By Dr. Kyle Buck, DC, CCSP
With our weather trending toward warmer and sunnier days (don’t worry, we’ll still have the inevitable brief spring snow), it is important to remember a few helpful hints. All of these should read as obvious, but we feel it is always important to have a quick reminder or two:
Warm-up before and cool down after your activity
Allowing your muscles and tissues to prepare for your upcoming activity is key to allow them a chance to function at their peak level. Many of us are excellent at this first step. Unfortunately, many of us rush the cool down portion in order to get to the next part of our days. In order to optimize recovery, it is pivotal to have an even a small cool-down period. This will facilitate more blood to carry nutrient through your blood vessels
This might seem obvious. However, many of us also tend to shy to the side of not drinking enough daily. Now, many of us are good at packing water for our outdoor activities. Where we are lacking is before and after the activity.
I can almost guarantee that I am not the only one who has finished off their mug of black coffee as their only sustenance of the morning right as they hit the trailhead. One of the better strategies is to plan ahead. Fill up a water bottle the night before, and place it in your refrigerator or even on your nightstand. Once you wake up, there is it.
For after the activity, if you’re someone who finds it difficult to drink only water, get creative. Healthy and cheap options to make your water 5-star caliber are not challenging. It can be as simple as adding a slice or two of lemon, lime, or cucumber. There are also numerous different electrolytes and recovery tablets out there that add taste. Nuun is an office favorite. The tablets dissolve rapidly, taste great, and have very few additives to them.
The biggest takeaway should be to prepare. Look at the route where you are cycling, hiking, or running. Understand where the challenges and difficulties may lie. Prepare for those, and you should have no issues tackling outside as we progress to a wonderful year.
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