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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Five Accessories Every Runner Should be Using to Help with Recovery


Whether you’re a casual jogger or a competitive runner, you’re probably well acquainted with stiffness and muscle soreness.

Recovery for runners isn’t just about feeling less sore. It’s also important for preventing injuries and improving overall performance.

If you’ve been overtraining -- or just not maximizing your off-days as much as you could -- keep reading. Listed below are five accessories that can help runners (and other athletes) speed up the recovery process.

1. Massage Stick

Whether it’s your quads, calves, hamstrings, or even your feet that could use a little extra attention, a massage stick will help relieve your pain, relax your muscles, and get you ready for your next run.

Massage sticks are light and portable, so they’re ideal for runners who frequently travel (or just don’t have a lot of storage space at home).

With a foam roller, you can roll out large muscle groups easily, but it’s a little harder to focus in on the specific areas that are in need of the most TLC. Massage sticks help you get a more targeted massage, and you have more control over how much pressure you use.

2. Compression Socks

Many athletes, especially runners, swear by compression socks to help reduce swelling, soreness and fatigue after a long workout.

The idea behind compression socks (and all compression clothing) is that they put gentle pressure on the blood vessels, which prevents the blood from pooling in the extremities, particularly the legs and feet, while you are sitting or lying down.

Compression socks are particularly helpful for runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the feet). There are even compression socks specifically designed to help treat this condition. You can learn more about them by checking out this list of plantar fasciitis socks.

3. Yoga Strap

Stretching is an essential part of recovery, but many runners tend to neglect it.

A yoga strap makes stretching a little easier, especially for people with tight hamstrings. Wrap the strap around the balls of your feet and think of it as an extension of your arms when doing forward bending stretches.

Straps are another great on-the-go recovery tool. They take up even less space than a massage stick!

4. Epsom Salts

Sometimes, a hot bath is the only thing that will cut it after a long day of training.

To make your bath even more effective for easing sore muscles, add two cups of Epsom salt to the water.

Epsom salt is not actually a salt, but a mineral compound also known as magnesium sulfate. When you soak in a bath with Epsom salts, the minerals are absorbed into the skin to help with aches and inflammation.

There are several different types of Epsom salts that you can use in your bath, including aromatherapy styles that contain essential oils. Try some lavender or peppermint oil for even more relief and relaxation.

5. Topical Pain Relief Products

Runners with sore muscles can also benefit from topic pain relief products. These products come in many forms, including creams, gels, and balms.

Many topical pain relief products contain ingredients known as counterirritants. Popular counterirritants include menthol, methylsalicylate, and camphor. They cause either a burning or cooling sensation that helps to distract you from your pain.

Topical products often contain salicylates as well. Salicylates are found in aspirin and help relieve pain and soreness.

Final Thoughts

Sore muscles and stiffness are part of life for runners. However, these five recovery tools can help your aches and pains and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Give one (or more) of them a try today!

This is a guest blog entry

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