ASK MEN’S HEALTH
TThis phenomenon of which you speak is fairly common. It even has a name: “leisure sickness.”
As for its cause, Dutch psychologist Ad Vingerhoets has two theories. One is “competition for symptom perception” – basically you’re too busy to notice your pounding head until you power down your laptop.
“It’s also possible that your body is continuing to produce excess adrenalin long after you need it,” he says. Your body has no use for the energy, causing a hormone imbalance that weakens the immune system.
Whichever the case may be, there are ways to reduce your risk of sun, sea and sniffles. Prof Vingerhoets advises fitting in a pre-holiday workout to “use up” that extra adrenalin.
Also, try tapering your workload over a period of three days, rather than slamming on the brakes at the 11th hour.
Maintaining a similar schedule to the one you have during the week – eating regularly, waking early – could also help.
I’M TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON BUT MY ANKLES ARE STARTING TO HURT. HELP. – Danny
Work on strengthening your ankle tendons. And your calves. And your core.
“The latter stages of longer distances is when you can irritate the body and get injuries,” says Dr Sameer Dixit, a sports medicine physician with Johns Hopkins Medicine. Overuse causes irritation and discomfort if your ankles aren’t strong enough.
Try exercises on an unstable surface, like this one: Stand on a pillow and bend your leg behind you, holding for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times. Swop legs.
MY SWIMMING IS AN EPIC FLAIL. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY TECHNIQUE? – Tim
The trick is to feel weightless and to relax both physically and emotionally.
That concept, taught by Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion Swimming in New York, has turned thousands of bad swimmers into pool fish.
Push off and glide in the “Superman position,” he says – arms stretched forward and shoulder-width apart, eyes down.
“Start with your head down and eyes looking at the bottom of the pool. That should be the foundation of all the swimming you do.”
If you relax your head in the water, he points out, your spine will align naturally.
Lightly press your legs together and do a few unhurried strokes, gliding as much as you can.