Yesterday was FITNESS magazine’s annual half-marathon, so I know that the 8,000 women who participated are probably pretty sore today. I had a BLAST running the race. It was so uplifting, motivating and encouraging to see all of these women cheering for each other and genuinely wanting each other to succeed. Here are some stretching exercises to aid your recovery from Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie and the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza:
- Standing, holding the left ankle with the left hand, pull backwards to feel the stretch, switch foot.
- Lying on your back, bring one knee to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds. Do the same with the opposite leg. Then bring both knees to your chest and hold for 30 seconds.
- Lying on your back with one leg on the floor; the other leg is bent, place a rope (or towel) on the ball of the foot, hold the rope and straighten to stretch.
- Facing the wall at arms distance, place one foot close to the wall and bend that knee and arms to stretch opposite calve. Switch legs.
- Place ball of foot on the edge of stairs, lower one heel, then switch.
- Sit with both legs straight. Loop a rope around the ball of one foot and pull each end of the rope. Flex your feet.
- Bend as if you are going to touch your toes and hang. At each exhale lower your hands. Slowly roll back up one vertebra at a time.
Can’t make it to the spa for a sports massage? “Give yourself a break from everyday stresses with stretches that target overworked or tight muscles in the body,” says Cassandra LeDonne, lead therapist at the Spa at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, Florida. “They’re simple and can be done in bed without equipment.” Her regimen:
- Lie comfortably on your back and pull your knee to your chest, stretching the hamstrings.
- Drop your knee at a right angle to the side and rest in that position to loosen the hips.
- With knees bent and feet flat, place your left foot at a right angle on top of the opposite knee, pushing the right knee into the chest.
- Extend your arm above your head and slightly out, relaxing it and adjusting to target the tight spots in your chest and shoulder.
- Repeat on both sides, breathing deeply as you go and settling into each for at least one minute. Follow with a calming sea or Epsom salt bath. “The salts help to relieve sore muscles,” she says. Our pick: Super-soothing LaNatura Feel-Well Organic Lavender Mineral Bath Salts—they come with seashells for scooping!