What is the best post-workout snack? Also, how soon should I eat after exercising?
"You'll get the best bang for your buck taking in fluids and carbohydrates within the first two hours," says Robin Spence, registered dietitian for the cardiovascular program at Union Memorial Hospital.
Recent studies suggest that you should be getting protein as well, and many experts say eat within the first hour after exercise. Spence's favorite post-workout snack is a homemade fruit-and-yogurt smoothie, a healthful way to get carbs and protein in one shot. If your exercise routine lasts longer than an hour or is particularly intense, Spence suggests trying a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes.
I do my jogging on pavement. Do I need to buy a special shoe for road running?
"As long as you're using a running-specific shoe, you should be OK," say Jim Adams, owner of the Falls Road Running Store. In other words, don't try to run in a tennis shoe or cross-training shoe. Whether used for jogging on a treadmill, distance running on roads or sprinting on sidewalks, any running shoe with a durable sole should do the trick. Have your foot measured (ideally, have someone at the store watch you run, too) before settling on a new pair of kicks.
I have pain in my shin, but when I press on the bone it isn't tender. Is it possible to have shin pain that is muscular?
In a word, yes, says Dr. Michael Scheerer, chief of orthopedics at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. According to Scheerer, shin pain can be the result of a stress fracture, shin splints or exercise-induced compartment syndrome.
A stress fracture is strictly a bone injury, while both shin splints and exercise-induced compartment syndrome involve muscle. Shin splints are an inflammation involving lower leg tendons and muscles at the point where they attach to the bone. Overuse, such as excessive pounding from running, is generally the culprit.
Exercise-induced compartment syndrome, the least common of the three, is strictly muscular. Occurring most often in younger athletes, a swelling of the muscles of the fascial compartments of the lower leg leads to a painful buildup of pressure inside the muscle envelope. It sounds like this may be the source of your pain, but visit your doctor for a formal diagnosis.