Friday, July 28, 2017

Bouncing Back From Mild Fitness Injuries

Most all of us know that if we twist our ankles we must walk in a boot for a few weeks, if we injure our knees we must walk on crutches, and so on. But what about mild fitness injuries, like sore muscles or excess fatigue? Should we ignore them, suspend our fitness regimens altogether, or take some action that lies somewhere in the middle?

As in many other areas of life, the answer is probably “do something in the middle.”

Sore muscles are perhaps the most common mild sports injury, and many times, our first reaction is to find the best muscle relief cream possible and begin using it straightaway, and this idea is not a terrible one. However, be aware that if the discomfort persists after one or two applications, the pain may indicate that there is a problem in that area, and this potential problem should not be overlooked or masked with additional creams.


For athletes, water is the most important, and usually the only, way to lubricate muscles. Without lots of water, these muscles work harder and therefore become inflamed. Similarly, there is also some evidence linking dehydration with some back issues, because the viscous substance inside the spine can dry out.

The following paragraph about the signs of dehydration is rated PG-13.

A significant number of athletes, even people like marathon runners, are dehydrated. Many people believe that they should only drink water if they feel thirsty. But, if you do not have the urge to urinate, you are probably dehydrated. Moreover, if your urine is colored or bubbly, regardless of the volume, you are probably dehydrated.

The rule of thumb to stay hydrated is eight, eight-ounce servings of water, sports drink, or juice a day. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, so people who drink lots of soda, coffee, or tea may need even more water than that. However, it’s not very hard to work in all those servings. If you drink one bottle before exercise and one bottle after, and drink water with meals, that’s probably five or six servings, so you would only have two or three to go.


Another good way to relieve sore muscles is some added rest. After all, it works for baseball pitchers. This season, Detroit Tigers righthander Justin Verlander, who may have a new home after the trade deadline, has a 6.11 ERA when pitching on four days’ rest and a 3.18 ERA on five or more days’ rest.

Verlander likes to stick to the same schedule and pitch every fifth day, but the extra day of rest may be a necessary concession to keep his performance at a peak level. After all, he isn’t doing anyone any favors, except for the other team’s batters, by giving up six runs a start.

Regular exercisers are much the same. We like to stick to the same schedule and sometimes consider skipping a day to be a sign of weakness. However, if that is what it takes to keep your body in top condition, take the extra day, because physical condition is what it’s all about.

This is a guest blog entry.

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