So the weather is getting nicer each day and you have decided to return to some of your passions outside: tennis, hiking, walking, running, gardening. Maybe you decided to try something completely new: biking, Pickleball, swimming.
You develop a routine that you believe will work for you: Monday through Friday you go biking and Saturday you walk or run. The routes are the same, your equipment is the same, and this is how you have always done it.
Have you checked your equipment to be sure it still suits you and your body. For instance, how old are your sneakers. If they are older than 1 year, you need to buy a new pair and one that fits your foot mechanics. Have you had your bicycle measured to your body currently.
Our bodies are continuously changing throughout our lives and we must respect that. They go through different stages and we need to adapt. Even in the same year we may feel changes in our bodies, depending on the day of the week or the season. Therefore our routines must change: maybe different warmups or even just a small change in the route taken. If you take walks on the street and the houses are always on your right, you should change so they are on your left. Remember the road ramps down to the curb and if your right side is always lower than the left it can cause repetitive injuries.
You may not be aware of hormonal or age related changes that can affect your bodies. How you performed 5 years ago will be different from how your body feels today.
Within your warmup you can create variety according to how your body is feeling that day. Maybe you’re not feeling as strong so you want to prepare your legs for the activity or you are stiff and need more movement exercises. Again in your activity, you also need to create variety. If you run, maybe you add or decrease an extra mile or you change the route where there are more hills.
On days you aren’t running, biking, walking cross train with a different methodology. Pilates or yoga will work on your core and balance and flexibility, which is usually required for any activity. This will balance your body and allow it to adapt to new movements, which in turn will progress your strength and stability decreasing chances of injury.
Here are some tips to add variety to your routine:
1. Warm up by doing something completely different from your activity. If you swim, you are getting cardio and more upper body workouts. Try jogging or mountain climbers to warmup.
2. Add new things to your routine, like Pilates, for cross training.
3. Here it comes, everyone likes to skip over this one, cool down! Even though you may be exhausted, work on deintensifying your body and slowing your heartrate down. Try sideways walking or backwards walking, stretching, foam roller.
4. If you have been set up with a home program from your PT, work that in daily.
5. Finally, see a specialized PT who can help you with developing a home program, modifying your current one, or helping you through an injury to get you fully functional, mobile, and independent again!
If you’re dealing with an injury right now and looking for a solution, here at Wellness Rehabilitation Inc. we’ll help you reduce pain and return to your favorite sport/activity properly! To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 301-493-9257, or click here to schedule a Free 20 minute call to discuss your issues.
To Your Health,