Stretching Prevents Injury, and Other Misconceptions About Exercise

This does need a YMMV disclaimer unfortunately.  Cold static vs warm static pre workout stretch varies in terms of efficacy for many, and the six month rule shoe rule is in play for most marathoners, and may even be less depending on whether you rock a stability type of shoe, etc.

Why Your Muscles Get Sore (and What You Can Do About It)

When you’re struggling to walk down the stairs the day after a tough workout, should you view your soreness as proof you worked hard, or as a sign you overdid it? The truth is somewhere in between. Let’s learn about where soreness comes from and how to keep it from making you miserable.

Source: Why Your Muscles Get Sore (and What You Can Do About It)

One of the suggestions to combat soreness is ibuprofen – do not do this on blood thinners, at least not before reading about it.

Sports Massage Doesn’t Flush Toxins, but May Help You Recover

There is good reason massage therapists are part of an elite runner’s entourage. And why the lines for a postrace massage seemingly extend for miles. A rubdown—even a deep, intense one—feels great. Runners report that massages help lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion, while also making them feel relaxed and rewarded for their hard efforts.

Yet despite massage’s popularity and positive reputation, there’s been little scientific evidence to support why athletes feel so good when they hop off the table. “It can be hard to merge basic science with alternative medicine,” says Justin Crane, Ph.D., a McMaster University researcher who conducted some of the first objective studies on massage in 2012. Practitioners say massage relieves muscle soreness, promotes circulation, flushes toxins and lactic acid from the body, and eases joint strain—claims supported by centuries of anecdotal evidence from China, Sweden, and around the globe. But science hadn’t confirmed just what massage actually achieves—until now. Recent research has sorted out what’s true and what’s not.

Source: The Pros and Cons of Massages for Runners

Massage do not flush lactic acid, or other “toxins” from your muscles. Lactic acid is produced during exercise, and though you might associate it with a burning feeling during hard work – it’s not a problem, isn’t responsible for next-day soreness, and doesn’t need help to be removed from the muscles.  Plenty of studies show that massage has no effect on blood flow to the muscles.

Massage does help to relax muscles, though, which can help to relieve tight muscles. The same action can break up adhesions, a type of scar tissue that sometimes forms in muscle.  Massage promotes recovery.

Stretching After Exercise: Does it Aid in Recovery?

Learn about the body’s adaptations to different types of post-workout activities. Did you know that serious stretching after a workout is contraindicated for recovery? Instead, avoid serious stretching after training and use a mild exercise to cool down.

Source: Stretching After Exercise: Does it Aid in Recovery?

I’ve done yoga for years, and recently started to practice on my own because it’s been difficult to find a class that meshes with my schedule.  I’ve never used it for recovery, and “restorative” classes are not for me.  The primary focus has been strength and flexibility – my hamstrings love to shrink.  And I’m under the impression I have scoliosis (I recently found out this is just a term for back curvature, it’s not just congenital) so while I don’t feel twists I experience the benefit in a portion of my lower back that constantly needs realignment.  I believe I’ve experienced an improvement in both running and cycling from doing warrior related postures…  While it might not be recovery in the sense that the article talks about, the experiences since I started practicing more regularly suggest it was a good idea.  It helps that I like doing it too.