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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 2:49 am | Partly Cloudy 48º

 
 
 
 
Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Shin Splints SOS

Shin splints hurt. How can you get rid of them? How can you prevent them?

Dear Fun and Fit: Please help my poor shins! It has been years since I ran so much, and I forgot to take care so as not to get shin splints.

— Sherry in Atlanta

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

Kymberly: The last time I got a plea like this it involved Nigeria and sending money to a dethroned prince. I am prepared to send you good advice at half the price. Yes, for a definition of shin splints, causes and treatments, check out the links we suggest. Then send money to me, but preferably more than the dollar or two you stashed in your running shoes.

Alexandra: I’ll give you free advice if you promise to make sense of the complete lyrics to “Ice Ice Baby.” It would seem you increased the duration a wee bit too enthusiastically (and maybe overpronated).

» 1. Ice the shin.

» 2. When your shins feel better (not while you’re still in pain), strengthen the muscle (anterior tibialis). You can do this with toe (up) taps. By this I mean, don’t focus on tapping your toes on the floor; focus on lifting the toes up. This will hurt a lot if you do it before you are feeling better. For expert tapping hints, have Savion Glover come over and help you.

» 3. Get some inserts for your shoes, especially if you’re going to be the bad girl of fitness and run before you’re all healed. And consider new shoes, as yours may be worn out and no longer supporting your foot, ankle, leg and high sense of fashion.

» 4. Become at one with the simple word “stretch.” As in, “Oh, I just ran for 72 miles (or 2, but it would feel like 72 to me). Maybe now I should stretch out my shins by pointing my toe and holding for at least 15 seconds.”

K: 5. Stretch your calf — the muscle buddy to your shin (aka agonist and antagonist muscle pair in high-falootin’ circles). A lot of shin splint trauma comes from an imbalance between the strong, tight, shortened, strong, bossy Alexandra calf and the comparably petite, underloved, underdeveloped, underworked, weak anterior tib. Reduce the pull on the shin from the calf by lengthening the calf with mucho stretching.

If you run again — and we hope you do; someone has to — try to stay on surfaces that absorb impact, such as asphalt, tracks, grass, cardio equipment. Avoid surfaces that have no spring-back or cushion such as concrete (translation: sidewalks). Even the best shoes and strongest shins can’t overcome the jarring effect of concrete pounding. Even the strongest of twins can’t overcome the jarring effects of my sister whining when she has to run (for cover).

Readers: What are your tricks to prevent or cure shin splints? Are you secretly harboring any Vanilla Ice recordings?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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