Oh, The Pain!
There I was, lying in bed on a Sunday morning, unable to move. And let me tell you, it was all self-inflicted. But surprisingly, it wasn’t due to a wild night out with friends, or even a few too many glasses of wine. Nope, it was because I had gone for a run.
Now, I’m not a runner. I much prefer team sports where someone else is in charge of the warm-up and cool-down. But on this particular Saturday evening, I felt like challenging myself, so I laced up my trainers and hit the park.
Now, I’m not going to lie, when I hit stop on my Fitbit I was feeling pretty smug. The light spring evening was perfect for a run, and the sense of accomplishment was amazing. I had no idea that less than 12 hours later, I would wake up with a bit of a problem.
You see, when I’m with a group, someone always reminds me to stretch after exercising. But when I’m alone, the concept seems to completely escape my mind, so I didn’t stretch at all after my run. Instead, I made a pit stop at the pub (hey, it was still early enough in the evening that I could get away with a red face and a bit of sweat if I wore my sunglasses).
The next morning I woke up ‘locked’. I felt like how I would imagine a 96 year-old woman may feel after running a marathon. Every muscle in my body ached, and I could barely move without wincing in pain. I mean, I pushed myself, but I was hardly doing a Mo Farrah impression… I hadn’t run a marathon or broken a record, I had just run a couple of laps around the park with my dog! It was then that I realised the importance of stretching after exercising.
I called up a friend to tell her about my misery. She laughed and told me that she had done the exact same thing the previous week. It was almost comical, how we had both forgotten something so basic. Stretching is like Sport 101 that we learnt about in PE lessons a couple of decades ago. HOW had two relatively sporty, not completely mindless women both managed to make the same basic error?!
So what’s the science behind stretching post-workout? Well, for starters, stretching helps to increase blood flow to your muscles, which can help to reduce soreness and stiffness. It also helps to improve flexibility and range of motion, which can reduce the risk of injury. AND can be especially important for those of us who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk during the day.
Lesson learned. Don’t forget to stretch after exercising, even if you’re feeling great and want to celebrate with a pint or two. Your muscles will thank you for it in the morning!
The good thing is that I have continued my running quest, and I know that I will never forget to stretch it out ever again!
Need a bit of a helping hand?
Here are some top products that have helped me with my post-run recovery journey and I highly recommend.
1. TriggerPoint The Grid Foam Roller, £31.99
I feel incredibly silly laying on the floor rolling around on a foam tube, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Not only does it feel like a mini massage, but using a foam roller post-workout can help reduce muscle soreness and increase flexibility. Plus, it’s basically like having your own personal chiropractor. So, next time you’re feeling tight and sore after a workout, give the foam roller a chance. Trust me, your body will thank you.
2. Ross J. Barr, 5 Healing Patches, £15
Not strictly for post workout, but I think it’s worth a mention. If you’re someone who suffers from cramps or muscle pain, you know how much of a buzzkill it can be. But fear not, my friends! Ross J. Barr Healing Patches are here to save the day (and your mood). These little patches are like a superhero cape for your body – natural, effective and convenient. They’re perfect for those painful menstrual cycles and can also help ease inflammation and muscular problems for all genders. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a discreet patch that you can wear under your clothes without anyone noticing? So, whether you’re feeling the monthly woes or just need a little patch of comfort after a tough workout, these babies will have you feeling better in no time.
3. Bodi-Tek Deep Tissue Sports Cordless Massage Gun, £80
I know it looks like something you’d find in the ‘adult’ shop, but trust me, this Bodi-Tek Cordless Massage Gun is a lifesaver. With six interchangeable heads, it’s perfect for before or after exercise. It’s like having your very own personal masseuse on hand 24/7. The percussion action of the massage head gets your blood and lymphatic circulation pumping, warms up your muscles, and improves your tissue elasticity. And when you’re done sweating it out, this bad boy helps bring in the oxygen and nutrients your muscles need, while flushing out that pesky lactic acid that causes soreness, fatigue, and cramps. So go ahead, treat yourself to a little massage gun action. Your muscles will thank you.
4. Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak, £44
Give your mind and body some TLC with Elemis’ Aching Muscle Super Soak. With over 30 years of experience in ultimate skin wellness, Elemis is all about “defined by nature, led by science”. Soaking in this energising and uplifting blend of extracts is the perfect way to unwind after a workout. Whether you’ve been pumping iron or mastering downward dog, this soak is the ideal way to punctuate your routine. With thyme, rosemary, and clove, it’ll ease your aches and pains and leave you feeling rejuvenated. So go ahead and treat yourself to a hot date with your tub and this heavenly soak!
5. Bulk Vitamin B12 Tablets 1000mcg, £14.99
Intense training might put your body under stress, but fear not, as Vitamin B12 can help maintain normal function of your immune system, red blood cell formation, and energy-yielding metabolism. These amazing Vitamin B12 1000mcg Tablets by Bulk provide a higher dosage of the essential vitamin than typical supplements, and are an easy and convenient way to add more of this vital nutrient to your daily diet.
Get Stretching- NO EXCUSES!
Alice @ Glorious X
N.B. Glorious is not affiliated with any of these brands or products and does not receive any monetary gain, we just like em’!