If you’re like me, you love skating. A two to three hour session at your local park is not uncommon, and it leaves you feeling incredible. People skate for all sorts of reasons, but it goes without saying that the health benefits you stand to gain from skateboarding are like feeling incredible after exercise, and the challenges and rewards of available makes us still want more. The problem I face, and many other skaters face is the soreness and soreness after a session. This can be especially obvious the next day. Some skaters deal with it differently than others. Some people seem immune to the pain and can wake up every day and go skating like crazy, no matter how beat they got the day before. For the rest of us, here are some solid tips for getting the most out of your skating sessions without feeling beat up the next day.
More frequent skating: It may seem contradictory at first, but skateboarding is like any physical activity. If you don’t do it for a while then your body is having a harder time getting used to the abuse. Some people live in a cold and rainy winter climate, so they stop skating for a few months until it gets warmer again. Then come spring time their body is not used to all the ruging around and goes through a period of soreness for a while before it can adjust itself again. If you ride your skateboard more often, your body will remain adjusted to the abuse, and it won’t hurt as much after a session. This does not mean going out every day to jump down stairs 20 because you will get better at it. This type of abuse can lead to serious injuries, but if you skate a little every day, and work on moving through your learning curves while maintaining a positive attitude, you’ll have a better time and have a more enjoyment of it.
Extending before and after your sessions: It’s easy to get a couple of toes and butterflies just after you’ve started to skate hard, and a little after you’ve stopped skating. In fact, if you don’t make time for stretching, you’ll have to make time for injuries and soreness later. Pro skaters do it all the time. They have to compete, film, and jump down huge things all the time to make money, so they learn from the best physical trainers in the world. Those physical trainers will teach you first that you have to learn to stretch to avoid injuries while working out. If you haven’t stretched much lately, it’s fine. Start now, and take it slowly. Stretch in the morning when you wake up, in the afternoon, just after you warm up and a little after your skating rink, then stretch again before going to bed. This large stretch throughout the day will make your body loose and fatigued, and will help blood and oxygen flow through your muscles and joints, repairing them faster. It’s also a great idea to extend your upper body like your neck, back and arms.
Warm-up: Just as warm-up is important when skating to ensure you don’t fall asleep when you start skating, warm-up is important to ensure your muscles have a moment to decompress. To warm up, do some gentle walking. I usually walk around the skate park after I’m done skating. This can be combined with filming your friends or taking photos if you are a photographer. It will help to get the blood flowing to your joints to improve some.
Eating or consuming a lot of protein after sesh: I read many blogs and forums about people looking for the best recovery methods, and this one is the same throughout. You must eat or drink a lot of protein, 30-50 grams, immediately after exercise, along with coconut water or Gatorade. Your body needs the protein to rebuild muscles, and the energy drink will replenish glycogen levels and raise insulin levels. Insulin can help restore muscle proteins by preventing protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis. Since I’m a vegan, I recommend shaking off plant-based protein. You can find these at your local sprouts, whole foods, or online at Amazon.com. Granted, they’re not cheap, but if you don’t really want to feel so sore after a skating session, they might be worth a try. Also, eating or drinking post-exercise potassium-rich substances will help replenish obsolete reserves. Coconut water has a lot of potassium in it, making it an excellent post-workout drink. I get mine at the local 99 cents store to save money. Make sure you get the one with no added sugar. Your body also needs things like sodium and calcium to replenish muscle energy. Bananas and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, sodium and calcium. Add these to your post-skate session meals and you’ll soon feel better. Grapes and cherries also have antioxidants in them that help your body relieve soreness in your joints. Another suggestion is to take fish oil or flax seed oil pill. The omega-3’s, 6’s and 9’s do wonders for lubricating your joints.
Get better sleep: Sleep is essential for rebuilding muscles, joints and tendons. If you stay up late partying or watching TV after skating sessions, you won’t get the benefits that sleep offers. To make the most of your Z’s, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re like me and have trouble falling asleep, you can try taking a herbal supplement such as melatonin or valerian root (I found a supplement called ‘relax and sleep’ at my local Dollar Tree). Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea will also help. In addition, committing yourself to a ‘technology blackout’ after 9pm each night will help you get to bed easier. Whatever it takes, get the sleep you need to recover and you’ll be able to skate every day to the best of your potential!
Stress reduction: Acute stress, like the type of exercise you do, is good for you. Chronic stress, such as when you don’t get enough sleep, or have paper at school, is not good for you. To fully recover from your skating sessions in the fastest way possible, make time to do stress-relieving exercises such as short hikes, socializing with friends, and riding a bike. These are all things called active recovery, and can go a long way in helping you recover mentally from a hard skating session. Being social with good friends and laughter are the best ways to relieve stress.
Ice, then take a hot bath: Baking your ankles after a 10-15 minute skating session, then bathing in hot water will relax your muscles and make it easier for them to heal the next day. The icing reduces the swelling that can occur if you land on your ankles very hard, and the hot water relieves tension in your muscles making it easier for blood to pass through them . Combining with an extension after exercise, icing and a hot bath can be a great way to improve after a skating session.
Bodyweight squats: Doing the right bodyweight squats during the day and between a skating session will strengthen the connective tissue around your joints, and you will effectively have more stability around the joints in your ankles, hips and ‘ your pelvis. First, you’ll want to learn how to do correct bodyweight squats.
I hope these tips help you have more fun with skateboarding. Undoubtedly, it can be very painful at times, but it overcomes our personal challenges and gets the reward of rolling away from a trick that makes it all worthwhile. I love skateboarding, and I’m sure you do. That’s why if it were up to me, I would skate all day every day. However, as we age, our bodies don’t recover as quickly, but if you take these 5 tips at heart, your recoveries may be faster, and you’ll soon be out skating again!