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Ankle sprains are among the most common and frequently encountered injuries by both athletes and medical trainers. Nonetheless, many individuals aren’t doing everything that they can when it comes to ensuring that the injury heals as expediently and as fully as possible. Ankle injuries, sprains in particular, can be tough, because returning to full-contact or full-speed activity before the full healing process has completed can lead to reinjury, which can often be worse than the initial damage. In order to ensure you’re doing everything in your power to heal your ankles as quickly as possible, take a look at these suggestions.
Massage can be an extremely beneficial way to cope with ankle sprains. In order to do so correctly, though, you need to ensure you aren’t overexerting the ankle in the first place. First and foremost, try practicing massage in several small sessions throughout the day, as opposed to all at once. This will give the ankle time to heal and relax in between sessions. Further, never massage the ankle to the point where pain arises in the tissue; if you feel like you’re damaging yourself, you probably are. Also pairing a cooling pad or ice with the massage is a great way to reduce the swelling before you begin working the tissue, which should allow you more access to the injured part of the ankle. Just be sure not to ice the ankle to the point where feeling is lost, as this may lead to you massaging the tissue too ardently.
When your ankle is strained or sprained, the resultant swelling can make the tissue surrounding the joint inflexible. This, in turn, can make one think that stretching is somewhat futile, as the normal range of motion of the ankle hasn’t yet been restored. According to PhysioAdvisor, though, stretching can help you to restore the range of motion in the ankle while also strengthening the various tissues in the joint. For a basic stretch, you can begin by simply laying your leg down flat across a table or other surface, so that your toes point up. Move your foot past the edge of the table so that it hangs off, and move the ankle to the front, the right, down and to the left. Repeat this process several times, pausing briefly between sets.
One of the most important aspects of caring for your ankle after a sprain is managing downtime correctly. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the acronym RICE can help you to remember what to do. This acronym stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. After you have rested and iced your ankle adequately, it will become important to compress the joint with some sort of wrap or brace. Finally, you will want to keep it elevated whenever possible, as this will reduce swelling.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: