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How To Recover After A Skateboarding Session
If you’re like me, you love to skate. A two to three hour session at your local park isn’t uncommon, and it leaves you feeling amazing. People skate for all types of reasons, but it goes without saying that the health benefits you stand to gain from skateboarding like feeling amazing after exercise, and the challenge and rewards available make us keep wanting more. The problem I face, and a lot of other skaters face is the soreness and aching after a session. This can be especially apparent 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 skate like crazy, no matter how beat up they got the day before. For the rest of us, here are some solid tips to getting the most out of your skate sessions without feeling beat up the next day.
Skate more often: It may seem counterintuitive at first, but skateboarding is like any physical activity. If you don’t do it for a while then your body has a harder time getting used to the abuse. Some people live in a climate that is cold and rainy during the winter, so they stop skating for a few months until it gets warm again. Then come spring time their body isn’t used to all the banging around and goes through a phase of soreness for a while before it can adapt itself again. If you ride your skateboard more often, your body will stay adapted to the abuse, and it won’t hurt as much after a session. This doesn’t mean going out every day to jump down a 20 stair because you’ll get better at it. This kind of abuse can lead to serious injuries, but if you skate a little bit every day, and work on progressing through your learning curves while maintaining a positive attitude, you will have a better time and get more enjoyment out of it.
Stretching before and after your sessions: It’s easy to get in a couple of toe touches and butterflies just after you start skating hard, and just after you stop skating. In fact, if you don’t make time for stretching, you will have to make time for injuries and soreness later on. 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 in order to avoid injuries while working out, you must learn to stretch. If you haven’t stretched much recently, it’s OK. Start now, and take it slow. Stretch in the morning when you wake up, in the afternoon, just after you get warmed up skating and just after your skate sesh, then stretch again before bed. This much stretching throughout the day will make your body loose and limber, and will help blood and oxygen flow through your muscles and joints, repairing them faster. It’s also a great idea to stretch your upper body like your neck, back and arms.
Doing a warm-down: Just as warming-up is important in skating to ensure you don’t fall when you first start skating, warming-down is important to ensure your muscles have a moment to decompress. To do a warm-down, do some light walking. I usually walk around the skate park after I’m done skating. This can be combined with filming your friends or taking pictures if you’re a photographer. It will help get the blood flowing to your joints for some added recovery.
Eat or drink lots of protein after a sesh: I read lots of blogs and forums about people looking for the best recovery methods, and this one is the same throughout. You must eat or drink lots of protein, 30-50 grams, immediately following a workout, along with coconut water or Gatorade. Your body needs the protein to rebuild the muscle, and the energy drink will replenish glycogen levels and raise insulin levels. Insulin can help restore muscle proteins by inhibiting protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis. Since I am vegan, I recommend a plant-based protein shake. You can find these at your local sprouts, whole foods, or online at Amazon.com. Granted, they aren’t cheap, but if you really don’t want to feel as sore after a skate session, they might be worth a try. Also, eating or drinking potassium rich substances after a workout will help replenish spent reserves. Coconut water has lots 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 to get the one without any added sugar. Your body also needs things like sodium and calcium to refuel 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 feel better in no time. Also, grapes and cherries have antioxidants in them that help your body relieve soreness in your joints. Another tip is to take fish oil or flax seed oil pills. The omega-3, 6 and 9 do wonders for lubricating your joints.
Get better sleep: Sleep is essential to rebuilding muscles, joints and tendons. If you stay up late partying or watching TV after skate sessions, you won’t get the benefits that sleep offers. To make the most out of your Z’s, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re like me and have trouble falling asleep, you can try to take an herbal supplement like melatonin or valerian root (I found a supplement called ‘relax & sleep’ at my local Dollar Tree). Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea will also help. Additionally, committing yourself to a ‘technology-blackout’ after 9 pm every night will help you get to bed easier. Whatever it takes, get the sleep you need to recoup and you’ll be able to skate every day at to your fullest potential!
Reduce stress: Acute stress, like the type you get from exercising, is good for you. Chronic stress, like when you don’t get enough sleep, or when you have a paper due at school, is not good for you. To recover completely from your skate sessions in the fastest way possible, make time to do stress-relieving exercises like short hikes, hanging out with friends, and riding a bicycle. These are all things known as active-recovery, and can go a long ways in helping you recover mentally from a hard skate session. Getting social with good friends and laughing are the best ways to relieve stress.
Ice, then take a hot bath: Icing your ankles after a skate session for 10-15 minutes, then bathing in hot water will relax your muscles and make it easier for them to recover the next day. The icing reduces swelling that might happen if you landed on your ankles really hard, and the hot water relieves the tension in your muscles making it easier for blood to move through them. Combined with an after workout stretch, icing and a hot bath can be an excellent way to recover after a skate session.
Body weight squats: Doing proper body weight squats during the day and between skate session will strengthen the connective tissue around your joints, and in effect you’ll have more stability around the joints in your ankles, hips and pelvis. First you’ll want to learn how to do proper body weight squats.
I hope these tips help you have more fun with skateboarding. No doubt it can be very painful at times, but it’s overcoming our personal challenges and getting the reward of rolling away from a trick that make it all worth it. I love skateboarding, and I’m sure you do to. That’s why if it was 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 to heart, maybe your recoveries will be faster, and you’ll be out skating again in no time!
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Use Your Toaster Oven To Make Perfectly Roasted Chicken Quarters
Most people turn to one cut of meat when preparing chicken: the breast. And that breast is typically bought both boneless and skinless. This is the most expensive type of chicken you can buy, no surprise given the high demand. It is also the least flavorful cut available. Many people turn to the boneless skinless breast because of an irrational fear of fat, a mind-set many entered into during the low fat craze of the 1990s. Others choose this cut for the ease of which it can be prepared. I’m here to show you that bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters can also be easily prepared and much more delicious than the breast meat. It does take a little longer, but the time involved is not active cooking time. Your toaster oven does all the work for you.
First, I would like to address the issue of fat. There is much evidence now that fat is good for you, especially if it comes from properly raised organic animals. No one will argue that fat from a poorly raised animal loaded with antibiotics is good for you. Yet organic meat is different; it has more omega 3 fatty acids than it’s inhumanely raised counterparts. It also lacks the build up of pesticides and antibiotics. So choose your meat wisely if you want the healthiest option.
Now let’s talk about ease of preparation. Bone-in, skin-on cuts of meat can be easily prepared. The toaster oven creates an ideal cooking environment for such cuts. The close proximity to the cooking elements beautifully crisps the skin without drying out the meat. Here is what you need for simply roasted chicken quarters:
2 organic bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters (this cut includes both the thigh and the leg, still attached to each other)
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat your toaster oven to 475 degrees F. Rub each chicken piece with one teaspoon of olive oil; this will help crisp the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and into the toaster oven. Wait 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the toaster oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
That’s all you need for delicious roasted chicken. You could, of course, flavor the chicken in a variety of ways before roasting. My favorite is to use fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme paired with lots of fresh garlic. Take 4 medium cloves and mince them. Finely chop one tablespoon of thyme and two teaspoons of rosemary. Mix the garlic and herbs into the olive oil before rubbing it on the chicken. Bake following the above instructions.
Visit Toaster Oven Reviews to find the best toaster oven for roasting chicken quarters and so much more. You’ll find thousands of toaster oven reviews and a handy buying guide to help you along the way.
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