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A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering

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health

Ease Climbing Aches | Be Your Own Therapist

As you probably already know A Boy Who Climbs is a sports massage therapist, which comes in handy when there are some climbing aches! However, I know not everyone is lucky enough to have their own therapist on hand to explain the best way to help you and your muscles. Here are a few ‘self-care’ things you can do for yourself at home, to help get some relief from those aches.

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Foam Rolling

This is essentially a self- myofascial massage, which helps to relieve pain and increase blood flow to the area. You can pick up a foam roller on Amazon or from a sports shop easily nowadays. They come in different textures for different depths of massage so you can pick what’s best for yourself, depending on how brave you are! Foam rolling is extremely easy; you basically roll the sore muscles back and forth on the foam tube…that’s it. Just like a massage it’s great for any kind of sporting ache.

 

Trigger Pointingfile_001-ball

Much like foam rolling, trigger pointing is another form of self-massage but it works on a smaller, much more specific area. A trigger point is what some people refer to as a knot, but is a tightness in the muscle tissue that can cause an achy feeling in another area. Due to desk work and climbing I tend to have tight traps (trapezius), and even though it’s painful, rolling on a bouncy ball helps to reduce the trigger points.

You can use anything that is round and firm like a tennis ball, or even a lacrosse ball if you’re barbaric. I found this bouncy ball in a pound shop and it’s the perfect size and density.

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Heat

If the first two techniques are too much for you, nothing can beat a nice soak in the tub. Epsom salts are great to add to your bath as they help relax the muscles. This could be a placebo, as the warm water gerneally does plenty on its own, but it feels great either way. Epsom salts are easy to find in any pharmacy store, usually nearly the painkillers.

 

As much as I’m sharing this to help, it’s also a personal reminder to take these steps to help myself out in the long run! Of course, nothing can beat going to see someone specifically trained in the area, but there’s no harm in helping yourself out along the way.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them belwo and I will get A Boy Who Climbs to answer them  🙂

 

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Peanut Butter Bites | Recipe

Here’s another crag snack recipe and what’s even better about this one is, it doesn’t require an oven. These little bites of energy are quick and easy to make, but also customisable depending on your diet and taste preferences. You can make them as healthy or unhealthy as you like! Swap out chocolate chips for cacao nibs, use maple syrup instead of honey, add in mini marshmallows or include dried fruit.

I converted the ingredients from cups to grams, and then used my judgment to get the mixture how I wanted it! You can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients
Oats – 140g
Ground flaxseed – 20g
Chia seeds – 15g
Milk chocolate chips -40g
Honey – 2 tbsp
Smooth peanut butter – 120g / 1/3 of the jar
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Super quick and easy to make

 

1. In one large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together
2. Add in the honey and peanut butter
4. Stir and mix together until the oats are completely covered. I found it easy to press down with the spatula, this spreads the peanut butter
5. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge
6. Once chilled, spoon out small amounts and press/roll into small balls with you hands
7. Roll each ball in some more oats and you’re done!
PB 2 collage
I love my Happy Jackson snack boxes!

 

If you prefer you can make a ‘tray no-bake’ instead of the balls. Follow the same method up to and including step 4, then squash a thick layer of the mixture down into a cling film lined tray, and sprinkle the top with some more oats before chilling. Once chilled slice into squares and you’re good to go.

 

I’d love you hear how they turn out if you make them 🙂

 

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Should I Climb if I’m Sick ?

Long story short,  it’s not advisable.

I came down with a delightful common cold last week, and being stubborn I decided I was still going to boulder despite not feeling 100%. A quick Google search told me that if your illness symptoms are ‘above the neck’ e.g a common cold, you’ll mostly likely be fine to do some low intensity exercise. Awesome! So an hour before I climbed I had some food, took some flu capsules and headed off to the gym thinking everything would be okay.

At the time I genuinely felt better for climbing. I was sending problems, chatting with friends and overall in good spirits. However when I woke up the next day I felt awful! I was expecting some climbing aches, but I had sinus pain, a worse cough, headaches and a general drained feeling.

What I had failed to acknowledge in that Google search was that climbing and bouldering are not really ‘low intensity’. These sports put stress on the body and mind but not in the most obvious way. A shoe break here and there, or a little rest with a snack and you feel good to go again.

Climbing with a cold resulted in my not climbing for a week because I felt so bad afterwards. If I had just rested up properly for a few days I imagine I would have felt better in a few days.

It’s a lesson learnt anyway 🙂

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Yoga Update

No one really feels like contorting themselves into a pretzel when you can eat a bunch of real pretzels instead. Add in a constant flow of mulled wine, endless piles of mince pies and the general festive season…it was all a little distracting, and my yoga plans got derailed for December. I did get the odd session done last month, and I can tell you that both these practices are way harder than they look, but oddly still enjoyable.

But now, now it’s back on. Plan Pilates and New Year Yoga are a go! In fact, as I write this now, I have just finished a 30min yoga session. I thought I would write down my thoughts straight after, for some real time feelings:

 

 I feel like I can see in colour again, especially after what felt like a very long day at work. Despite working the poses on achy muscles, I feel much better physically and less ‘smushed’ up. My brain has stopped whizzing around in the dark and foggy end of the thought pool. Overall I feel awake and pretty darn good!

 

I followed the YouTube video linked below, which I found newbie friendly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE&feature=youtu.be
Namaste.
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