Thursday, April 26, 2012

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'RE FEELING BLUE

Dr. Jeff Weekes from Dynamic Health and Performance  visited our group and had a few tips to offer on recovery, a subject that has been mentioned several times in this blog.  Here are some of the things that he touched on.



Cyclists need to stretch their pecs and work on posture.  A good stretch is to use a foam roller (the denser the material the better).  Lay on your back with the foam roller parallel to your legs so your head and back are supported.  Open up your arms to make a cross, palms up, and feel the stretch in your chest.  The foam roller is also great for stretching out tight legs.

Another good exercise to do is with your back against a wall, head, shoulders, back, and butt touching the wall, feet can be a few inches away from the wall.  Place your arms against the wall with your upper arm parallel to the floor, 90 degree bend in your elbow and hands against the wall with the fingers pointing up.  All of your arm, wrist, hand and fingers should be flat on the wall.  If you can do this part, then raise your arms over your head keeping everything flat on the wall.  This is a great exercise to do throughout the day to stretch out the shoulders, especially for those who work at a desk all day.

We've talked about the importance of stretching and hot/cold showers, which was enforced by Dr. Weekes.  Stretch after warming up the muscles with a foam roller, the stick or rolling pin, or exercise to iron out any kinks and hold each stretch for 20 seconds.

Arnica and Traumeel are natural products to help with recovery and to reduce inflammation.  Aspirin and ibuprofen seek to mask the pain, so use caution, we are often sore for a reason and by eliminating the pain we are able to train harder which can lead to injury or make an injury more severe.

Active recovery is something that I am a big believer in and Dr. Weekes touched on as well.  If you do a hard ride or run in the morning, then go out for a very easy ride, walk, or gentle activity in the afternoon, and/or the next day.  Activity helps the blood pump through our bodies which is what eliminates the toxins, including lactic acid which is what makes our muscles sore.

The most important thing is to know your body, when something feels off, uncomfortable, wonky, or painful, then deal with it immediately.  It might be that you need to take a day off, stretch more, hydrate, take a supplement, or see a therapist (massage, osteopath, physic, chiropractic).  Think of your body like a car, keep it tuned up and well cared for and it will keep on riding smoothly, pun intended.

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