Hi there! Happy Labor Day!! I hope you're enjoying the 3 day weekend!!! I woke up this morning and loved that my kids were still sleeping in their comfortable beds and knowing that we have the day together as a family :) It's Labor Day, also an appropriate term for Hurricane Harvey. Love is alive as I watch T.V. and see on Facebook the support for those in need who were affected by the flooding. Hurricane Harvey has taken a catastrophic toll that has left many in need of assistance. The flooding has reminded me of the importance for serving and showing compassion to those in need. Lets continue our love and support! Any donation or service that we can spare, no matter how large or small, will help many!!
Since I posted a 30 Day WAIST Challenge last Thursday, it seems appropriate to post on preventing and treating injuries, right?! The following tips are simple, but often times ignored, or we don't think the tips apply to us :D While injuries are almost always unexpected and accidental, they can happen to all of us...even myself...lol! There's plenty we can do to prevent injuries and speed the recovery, so keep reading and find out how you can keep crushing your goals with little or no downtime ;)
- Warm up AND Cool down
Stretching before AND after exercise will reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. Stretching can prevent strains caused by strenuous physical activity and improve flexibility. Pay attention to the large muscle groups such as hamstrings and back, making sure to stretch the muscles you'll be using during your workout.
Stretch muscles gently to the point of tension (NOT pain) and hold for 30 seconds. Do this 4 to 5 times and keep as still as you can...this isn't the time to be texting on your phone...lol!
It's also important to gradually tailor exercises to your specific activity or workout. For example, if my client's working with weights, I'll have them start by doing a few sets using less weight. Another example, if my client's going on a brisk walk, I'll have them start by walking at a slower pace for 10 minutes.
Cooling down is just as important as warming up in terms of protecting your body from injury. Sometimes this is overlooked, but I make sure that my clients warm up AND cool down! Cooling down helps to reduce the temperature of your muscles and regulate blood flow, especially if you've had an intense workout!! This can help reduce muscle injury, stiffness, and soreness. Doing cool down stretches puts your muscles and joints through their full range of movement.
- Wear the RIGHT shoes
This sounds like common sense, right?! But unfortunately some people don't wear the right shoes and pay for it later!! Make sure you wear shoes that are appropriate for the specific activity or workout to help prevent injury. Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable, and supportive. Once I had a client fire me because I wouldn't train her in flip flops! Don't get me wrong, I love flip flops BUT seriously???? To this day, I still can't believe that really happened...lol :D
- EAT a snack
After you exercise, replenish your stores of glycogen with some carbohydrate plus protein to help build and repair muscle tissue. Need ideas?! No problem :D A protein shake with banana. Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes. Hummus and pita. Yogurt and fresh berries. Tuna on whole wheat. Turkey and cheese with apple slices. An energy bar. A handful of nuts. These are just a few ideas and should provide the nutrients you need.
- SOOTHE with Pineapple
Pineapple is 1 of my favorite fruits! I could live on this mouth watering stuff...lol :D When I was in Hawaii a few years ago, we stopped at every roadside pineapple stand! The pineapple there is absolutely amazing!! Good thing I had wipes in the car because the juices just poured down my chin and hands!!! Okay...you get the picture...lol :D Did you know if you suffer a strain or sprain that fresh pineapple helps?! It's a favorite treatment among nutritional therapists looking after athletes with sports injures. This fruit contains the enzyme bromelain which is thought to speed up tissue repair. If you ask me, this is pretty sweet :D
- Get SUPPORT for Plantar Fasciitis
An orthotic (an artificial support inserted into the shoe) is often prescribed for this painful inflammation of the connective tissue supporting the arch of your foot. A Canadian study looked at different areas of the foot and discovered that over-the-counter orthotics reduced strain on the affected tissues by 34 percent. If you suffer from this problem, you can try putting supportive inserts in your shoes and it may help. Everyone is different tho, so keep that in mind. What may work for 1 person, may not necessarily work for someone else. I had a client when we lived in the Central Coast that had Plantar Fasciitis. She tried several things, but what worked for her was rolling a frozen water bottle along the bottom of her foot. She did this everyday while sitting at her desk! She was a highly motivated client and didn't give up until we found what worked for her!!
- YOGA, anyone?!
A large UK study of health benefits of yoga suggests it's more effective for chronic lower back pain then conventional approaches. The study found that people offered a specially designed 12 week yoga program had bigger gains in back function and more confidence in doing everyday tasks then those offered standard care by their doctor. After 3 months, members of the yoga group found they were able to undertake 30 percent more activities on average then those in the standard care group. If you have chronic lower back pain, first consult your doctor before trying a yoga class. Also, yoga isn't just for women! I was at a beach near Santa Cruz a few weeks ago and saw 3 men participating in a beach yoga class!! The site was heavenly :D
- Keep it MOVING
Some people are afraid to exercise after surgery. It's definitely easier to sleep thru recovery. Many people are afraid to exercise after a heart attack for fear of triggering another attack. But evidence suggests that doing aerobic exercise helps to speed recovery. Walking, swimming, and cycling are good choices. Check with your doctor before exercising again.
Do you have ANY tips that has worked for you? If so, I'd love to hear from you! Just go to the comments section and type away!!
Have a FITastic week! Make it productive!! You got this!!!
I'll be back on Thursday :)
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist