Three Hacks For Happy Muscles

When we go running we tend to end up with a few aches and niggles.

Some can be worse than others and some – when left to their own devices – can worsen and lead to time off from running.

Here are three hacks to help you recover fast.

Foam Rolling

This is a heavy duty foam cylinder. Some have bumps on them, others are smooth.

It’s a great tool for lengthening and elongating muscles, but its benefits are especially helpful for runners, who often suffer from tight and fatigued muscles.

Instead of just lengthening the muscle, a foam roller massages muscles intensely, much like a massage from a massage therapist.

Foam rolling is the application of pressure to eliminate scar-tissue and soft-tissue adhesion by freeing up your fascia.

The idea is to stretch and loosen the fascia so that everything can move more freely. This results in decreased muscle and joint pain, increased circulation and improved mobility, balance and gait for peak performance.

If you have an area of pain do not subject this directly to foam rolling as you could create more inflammation and tension in the area.

Foam rolling is a bit like training for a marathon. There are some sessions that hurt but you have to do them well to make it worth your while.

The maximum amount of time you should spend on any one area is 20 seconds or so. After this, you only risk irritating the spot more than you’re helping it.

Have a cold bath

The theory behind ice baths is related to the fact that intense exercise causes microtrauma, which is tiny tears in your muscle fibres.

This microscopic muscle damage is actually a goal of exercise as it stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles.

But it is also linked with delayed onset muscle pain and soreness (DOMS), which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.

The ice bath was believed to:

  1. Constrict blood vessels and flush waste products, like lactic acid, out of the affected tissues
  2. Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes
  3. Reduce swelling and tissue breakdown

Then, with rewarming, the increased blood flow was believed to speed up circulation, and in turn, improve the healing process.

You can do this in the shower by turning the water to cold and hosing down your legs.

Too intense? Try a warm bath with Epsom salts. I like to add essential oils into my bath to either calm down or stimulate my brain depending on the time of day.

Eat Curcumin

Curcumin is a chemical found in Turmeric that helps alleviate joint pain and increase recovery time due to having a large amount of anti-inflammatory properties.

It has been scientifically proven that turmeric is as powerful as most anti-inflammatory prescription medications.

Take turmeric before a workout to help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue – you can easily add it to recipes for a spicy kick.

Or you can use supplements which feature optimum amounts of curcumin.

I like to use the doTERRA Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex when I’ve increased my training for an event like a marathon. This has 250mg of curcuminoids as well as Frankincense, Resveratrol and Green Tea, which all help support the body.

I also use the doTERRA LifeLong Vitality supplements. One part of this is Alpha CRS, which also includes Curcumin. The formula makes them absorbed seven times better than in other forms. 

The Lifelong Vitality supplements come with a 30 day money back guarantee so worth trying.