Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Sunny Winter Morning

For a while now it's been cloudy and gray outside and looking so winter. Today is a wonderful bright sunny day, still a little chilly but the sun makes up for that 10 fold. It's amazing how much a bright sunny day can make you feel so much better yourself. It's like a fog has been lifted and you can see clearly again.

We will take advantage of it with a 10 mile walk in the warming sunshine. There is a saying that a bad day of fishing is better than even the best day of working. That works for walkers and runners also. A walk especially on a day like this is some of the best of times. Unfortunately most of us must work in order to finance our eating habit. There was a time that I enjoyed my work so much I hated to see the work day end. That was when I was the First Sgt of the base hospital. Of course a lot of my day was running and exercising with my troops.

One of the things you have to remember about walking and running this time of year is that a warm up is even more vital with it's cold out than when it's a warm day. I know that sounds like a no brainer but a lot of us athletes get to feeling we are invincible and do things when we should have known better. Your muscles need to warm up slowly and gently, a sudden burst of speed or other such act when you haven't warmed properly can side line you for a while with a strain or worse a pull.

I have discovered this bit of wisdom the hard way. I was watching a squadron football game in 40 degree weather when I was stationed in Okinawa. The running back for the team was hurt when he sprained his ankle stepping in a hole on the field. So I went in to replace him. Being young and strong and stupid I ran right out there and a few plays later got the the hand off and took of. I tore my right hamstring pretty badly. I had a huge bruise there on the upper back of my leg for about a week and about a month of healing before I could do even brisk waking without discomfort.

This goes for any type of sport, warming up is for all your muscles not just your legs. Your arm muscles need warm up before you do any racket sports. Especially important is warming up before stretching. Do not EVER stretch cold. You can do dynamic stretching (gentle swinging of your legs and arms, through out the full range of motion) is fine but the classic static stretching can leave you hurting if you go at it cold.

I hope everyone is having a bright sunny day the way we are here in Southern Kentucky.

Thanks for reading.

Sun Loving Panda

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