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Runner's remedies and feel-good fitness aids

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With 2014 in full motion and the resolve to get in shape, it’s time to get familiar with the must-have massage marvels and top cold & compression remedies to recharge and recover easily and efficiently.

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Give your body a boost and help it recharge and recover quickly and effectively with the proper tools and everyday exercise essentials that will significantly impact your performance and help you feel-good. By massaging targeted and troubled areas, stretching pre- and post-running or working out, and always remembering to nurse new and ongoing injuries for a better and quicker recharge and recovery, you’ll be stronger and faster, breaking new running and fitness records like a pro. Check out these top-picks by 110% and Trigger Point Performance Therapy that will help prevent and eradicate pain as well as help you reach peak performance:

TP Therapy Cold Roller ($99.99) - this cutting edge tool offers two-in-one action for rapid recovery, letting you apply cold compression onto targeted muscles while providing Myofascial massage. Trigger Point Performance Therapy’s Cold Roller is ultra-easy to use and super-effective, rolling-out targeted tension, tenderness and pain while applying much-needed cold therapy which delivers closer contact to skin to penetrate the troubled area and reduce inflammation for faster recovery.

THE TECHNOLOGY…The Cold Roller combines the best of both worlds used by world class trainers and athletes: Cryotherapy (cold therapy) and Myofascial massage. The Cold Roller is a smooth stainless steel roller that’s strong, sanitary and long-lasting. It features a patent-pending gel core that maintains its cold efficacy for up to 3 hours and polyurethane wheels that glide over troubled areas with ease. The Cold Roller provides a precise trigger point release (Myofascial release) powered with cold therapy, resulting in less treatment time — it lets you massage troubled areas and apply cold treatment all at once so you can bounce back quicker and stronger.

THE TEST…I used the Cold Roller and was amazed by its ease of use and rapid-recovery effects. The Cold Roller is easy to get in motion, simply place in freezer for at least a couple of hours, wipe down the core with a warm washcloth to remove the frost and begin treatment. At first, the muscles need some time to adjust, so I started by slowly rolling it on my troubled area (my shin) and increasing pressure with every rolling motion. While it is understandable to experience pain at the beginning since sore and injured areas are tender, you’ll begin to notice with every rolling action, the pain starts to slowly lessen. What’s more, the cold infuses the skin and muscles with a feel-good freeze that helps lower the inflammation while reducing the pain. The Cold Roller is a convenient self-activating tool — no need to load it up with ice or add anything additional. I love the fact that I can simply place it in the freezer and use, it really makes treatment a stress-free feat plus it cuts therapy time. I also really enjoyed how smooth and contoured the roller is, it simply glides over a variety of body areas without causing pain or pinching skin. Moreover, the fact that the Cold Roller combines cryotherapy with Myofascial massage really provides a one-stop cure-all for muscle pain and soreness that lets you recover quickly and efficiently so you can feel good in no time. Visit www.tptherapy.com to purchase the Cold Roller, retails for $99.99.

TP Therapy Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle ($75) and The GRID 2.0 Foam Roller ($64.99)- this revolutionary multi-directional foam roller blows traditional foam rollers out of the game thanks to its innovative, eco-chic and durable design, versatility, and feel-good vibes. Trigger Point Performance Therapy’s GRID 2.0 Foam Roller is based on a genius grid-system to offer a super-performing action that features varying widths and densities to let you “work it out” in a wide range of levels and positions. What’s more, the Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle comes with “The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies” by nationally renowned sports medicine physician Jordan D. Metzl, MD.

THE TECHNOLOGY…The GRID 2.0 Foam Roller is an advanced foam roller that puts the user in full control of the coverage and massage craved in order to condition the body prior to working out as well as help the body recover post-workout. The GRID 2.0 features three Distrodensity™ Zones along with Matrix Technology to deliver a precision-point massage with different levels of intensity. The Distrodensity™ Zones cleverly mimic the hands for targeted treatment: tubular zones that are like the fingers, low & fat zones like the palm and high & firm zones like the fingertips. The GRID 2.0 is not only a revolutionary multi-directional foam that gives your precise and full control of the pressure and targeted area but it is also eco-friendly thanks to its hollow core which uses less foam. Additionally, the Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle comes with The GRID 2.0 Foam Roller and The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies— an award winning book to help you stay injury-free. Dr. Metzl features “Foam Roll Exercises” on page 258 and describes them as “The Best Injury-Prevention Workout You’re Not Doing.”

THE TEST…I put TP Therapy’s Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle through the rounds and it has now become an essential exercise tool that gives me a range of precise and deep massages—as a result, I feel stronger and more flexible. The GRID 2.0 Foam Roller is generously-sized, measuring 26" long and 5" in diameter, letting me workout out and massage my entire body from my shoulder blades, back, glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings and more. Because it has multi-directional Distrodensity™ Zones, I can twist and roll myself in a variety of angles in order to benefit my body with the appropriate precision-point, I simply place the foam roller in the position I need and apply pressure as I massage the targeted area. I love the fact that I can customize my massage and vary my level of intensity according to what I need, for example I simply apply more pressure on those pesky, deeper knots or go gradually over more tender areas. Furthermore, I really feel that the Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle is a dynamic duo and must-have to purchase together because it includes the revolutionary GRID 2.0 Foam Roller and “The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies.” This vital book not only contains exact foam roller exercises to perform properly but it also serves as a home remedy guide for common injuries and pains — you get a wealth of knowledge on how to prevent and treat a wide-range of maladies that athletes, runners and newbies experience. Shop www.tptherapy.com to purchase the Dr. Metzl 2.0 Foam Roller Bundle which retails for $75 or The GRID 2.0 Foam Roller, retails for $64.99.

110% Flat Out Sox in Pink ($60) and 110% Flat Out Sox in Hi-Viz ($60) - slip on these super-performing pair of socks to experience the ultimate in compression, all-day comfort, optimal performance and superior recovery. 110% Flat Out Sox reign supreme thanks to their zoned & gradient compression, plush moisture-wicking fabric, anatomically accurate design and performance-enhancing & rapid recovery details.

THE TECHNOLOGY…110% Flat Out Sox feature an anatomically-accurate design made specifically for the right foot and left foot to provide each with targeted support and compression. What’s innovative and distinctively unique is that these socks feature two types of compression: zoned and gradient. The zoned compression stabilizes muscles while reducing impact in the calf, shin, ankle and foot— the bold graphic design is not only fashionable but super functional, it works like kinesiology tape to support major muscles by reducing fatigue, enhancing endurance and speeding recovery. While the gradient compression promotes blood flow for improved circulation. Plus, 110% Flat Out Sox are packed with all the small details that make a huge difference so you can “Play Harder” including, plush, breathable and stay-dry fabric that’s comfortable, a roomy toebox construction, anti-chafe padding and arch support.

THE TEST…Once I slipped on the 110% Flat Out Sox I was in heaven, I literally felt like I was floating on my feet. First off, the fabric feels luxurious — it is plush and stretchy allowing my legs and feet to feel super-comfy while keeping them cool and dry thanks to its moisture-wicking and ventilating features. I love the fact that these socks offer a dual-defense, both zoned & gradient compression along with the payoff of excellent support which is similar to the benefits of kinesiology tape. The fact that each sock is anatomically specific for my right foot and left foot makes me feel confident that each sock is specially-made to benefit each foot according to its shape, plus it gives me a comfortable and custom-fit that’s unmatched. These socks feature premium anti-chafe padding on the areas of the foot that experience the most pressure and abuse, the ball of foot, heel and ankle area which significantly helps those suffering from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and metatarsalgia (pain at ball of foot). As I runner, I can truly appreciate this extra padding since I suffer from the latter two, it makes walking and running easier, less-tiresome, and less painful. It’s also a pleasant surprise to see that the Flat Out Sox are easy to slip on and off thanks to their non-binding top band and roomy toe box area, gone are the days where I used to yank and break a sweat trying to put on and pull off other difficult compression socks. Overall, these are an exceptional pair to own and achieve peak-performance as well as superior recovery — they feel soothing and supportive that you’ll want to live in these 24/7. Nab them in the pretty-in-pink style, Flat Out Sox Pink to add a burst of color to your running wardrobe and also be sure to glow-gorgeous with the Flat Out Sox in Hi-Viz, to cool neon color for high-visibility. Shop www.110playharder.com to purchase these two styles.

110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves ($75) - enjoy the comfort and convenience of a compression calf sleeve with cold therapy thanks to 110% single ground-breaking gear that’s sure to become part of your post-recovery ritual. 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves feature a pair of calf sleeves along with reusable ice inserts that conveniently tuck into specially-created pockets that surround the entire calf sleeve so you can keep moving while pampering and treating you shins and calves to cryotherapy and compression.

THE TECHNOLOGY…110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves offer a stand-out single-step system combining compression and ice therapy for rapid recovery. The Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves fuse the power of zoned and gradient compression along with that of an ice bath thanks to its smooth single seam construction for 360° icing. Simply insert the reusable ice insert and enjoy the chill as it completely surrounds the entire calf and shin area with icing. What’s more, the sleeves offer a feel-good support for quick recovery that includes a stretchy, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial Silvertech fabric, targeted compression that alleviates the pain with precise care thanks to its embedded zoned and gradient areas, and a convenient all-in-one remedy that cuts time out of treatment while providing maximum recovery.

THE TEST…The 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves are amazing shin splint solutions and calf aids! This two-in-one wonder is a critical injury prevention, pain reliever and recovery aid that’s a must for runners and all those that enjoy playing hard. In testing them out, I was blown away by how easy they are to use yet super-efficient and insanely comfortable. First, they come packaged in a heavy-duty insulating bag that is absolutely clever and convenient to keep- they’re a great way to safely preserve and store the sleeves when not in use, but moreover, they make the sleeves portable, helping to extend its cold properties when on the go for up to 6 hours. Secondly, you get a pair of calf sleeves for your right- and left-foot along with 4 110% reusable and bendable ice inserts, two smaller-sized ones and two larger inserts so you can select between two varying sizes according to your preferred coverage and personalized fit. Now on to its use and benefits — 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves are incredibly convenient, simply soak the ice inserts in warm water for no more than 10 minutes, place in freezer and use. These sleeves with 360° icing pockets feel extremely comforting, I quickly benefited from the double-dose of breathable yet firm compression along with cold therapy which not only targeted my muscles and soothed my fatigued legs but helped me feel better almost immediately, allowing me to bounce back and take on another challenge the next day. 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves are great running companions to wear while enduring high miles to enhance performance as well as great recovery aids to apply after a tough workout or strenuous run to jumpstart the recovery process. What’s more, their a convenient and effective way to treat shin splints and calf pain with compression and icing that will reduce inflammation, boost circulation and speed up recovery. 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf sleeves are available to purchase at www.110playharder.com.

Follow me on Twitter: @Gabriela_Isabel

Disclosure: Author received product samples solely for the purpose of review, with no monetary compensation to offer a favorable mention. All information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended in any way to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Author accepts no liability for any loss or damage that may occur from the use of any information or products featured in articles. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional if you have any questions or concerns about your health.

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