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Q: After running a race, what should someone do to speed up the recovery process?
There are two components to recovery after a race. First, you need to fuel. While you might want to grab whatever is convenient, focus on eating a healthy meal. This mainly includes eating lean meats, like turkey and chicken, and pasta to refuel your body. You want to avoid complex sugars ,which take a longer time to digest, and leafy greens, which can be difficult for the body to process.
The next component to race recovery requires both relaxing and modest movements. Your body is tired so napping for 15-45 minutes post-race with your legs elevated to reduce swelling is a great idea. After, do some modest movement like light walking and stretching. You want to avoid sitting and standing for an extended period of time.
With these tips, you will be well on your way to recovery!
Arja Owens is a physical therapist assistant at OrthoCarolina's Eastover location.