Gearing Up For Summer

    Summer is almost here, are you ready?

    Finding the "New Normal"

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Most of us are busy right now finding a new normal as we find our way back to ‘Normal” and hope to put this pandemic behind us.  Many have taken on new activities that  ensure time outdoors with social distancing.  Others have used the times with expanded restrictions to work from home or to make home improvements.  Whether you are busy in the garden, doing it yourself on a home project or taking on new activities, be careful of overdoing it.

    Health IS a Priority

    Gearing Up For Summer

    During the last year, taking care of one’s health has become a priority for many people.  Getting enough sleep, eating better, and getting more exercise are important parts of achieving and maintaining health.  In addition, we need to look at our day-to-day activities and make sure they are supporting our efforts to get healthy.

    Are You a Weekend Warrior?

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Are you a Weekend Warrior?  Do you squeeze all your activities into those 2 days at the end of each week?  Do you end your weekend with back pain, strained muscles or an overuse injury?

    It is hard not to overdo it when you get just 2 days off to enjoy summer.  Warm weather sports, outdoor activities, yard work and DYI projects make it easy to overdo it on any given weekend.  We need to remember that professionals are conditioned to do their active jobs and that we need to pace ourselves.

    How do YOU Handle Repetitious Movement?

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Very often in the too much, too fast, too soon problem there is a high rate of muscle overuse.  There are two things to consider when beginning those warm weather sports or outdoor chores.  First is the amount of weight that you may be lifting.  If the weight you’re lifting is more than usual, you should really do some warmup stretches and balance your work with rest and hydration periods.

    Secondly you need to consider how you handle repetitious movement.  Whether at your computer, in sport or doing physical work, avoid repeating the same motion.  Set a timer to remind you to take a break and change your posture or movement.  You should do this a few times per hour or more if you are feeling stiff and sore.  

    If a movement hurts, take a break, if the pain goes away then slowly try the movement again.  If the pain does not go away, then seek medical advice on how to manage it before it gets worse.

    When You Should Seek Medical Advice

    Gearing Up For Summer

    If a movement hurts, take a break, if the pain goes away then slowly try the movement again.  If the pain does not go away, then seek medical advice on how to manage it before it gets worse.

    Mild overuse injuries will recover with about 1-2 days of rest.  If there is pain, using an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for about 15 minutes should help.  Remove the icepack if the skin becomes numb and allow it to fully return to your normal skin temperature before applying it again.

    If the injury is hot, swollen or bruised, or does not recover within 1-2 days, seek medical advice.  The best treatment for overuse injuries is prevention.

    Warmup! Warmup! Warmup!

    Gearing Up for Summer

    Warm up using active motion.  Static stretching is not the best way to prepare for being active.  Start by walking, add in lifting your knees high with each step, switch and lift your heels up behind you.  Add arm swings to your walk.  Switch to some sideways step-together-step and if you have good balance try some lunging steps where you bend your knee each time you step forward on that leg.  You should be breathing harder after your warmup but still able to talk.  There will be increased bloodflow in your muscles and your nervous system is ready to take on the task ahead.

    About Pain...

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Don’t push through the pain.  Real discomfort is a signal that something is wrong or that you’re asking more from a part of your body than it can provide at the moment.

    Increase Activities Carefully

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Increase your activites gradually.  You should not increase your activity level by more than 10% per week.  Remember to exercise smarter not longer.  By avoiding overdoing it, you avoid 24-48 hours of delayed onset muscle soreness or worse an injury.

    Give your body time to recover between work outs by planning light activities such as a walk, fun swim or a hike.  Overdoing it and not being able to work out for some time after does not improve stamina, and it increases your risk of injury.

    Think about what surfaces you are active on and change them up.  Go into the trails to get away from the heat, ashphalt or sidewalks.  Walk or run along the waterfront to enjoy the breeze.  Try walking or running in the water for a great leg workout the next time you’re at the beach.

    Alternate hard days with easy days for any sport or outdoor chore.

    Hydration

    Gearing Up For Summer

    If you are working hard or active for more than 45 minutes, consider adding a hydration drink.  You can buy prepackaged ones or buy bulk powder to make your own with less waste and cost over time.

    Looking to Become More Flexible?

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Check out various stretching routines, Yoga or Pilates workouts.  Find one that suites you and that you are more likely to stick with.  Always start with an introductory level and advance as you become more confident in the motions and moves demonstrated.

    Introducing Nancy Spence of Action Rehab Therapy

    Gearing Up For Summer

    This article has been brought to you by local Osteopathic Manual Practitioner and Certified Athletic Therapist,  Nancy Spence of Action Rehab Therapy.  Nancy treats out of QuinnRehab 34 Cedar Pointe Dr. Unit 505.  Nancy offers both Osteopathy and Athletic Therapy.

    Osteopathy is a manual therapy that help to restore your body to a balanced state where it can better maintain itself.   

    Athletic Therapy uses an active rehabilitation model to help you recover from injury, maintain your fitness, or progress to the next level.

    It’s Nancy’s mission to help bring people back to balance so they can maintain their own ability to be healthy.

    If you are a weekend warrior or have overdone it with this beautiful weather and find yourself stiff, sore or in pain, give Nancy a call.  She’s available to assist you in achieving your goals in your day to day life!

    Gearing Up For Summer

    Written By: Jane Laker

    Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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