Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Lesson in Warming-Up

It was one of those days - sitting for hours at my desk without a break to even take the dog out. Poor thing. So when I finished my work that evening, I took that pent up energy of mine to the stairway of my apartment building.  20 minutes, 8 flights, GO!

About halfway through my stir crazy induced sweat session, my left calf muscle began to tighten up, and at once I knew I should have done a warm-up.  “Oh well, too late now!” And I kept climbing. Up 8 flights, down 8 flights, up 8 flights… whew.   

Afterwards, as my dinner baked in the oven, I rolled out my yoga mat to unwind and release the tension in my calves. Stretches, done. Dinner, done. Damage, done!

The next morning I woke up with a fireball in my left calf, impairing me from going for a run and exacerbating my irritation from too much sedentary desk work. Luckily, my dog forgave me from keeping her inside and graciously let me borrow her tennis ball for a myofascial release. After watching this video from YouTube and whimpering screaming in pain, I have sworn to never begin another workout without first doing a good ole warm-up session.

Here’s how I’ll warm up:
·       Take a brisk walk and slowly ramp it up into a jog, lasting 5 minutes
·       Stretch out the hamstrings, quads, and calves using gentle forward bends, a standing quad stretch, and downward facing dog
·       Roll the ankles in circles going both directions
·       Forward and side lunge stretches for hip flexors

If I had included a warm-up before climbing the stairs, I probably wouldn’t have been sidelined for the following few days and could’ve been able to work out more! But until I can get back to doing cardio, I think I’ll practice yoga and use a moist heating pad to release the tightened calf. I should probably take the dog out too…

Have you ever regretted skipping a warm-up? 

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