How to recover from a skateboarding session

How to recover from a skateboarding session

If you’re like me, you love to skate. A two to three hour session at the local park is not uncommon and makes you feel amazing. People skate for all kinds of reasons, but it goes without saying that the health benefits you can gain from skateboarding, like feeling amazing after a workout, and the challenges and rewards available keep us wanting more. The problem I face, as well as many other skaters, is soreness and pain after a session. This can be especially evident the next day. Some skaters handle it differently than others. Some people seem immune to pain and can wake up every day and skate like crazy no matter how beat up they were the day before. For the rest of us, here are some solid tips on how to get the most out of your skate sessions without feeling wrecked 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 it’s harder for your body to get used to the abuse. Some people live in climates that are cold and rainy in the winter, so they stop skating for a few months until it warms up again. Then come spring, their body isn’t used to all the jostling and goes through a sore phase for a while before it can readjust. If you ride your skateboard more often, your body will remain adapted to the violence and won’t hurt as much after a session. This doesn’t mean going out every day to jump down 20 flights of stairs because you’ll get better at it. This kind of abuse can lead to serious injuries, but if you skate a little each day and work on progressing your learning curves while maintaining a positive attitude, you’ll have a better time and get more enjoyment out of it.

Stretch before and after your sessions: It’s easy to get some toe taps and butterflies right after you start skating hard and right after you stop skating. In fact, if you don’t take the time to stretch, you’ll have to take the time for injuries and soreness later. Professional skaters do it all the time. They have to compete, shoot and jump huge things all the time to earn money, so they learn from the best physical trainers in the world. These physical trainers will first teach you that in order to avoid injury during exercise, you must learn to stretch. If you haven’t stretched much recently, that’s fine. Start now and take it slow. Stretch in the morning when you wake up, in the afternoon, right after you’ve warmed up on skates and right after a skate sesh, then stretch again before bed. That much stretching throughout the day will keep your body loose and flexible and help blood and oxygen flow through your muscles and joints, repairing them faster. It’s also a great idea to stretch your upper body such as your neck, back and arms.

Doing a warm-up: Just as a warm-up is important in ice skating to make sure you don’t fall when you start skating, a warm-up is important to give your muscles a moment to decompress. To warm up, do some light walking. I usually walk around the skate park after I’m done riding. This can be combined with filming your friends or taking pictures if you are a photographer. This will help blood flow to your joints for additional recovery.

Eat or drink lots of protein after a sesh: I’ve read a lot of blogs and forums about people looking for the best recovery methods, and this one is the same everywhere. You should eat or drink plenty of protein, 30-50 grams, right after your workout, along with coconut water or Gatorade. Your body needs protein to repair muscles, and an energy drink will replenish glycogen levels and increase insulin levels. Insulin can help repair muscle proteins by inhibiting protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis. Being a vegan, I recommend a plant-based protein shake. You can find them at your local sprouts, whole foods, or online at Sure, they’re not cheap, but if you really don’t want to feel that sore after a skate session, they might be worth a try. Additionally, eating or drinking potassium-rich substances after exercise will help replenish depleted stores. Coconut water is high in potassium, making it an excellent post-workout drink. I buy mine at the local thrift store for 99 cents to save money. Make sure you get the one with no added sugar. Your body also needs things like sodium and calcium to fuel muscle energy. Bananas and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, sodium and calcium. Add them to your post-skate meals and you’ll feel better in no time. In addition, grapes and cherries contain antioxidants that help your body relieve joint pain. Another tip is to take fish oil or flaxseed oil pills. Omega-3, 6, and 9 do wonders for lubricating your joints.

Get better sleep: Sleep is essential for the recovery of 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 get the most out of your Zs, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re like me and have trouble falling asleep, you can try taking an herbal supplement like melatonin or valerian root (I found a supplement called “relax & sleep” at my local Dollar Tree). Drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea will also help. Also, committing to a “tech blackout” after 9pm every night will help you go to bed easier. Whatever it takes, get the sleep you need to recover and you’ll be able to skate every day to your full potential!

Reduce stress: Acute stress, like the kind you get from exercise, is good for you. Chronic stress, such as when you don’t get enough sleep or when you have school work, is not good for you. To fully recover from skate sessions as quickly as possible, make time for stress-relieving exercises such as short walks, hanging out with friends and cycling. These are all things known as active recovery and can go a long way in helping you recover mentally after a hard skate session. Hanging out 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, followed by a hot bath will relax your muscles and make it easier to recover the next day. The icing reduces the swelling that can happen if you land on your ankles too hard, and the hot water eases the tension in your muscles, making it easier for blood to move through them. Combined with post-workout stretching, the glaze and hot tub can be an excellent way to recover after a skate session.

Bodyweight Squats: Doing proper bodyweight squats throughout the day and between skate sessions will strengthen the connective tissue around your joints and you’ll actually have more stability around your ankles, hips and pelvis. First you’ll want to learn how to do proper bodyweight 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 pulling off a trick that makes it all worth it. I love skateboarding and I’m sure you do too. That’s why, if it were up to me, I’d 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 recovery will be faster and you’ll be out skating again in no time!

#recover #skateboarding #session

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