Forgot to pack heat? I’ve got you covered
Heating your muscles before a run can be one of the best ways to help ward off creeping injuries and get your body primed for high level exercise. Simply speaking, the warmer the blood can get around the areas that are tight, sore or cold, the better you’ll perform and the less likely you are to get injured. Sounds like a great plan, right? But what happens if you don’t have a heating pack in your house or you’re traveling and there is no place to buy one? I’ve got a simple solution that will give you access to a reusable, cheap, safe, and portable heating source almost anywhere and anytime.
The 2003 NCAA National Cross Country Championships were hosted by the University of Northern Iowa on a bitterly cold 10 degree and windy day. I was experiencing some mild Achilles pain from an early season injury and the slight tightness had me a bit worried going into the biggest race of my life. I knew I needed to heat it up, but with the nearest athletic store miles away and race time quickly approaching I had limited options. So, I dug into my bag of tricks and went to the grocery store and bought some plain white rice for 2 bucks. I took the rice home, grabbed a clean sock and filled it with the rice and tied off the end. Next, I took the “sock and rice” and placed it in the microwave for 90 seconds and viola, an instant heating pack that will provide moist heat for nearly 30 minutes and for only 2 bucks. The heat worked wonders and I finished 32nd, earning my first All-American certificate.
I still have that heating pack. It’s portable, quick, and it never fails while I am in jam. Have you ever noticed that you always lose the really expensive things you buy? Well, I think part of the reason I’ve had this heating pack is because it was so cheap and easy to make.
I hope this interesting trick for a cheap and portable heating option comes in handy for you one day too!