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1. Light Cool Down Exercises
After your run, do some low intensity cool down exercises. This helps to stimulate blood flow and bring essential nutrients to damaged muscles, allowing them to start repairing themselves faster. Go for squats, or some jumping jacks. But do remember not to overtax yourself you are aiming to improve blood flow, not to exert yourself unnecessarily.
2. Heat Therapy
Applying heat to sore muscles will help them to relax. Also, it promotes better blood flow and circulation to those muscles, bringing them more of the nutrients they need for recovery and repair after a tiring workout. Some effective methods of applying heat treatment include the use of a heating pad, heat wrap, or even a hot water bottle.
Elevation will allow your blood to recirculate, bringing much-needed nutrients to the muscles for repair and recovery. It also circulates more oxygen to the muscles as well as remove lactic acid that can cause muscle stiffness or soreness. For the optimal height, elevate your legs above heart level try propping up some pillows or invest in a proper leg elevation support.
After the run, much perspiration is lost, and its important to replenish those body fluids. Pick an isotonic sports drink as it will not only provide much-needed rehydration but also replenish the salts lost from sweating. That is important for warding off muscle soreness and spurring muscle repair.
"That soreness you feel is part and parcel of any runner's journey to greater performance."
Now who doesn't love massages? They help to promote blood flow and reduce muscle tightness, killing two birds with one stone. It makes the soreness more bearable and promotes recovery via increased blood circulation. However, there are a few different types of massages, so choose the one that's most relevant to your kind of muscle soreness.
6. Foam Roller
Massages are great, but regular sessions can be rather taxing on your wallet. Foam rolling is a more economical, do-it-yourself kind of massage that can be used on a more regular basis. It is also an effective way to promote blood flow and helps soothe out the knots in your muscles. Check out this article for some runner-centric roller moves!
7. Ice Bath
The cold will help reduce swelling from the micro-tears in your muscles. It also has a numbing effect, reducing the feeling of soreness in the days to come. However, use it sparingly, such as after a particularly taxing workout, because at times, it may hinder recovery instead. There's always the other option of applying heat, and its important to know when to use which.
Of course, after working out all those muscles, it's important to provide them with the nutrients to make the required repairs, such as ample protein. That said, take a dive into our article on post-run food for greater recovery from those muscle aches!
And there you go, 8 different methods to rid yourself of that annoying muscle soreness after a run. Sure, they may not be instant panaceas, but hey, you are not going to let that stop you from training, right? After all, "No Pain, No Gain" - that soreness you feel is part and parcel of any runner's journey to greater performance.
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