• This entry was posted in Fitness on March 02, 2016

  • Sore from an intense workout yesterday? Severe leg pain isn’t something you should try to power through. Give your body a rest day.

    That being said, your rest day shouldn’t be spent glued to the couch. It’s helpful to do low-key versions of the exercises that made you sore. For example, if a five-mile run caused your soreness, go for a 30-minute power walk or slow jog to help ease the pain and enable your muscles to recover faster.

    Another way to recover is stretching. Here are a few of the best stretches you can do to ease leg and foot pain – using only a towel and two chairs. Paired with moderate cardio (which can also help you recover after strength training sessions), you’ll be feeling better in no time.

    Hamstring stretch. Lie flat on your back. Lift your left leg up with a bent knee. Support your knee with a towel, holding on to both sides with your hands. Slowly straighten your knee. Stop or slow down if you start feeling any pain. Continue stretching until the bottom of your foot is facing the ceiling. Hold for 10-15 seconds, and then switch to your right side.

    Quad stretch. Stand up with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly bend your left knee back until your foot is as close to your backside as it can go. Slowly bend it back forward and back to the ground. Repeat 10-15 times, and then switch to your right side.

    Calf stretch. Stand up with your feet hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Slowly raise your heels so you’re standing on your toes and hold for five seconds. Lower your heels down and repeat 10-15 times, gradually increasing the time you hold at the top.

    Foot stretch. Sit down in a chair with a small hand towel placed on the floor in front of you. Pick up the towel by scrunching it between your toes – keep your heel planted firmly on the ground. Repeat 10-15 times. If this move is too easy, you can make it more challenging by placing a small weight on one side of the towel.

    Knee stretch. Sit down in a chair with your left leg resting on another chair in front of it. Slowly raise your leg into the air and hold for 10 seconds. Focus on making this happen using only your leg muscles. Repeat 5-10 times, and then switch to your right leg.

    Knowing how to recover is an essential part of working out safely and effectively. Make sure you’re eating healthy protein-packed meals, taking some time to rest, and engaging in mild cardio and stretching on your days off to prevent injury and keep yourself motivated.