ASK MEN’S HEALTH

Men's Health (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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