Chicago Recovery Room over the summer as part of a regular recovery after a hard run, Yerly said.
“The whole concept is for prevention and wellness. If you are recovering properly, hopefully you can avoid injuries.”