Runners generally fall into two camps post-run: those who rush off to their next responsibility and those who try to return their bodies to a pre-workout state. The former may get away with their habit for a while, but eventually, experts say, time catches up with them. People who don't recover can increase their risk for running injuries.
You may already have a post-run recovery routine including doing a short cooldown and refueling with a snack that contains protein and carbs, but there's another thing you can do to help reduce muscle soreness: Try a foam roller.
"There's ample evidence that this kind of massage helps boost tissue repair, increases mobility and decreases soreness,"says Kari Brown Budde, DPT, a sports physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio. Placing your full weight on the roller creates the pressure needed to break up adhesions and scar tissue. "Loosening these areas helps the muscles contract more efficiently, so you can move more easily and improve your performance," she adds. Use it on major muscles, such as calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, outer thighs, and lower back.
Here are three moves to try after your next run.