Managing fatigue, rest, recovery and technique to avoid injuries
On my local running trails, people know me as the old guy that runs daily. Some shake their head in disbelief as this 72-year old makes a good pace along the track, and some shake their head in disbelief that I should be so foolish. (MostlyI get cheery smiles and nods.)
What I notice is how many other runners fall by the wayside, with injuries. Running every day is fine if you can do it without injuring yourself. Here's how I manage fatigue, rest, recovery, awareness, breathing and natural time to avoid injuries.
Rollers and compression garments are low on the list
We've all experienced it - that pain that starts to swell from within about 12 hours after a tough, or unusual, exercise session. From there, it can get worse, making it painful to walk up steps after about 2 days. There's good news and bad news. The good news is that it will disappear. The bad news? There's little that can we can do to make it disappear a lot faster.
We'll take a look at the best four things that scientists regard as proven to reduce the pain. It's a short list (based on recent research).
The main reason is dry eyes, but there is more you can do to help
If your eyes feel like they're burning by 8 pm, you've got screen fatigue. Last week, mine did the same. So I did something about it.
Before the pandemic I was already working mostly at home, going into the city perhaps two days a week. Now I'm spending longer in front of the screen, and my eyes are sore at night.
I researched tips to relieve tired eyes, and I've put the best three into practice myself.
Waking with headaches told me that I had to do something differently
Even though I mostly worked from home before the pandemic, I am now working totally from home. Over the last two months, my neck muscles have felt more and more tense by the end of the day.
I've started doing three simple, quick stretches, and now my neck is feeling lighter. That's good news, because I also had light headaches every day, and even waking up with them. I suspected those were tension headaches.
Walking more? Healthy ankles take the stress off your knees
During the lockdown, we are allowed (in Australia) to leave our homes for exercise - alone or with one other person. There are many more people walking now than before the lockdown, which is good to see.
As we walk more often and become more ambitious to walk longer distances, it is sensible to pay attention to our foot health.
Conversely, imagine if you injured a foot while walking - you would be deprived of the pleasure and relief of being able to get out of the house each day for exercise.
Although we know that maintaining the flexibility of our feet reduces the chance of injury, we rarely attend to it.
Plus, Should you try a vegan diet?
[Copy of my weekly newsletter] Please enjoy my hand-picked 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found this week, to help you live longer better.
These four topics stood out to me (click the links below):
You Need To Do More Pull Exercises. Here's How To Condition Your Pull Posture To Make Them More Comfortable.
I hated doing them also, until now
For me, and others I see at the gym, doing "pull" exercises is not common. Not as common as "push" exercises.
The "pull" that I don't look forward to is bent-over rows - in whatever form. They pull at my hamstrings.
A simple "natural movement" has helped me be more willing to do more bent-over rows. That's important because we all need more balance between push and pull.
Here's what I learned, and now do daily.
Like breaking up, warming up seems hard to do. At least that's my observation based on 20 years of going to the gym.
People seem to hate warming up as much as they hate stretching after a workout.
They just don't, or won't, do it.
They say that warming-up up is hard to do
If you won’t stretch, then try just doing the same thing lighter
Hate stretching after a workout, here's a smoother alternative.
I get it, you're tired from the workout, and you don't feel like spending the extra time, and anyway, stretching isn't all that comfortable.
I'm a bit the opposite, as in before running I think "oh I guess I better spend the time warming up or I will regret it" - and I do the thing. After running, I'm OK with stretching as I appreciate the benefits it brings.
No doubt stretching after a workout is a good thing. But let's face it, people don't do it.
I have some good news for you. I can't give you back the time you will need to spend, but doing this will ease your muscle aches and its not discomforting - as stretching can be.
A good posture can make you feel more powerful and more confident
We all get old, but we can make choices about how we age.
Our muscles and tendons stiffen and shorten as we get older. This tightening of our musculoskeletal system causes pain and also tautens us into an older-looking posture -- before our time.
You might be as surprised as I was to learn that our hip flexor muscles play a significant role in making us appear older and more fragile.
You can postpone the onset of an aged posture, and its associated pain, with just a few simple exercises each day.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter