We’ve all heard it and we all know it to be true: preventative care is of vital importance for any athlete. Stretching, rolling, massaging, you name it…it’s the key to preventing injury and prolonging our athletic dreams.
Yet for some strange reason, as much as it has been harped on over and over again by every magazine and blogger out there, somehow we find ourselves brushing it off and I completely understand why. We only have a limited amount of hours in the day and if I have to choose an hour of running, or 45 minutes of running and 15 minutes of stretching, my endorphin-junkie mind carelessly picks the hour of running every time.
But then you’ll find yourself just sitting on the couch, catching up on Bob’s Burgers because somehow your husband’s TV-taste has rubbed off on you and you think, “I should be rolling right now.” Somehow your ass in glued in place and you just can’t be bothered to get up, walk to the next room and grab the punishment pieces needed to take preventative care/rehab seriously. Yup, that’s me. But fear not young one, I come bearing a solution!
Enter: The Living Room Recovery Kit!
I know, I know, the true originality of this is mind-blowing and my interior decorating skills are something to be rivaled. But this simple trick has helped me stick with my rolling routine. Here’s how it works:
1) Get a basket.
2) Fill it with preventative care goodies (details below).
3) Put it in a highly visible spot in a regularly trafficked room.
4) Watch it stare at you, taunting you, as you sit there doing everything but rolling.
5) Let the guilt magic set in and finally use the contents of said kit, shake your fist in the air and proclaim, “Damn you, foam roller. Daaaaaaamn you!”
It’s that easy! Now, for the contents of my living room recovery kit:
1) A Yoga Mat, because you need one for obvious reasons. Carpet burn is never cool.
2) A Mini Pilates Ball for core and hip strengthening exercises. But you should probably inflate it more than mine.
3) A Kettle Bell. I keep this little five pounder handy for core work as it’s cheaper and smaller than a medicine ball, and I can use it for Nike Training Club app workouts.
4) A Foam Roller. Go with the trigger point for some real torture, not just the black foam. Plus, this compact size is much better for traveling (should you be so inclined) because I have no idea how you’re going to pass a three-foot foam roller as a carry on.
5) The Stick. I like the travel size for obvious, space-related reasons.
6) Foot Massage Balls. I actually won these in a Secret Santa gift exchange two years ago (thanks Katie!) and love them. I keep one at my desk at work (gross — who cares) and one in the basket. The bottom of my foot has been giving me some issues as it’s overcompensating for my ankle, and a little time with these bad boys help immensely.
7) A good ol’ fashioned Lacrosse Ball. Truth be told, Coach Paul found me this one as we were doing transition laps around the track. Get one, put your butt on it, and try and roll out the magic.
I should also give an honorable mention to the tub of Aquaphor that I keep next to my nightstand to massage my ankle. I’m not sure if Aquaphor is made for massaging, but Emily sent it to me and it works really well!
So there you have it, my living room recovery kit. Tell me, how do you ensure that you are rolling/stretching/etc.? Anything else you would add to the basket?