It’s almost fall in Happy Valley and that means the start of the Penn State football season. Somehow there always seems to be a little more excitement in town at the start of the season.
Have you ever thought about how much exercise you get during a football weekend? If you curl up on the couch to enjoy the games, then maybe not a lot. But for many there is actually an increase in activity. Let’s face it, being a local football fan can be hard work! It can be taxing on your body, even for the most experienced fans. Cleaning your house to get ready for guests, shopping for food and drinks, packing and unpacking all your tailgate necessities, walking miles to the stadium with all of your gear, then cleaning up after everyone leaves. Throw in the changing hot and cold weather, eating different foods, maybe a few drinks and you have a long weekend. Blink your eyes and it’s Monday morning.
So whether you go all out for the games, or spend the weekend on the couch watching, below are a few tips and exercises to help you recover and stay in the game each week.
A brisk walk is a great way to get some blood flowing to stiff muscles and joints. Do what’s comfortable for you. Even 10 to 15 minutes will burn a few calories and re-energize your spirits.
Don’t forget to stretch
Try a couple of light stretches for common areas of stiffness, low back, neck, and legs. You should be able to comfortably hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times each.
- Knees to chest stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor (or the other leg straight, whichever feels better on your lower back). Keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
- Seated hamstring stretch: While sitting at the edge of a chair, straighten one leg in front of the body with the heel on the floor. Then, sit up straight and try pushing the navel towards the thigh without leaning the trunk of the body forwards.
- Overhead reach shoulder stretch: While sitting in your chair, reach your arms as high as you can over your head. Hold. *Breathe*
Drink lots of water
This seems simple, but it’s easier said than done. Just note that fatigue and muscle stiffness are definitely symptoms of dehydration. Make a conscious effort to drink water throughout the weekend, I promise you’ll feel better.
If you end up tweaking something or having pain that just won’t go away, consider a call to your healthcare provider or our physical therapy services. Stay healthy and enjoy the season.