How to develop a post-gym regimen with FSA-eligible products

With all of the time that we spend on our fitness routines, from warming up to pushing through an entire circuit, we can sometimes look past just how important rest and recovery can be in an exercise regimen. Engaging in weight lifting day-in-and-day-out will actually stall your progress if you don't give yourself off days and appropriate post-workout cool downs, which can help you avoid potential injuries and provide the beneficial rehabilitative effects your body needs to see lasting progress.

Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) also covers a surprising range of rehabilitative products that can give your exercise plans a major boost. Any physical trainer will tell you that cool downs and off days are vital to any workout plan to help you realize your fitness goals. Before you hit the gym this summer, check out for a huge selection of products.

Check out a few of these FSA eligible items that are a must for active individuals.

1. Hot and Cold Packs

Despite their relative simplicity, heat and cold therapy are extremely reliable treatments for lower back pain, muscle strains and even the treatment of some arthritis symptoms.

Cold therapy is typically used to treat muscle soreness and immediate injuries by reducing inflammation, while heat therapy is meant for chronic conditions to promote increased blood flow to bring proteins, nutrients and oxygenated blood to affected areas. Both of these strategies are useful when you're starting a fitness regimen and will need a day or two each week to rest and recover.

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2. Elastic bandages

Stretching after exercise can improve your range of motion in the days following your workout, and it's a mild exercise to help you cool down and begin the recuperation process. Of course, if you feel that you've strained a muscle or twisted a joint, immobilizing this area is one of the only ways that you can reduce pressure and additional strain on the area. Elastic bandages are extremely useful FSA eligible products that restrict blood flow to reduce swelling, as well as restricting range of motion prevent further injury.

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3. Take anti-inflammatory medications

In addition to stretching, hydration, a nutritious meal and a good night's rest, some days your body may not recover quickly enough to spare you from significant soreness. In rare cases, it may be wise to take an anti-inflammatory medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. While this should be reserved for very active workouts and should not be a regular occurrence, this can reduce pain and allow you to quickly complete your cool down regimen with minimal discomfort. Be sure to note that OTC medications require a prescription from a doctor to be eligible for FSA reimbursement, so check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan to pick up everything you'll need for your new, active lifestyle.

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