Prevent Sore Muscles with Walking, Swimming, Hiking, Cycling, Running

How to stay off the sidelines – These simple secrets will help you prevent sore muscles.

Walking : Inflammation of the tissue band that runs along the sole of the foot.

Probable Cause : Tight calf and foot muscles

Solution Exercise: Stand facing a wall at about an arm’s distance away, and place your palms on the wall. With toes pointing forward, step your right leg backward about 2 feet and press your right heel into the floor until you feel a gentle stretch along the back of your lower leg. Hold for 30 seconds ; do 3-5 reps. Switch legs and repeat. Do this move daily.

Swimming : Shoulder pain

Probable Cause : Underused upper back muscles that allow shoulder blades to move out of position.

Solution Exercise: Stand with knees slightly bend, learning forward from the waist, arms hanging down. Holding a 3 to 5-pound weight in each hand, lift both arms out to the sides and away from your body (you should feel your shoulder blades move in toward each other). Pause, then return to starting position ; do 3 sets of 10 reps. Do this move 3 times per week.

Hiking : Ankle sprain

Probable Cause : Lack of strength in hips and ankles; not-so-great balance

Solution Exercise: While balancing on your right foot, end your right knee and slowly lower your body 3 or 4 inches (keeping your back straight). Straighten your knee and gradually return to standing, then slowly rotate your torso (from the hip) to the lift, then the right; do 10 reps. Repeat with left leg. Do this move 3 times per week.

Cycling : Lower-back pain

Probable Cause : Overtaxed back muscles from time spent in a bent-over-the-handlebars position.

Solution Exercise: While on hands and knees, slowly lift and extend your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you; look toward the floor, and keep your torso stable and abs gently contracted. Repeat on opposite side. Work up to 5 reps per side, holding for 30 seconds per rep. Do this move 3 times per week.

Running : Patello Femoral syndrome, or PFS pain under or around the knee cap.

Probable cause : Improper tracking of the knee-cap, often due to weakness or imbalance in quad muscles.

Solution Exercise : With your back against a wall and feet flat on the floor, slide down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then return to starting position: do 5 reps. (For more of a challenge, put a 55-centimeter stability ball between your back and the wall while you do this exercise). Do this move 3 times per week.