Over Did It? Unwind It

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Shannon Miller Stretching

Everyone has done it.

  • Played too hard on the practice field
  • Showed off a little at the gym
  • Played too hard with the kids

We’ve all been there; you over did it, and it can take a while to undo it and recover. You can feel the lactic acid building in your muscle (read: the pain is coming). You can feel the exhaustion creeping in (read: do I go have a double Macchiato?). Here’s some ideas of how to recover from working it too hard.

To recover and feel better, you need to Stretch:

Don’t just quit and go sit down!   Do a recover stretch, and then stretch every couple of hours for the rest of the day and into the next day.

  1. Back. Breathing in, raise your arms high above your head. Breathing out, round your back and bring your arms in front of your chest, holding your own hands with straight arms. Hold it there, and then breathe again and bend down bringing the hands toward the floor. Hold there and breathe for a minute or two. When you stand back up, stand up slowly, stacking your vertebrae back up on top of one another. Roll your shoulders a few times upon standing.
  2. Neck. Roll your head toward your shoulder and leave it there for a few seconds, then roll forward and to the other side. Don’t bother rolling backward; it may actually increase the stress on your upper back.
  3. Chest and shoulders. Begin your back stretch again by reaching up and then forward. Now, release your hands and put them behind you. Hold your hands behind your back and then open up your chest and the front of your shoulders. Breathe and hold for a minute or two.
  4. Hips, hamstrings, and more lower back. Sit down. Stretch your legs out straight in front of you. Repeat your back stretch, reaching up and then forward. This time, breathe into a long stretch forward toward your feet. Try to keep your knees straight. Breathe deeply a few times into the stretch.
  5. Quadriceps. Get into a low runner’s lunge position. Put your hands on your front thigh or on the floor.  Put the back knee on the floor. If you don’t feel a stretch, try bending the back knee and raising your foot. You can even reach your hand toward your foot. Hold gently for a few breaths and switch.
  6. Calves. Stand in a higher lunge position, straightening the back leg and pushing the back heel down into the floor. Hold the stretch for a few breaths, and then keep the heel down while you bend your knee a little. Hold for a few breaths and then switch legs.

Eat and Drink

Obviously, water is the most important element to return to the body. Your body is also very depleted of energy and minerals at this point. So, what is the perfect recovery drink? Chocolate Milk!

Yes, a study by the University of Texas Department of Kinesiology found that chocolate milk has the perfect balance of fat, carbohydrates, and minerals to help the body recover quicker.

SML TIP:  Other than chocolate milk, make sure to continue eating a healthful diet. Focus on getting some whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein in your next meal, and remember walking will make you feel better rather than worse!

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