Some days, running sucks. Yesterday, my running buddy and I (the adult one) together with our 3 kids under 2 and Miss Oakley headed out on what should have been our longest run of our training program for the Harbor Half. Well, sometimes life disagrees. We were both tired, she was fighting off some serious allergies and Little M was a total WRECK. Throughout the 7 miles that we actually managed to cover (before calling in a rescue from running buddy's hubby and his truck - BLESS HIM) we picked up bottles, pacifiers, ipads, fruit snacks and shoes from being thrown on the ground. We cleaned up a bloody mouth after Little M bumped it on the stroller. We walked. A lot. We "moooo-ed" at lots of cows. We stopped and did reset and tried to pretend we were just starting. None of it worked. It wasn't our day. It's hard to be ok with "failed" runs sometimes but I'm trying to stay positive. We still covered 7 miles, our kiddos are all happy and healthy back at home and we got to spend the morning outside. I'm kind of bummed that we have to try for 10 again next week, but I know things will be better. They will they will!
Now, that little rant doesn't have much to do with what I was planning to post about today, except for that after that fiasco I would have KILLED for an hour of silence on a deep tissue massage table. But alas...I headed home to copious amounts of coffee and my trusty foam roller.
In a perfect world, we would all be able to head into an athletic training room after a tough workout and get iced down, maybe get some massage and do some rehab exercises. Or...in an even MORE perfect world, we would get to go to weekly massage appointments at a spa! Alas, we don't live in a perfect world. Most of us can't afford to hit the massage table regularly and when we're injured, it can be tough to make time to get to a physical therapist regularly! Since I rarely get to enjoy these luxuries, I've realized that a lot of what I need done to stay injury/pain free can be done at home! As I've been increasing my running mileage, I have DEFINITELY been putting these little tools to good use!
Today I'm going to share with you my little home-rehab-gym that YOU can create for LESS than $20! Yep. That's less than 1 appointment with a pro!
Now, I'm not discounting the effectiveness of professional massage therapists, body workers, physical therapists - if I could, I would probably live in their offices! I just can't access them all the time, so this is the next best thing!
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Here's what you need:
1 foam roller
3 tennis balls
1 old long sock
1 golf ball
1 medium sized playground or foam ball
Ribbon or tie
Soothing essential oils + Roll-on Bottle
Alright - the foam roller is hands down the biggest (but BEST!) investment. You can find them anywhere from Walmart to TJ Maxx to your sporting goods store. I found this one on Amazon. Mine is only 12 inches long and was under $10. You don't have to get the super long ones! Here's an old post of mine that demos some great foam rolling techniques! COST: $10
And what's with the old sock? Well, first of all, it doesn't have to be old. But the point is you probably don't have to buy a sock just for this. We all have a single sock laying around right? Place 2 tennis balls into the foot of the sock and tie it off so the balls are snug into the bottom of the sock. This is a little different version of a foam roller. It's perfect for rolling out your back or shoulders! I like to stand up and put this little tool between me and the wall and let in massage between my shoulder blades. COST: Less than $2
The tie or ribbon is another thing I know you already have at your house. You could even use a long towel. The purpose of this is to be a stretch-helper! Hook it under your foot while you're doing lying hamstring stretches, or work on chest and shoulder flexibility with this stretch. COST: FREE!
The golf ball is another really cool little massage tool. You can roll on it, but it is very small and dense so it can be really intense. My favorite way to use it is on my arches! It's a great way to prevent plantar fasciitis or to relieve tired, achy feet. Just put it under your arch and give your little tootsies a golf ball massage! It feels SO GOOD! You probably also have an old golf ball laying around, but if you don't you can a pack of 3 for $1 at the dollar store. We're not looking for quality here - so get the cheap ones! I found mine in the bottom of my husband's golf bag! COST: $1 or less
The playground ball is a great one for strength/rehab exercises. Squeeze it between your knees during pelvic tilts/bridges or between your knees for stabilization during squats. You probably have this laying around, but if you don't, you can get them for $1 at the dollar store! COST: $1 or less
The bucket can be used for a few things. You probably have a bucket around that will suffice, but in case you don't you can find one like this for $3.50. (Probably even cheaper if you hit up your local discount or dollar store).First, you can use it as an ice bucket. For injuries like ankle sprains, getting ice on it is really important in the first 24 hours. Put some cold water in the bucket (a mop bucket will do!) and add several cups of ice from your freezer. Ice for 15 minutes at a time every hour or so for new injuries.
The other thing is for an awesome foot soak. Runners will love this one. Fill the bucket with warm water, put a cup of epsom salts ($1/bag at The Dollar Tree!) and 1 drop of soothing essential oils ($0.38/drop) for the ultimate in foot relief! This can also be done in a tub for a full body soak!
COST: $4.88 or less
Making and using a roll-on bottle of essential oils is another really cost-effective way to relieve muscle tension throughout your day. Fill a little roll-on bottle ($0.42/each) with a few drops of soothing essential oils, and fill the rest with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Use on sore muscles throughout the day! For more info on my favorite essential oils, join my Facebook group! COST: $2 or less!
TOTAL COST: $20 (or less!)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, physical therapist or medical professional. I do not intend to give diagnose, treat or give medical advise. Please refer to your doctor in case of injuries and rehab protocol.
How about you?
How do you take care of yourself at home?
What have you "recycled" in your house to act as a therapy tool?
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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