After a hard workout, your muscles are bound to feel sore or achy. Show them some love with these easy tips and tricks.
Ice vs. Heat
Use Ice When…
• You experience a sudden injury. Ice the muscle immediately after exercise.
• You have a chronic injury and feel pain every time you exercise. Get in the habit of icing the muscle after every workout.
Use Heat When…
• You have a chronic injury and feel pain every time you exercise. Heat the muscle before working out to relax and loosen the muscle.
Whether it’s by a masseuse, your hand, or an electronic massager, your muscles will benefit tremendously from a massage, which is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and enhance cell recovery.
If you can’t afford a masseuse with your college budget, you can give yourself a massage with these easy moves:
- Gliding: With your hand open and fingers relaxed, glide over your legs, starting at your feet. Do 10 strokes on each leg, hitting your calves, shins, quads, and hamstrings. Vary the intensity–start light, then dig in with the palm of your hand, moving in circles toward your core.
- Pressing: Start by squeezing each toe, then squeeze your Achilles tendon a few times. As you work up your leg, intensify the pressure on tougher muscles such as your calves and quads. Squeeze your muscles with one or both hands, or press into them with your fist or elbow.
- Drumming: Use the palm of your open hand, the side of your hand, or your fist to drum your way up your leg. Vary your intensity and speed.
- Knuckling: Hold your foot with one hand and make a loose fist with the other. Do knuckling movements all over the sole of your foot in small circular motions.
Put lotion on your hands before massaging your legs; it will make moving up and down the leg and foot much smoother.
You can also buy a handheld electric massager at Walmart or Target for $25.00 – totally worth the investment. Pop in some batteries and enjoy a quick massage as your muscles relax.
By Olivia M. Bowser