There are numerous tactics and tools that can be utilized to promote recovery and keep the body loose in order to prevent injury. The following methods both promote recovery, keep the body strong in order to reduce the risk of injury, and aid in reducing post-workout soreness!
• Sleep and Nutrition: These two components of recovery are perhaps the most important pieces to the ‘recovery puzzle’. Adequate sleep and healthy eating are the first line of defense against overuse injuries and fatigue. Sleep is the key time for the body to repair itself, as all systems are at rest and there are no stressors acting on the body. Proper nutrition is imperative to ensure the body is receiving the key nutrients it needs in order to promote muscle recovery. Refer back to an article in a previous newsletter of ours for examples of healthy recovery foods!
• R.I.C.E.: This classic acronym spells out the best way to allow the body to recover between runs and workouts: Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate! Note that icing is most effective directly after workouts as it primary intention is to reduce swelling in order to speed the healing process that follows.
• Dynamic and Static Stretching: Keeping your muscles loose and your body flexible is crucial to avoiding many common running injuries because it helps to prevent potentially harmful muscles imbalances. Just remember: always warm-up with dynamic stretches and cool-down with static stretches! For examples of such stretches that target key muscle groups, just ask a Movin’ Shoes member!
• Foam Rollers: These ‘foam logs’ are not only miracle-workers for IT band issues, but can also be used to roll out ‘knots’ (trigger points) in the hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, calves, and the lower back. Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement, and ultimately, to enhance performance. Many sources recommend thoroughly rolling out following a workout in replace of static stretching. Movin’ Shes carries several models of Trigger Point foam rollers! Stop in and ask which model is best for you! Click here for more information
• Massage Rollers: A common massage roller is The Stick, which comes in varying lengths and flexibilities. You can use this tool by rolling the rod and its oversized beads across sore or tight muscles to essentially self-message your legs. Like foam rollers, these tools can help to combat muscle tightness and imbalance and to flush new, oxygenated blood into targeted areas. Movin’ features The Stick and Addaday massage rollers, both of which are designed to release ‘muscle knots’ and prevent myofascial pain. Utilizing these tools before and after workouts helps to promote recovery and prevent injury. Use the following link for more details: www.thestick.com
• Compression Socks and Sleeves: Compression socks and sleeves can be worn during and after workouts to achieve desired benefits. The special engineering of graduated compression helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as to stimulate the movement of new, oxygenated blood into the calves. At Movin’ we only carry the best brands in compression apparel, namely CEP and Zoot. Give us a call with any compression gear-related questions!
• NANO Foot Rollers and Massage Balls: Targeted primarily for the feet, these mini-foam roller Trigger Point tools are designed to stretch and massage the muscles of the feet. The innovative designs help to increase flexibility and relieve minor aches and pains in the feet. These recovery aids are perfect for use while at the office or while watching TV at home, as they can be used simultaneously to help in the aid of myofascial release.
Of course, with any recovery-related questions or inquiries regarding the tools above, don’t hesitate to stop in and ask! The Movin’ Shoes team is always eager to share our knowledge and opinions!