14 May How to Ease Yourself into Summertime Activities
The warming weather has you feeling eager to get back outside after months of being cooped up in the house. However, it’s important not to change your lifestyle too quickly, or you could risk a back or neck injury. Here are some tips for making your health and wellness a priority as you ease yourself into summertime activities.
Before you even think about stepping outside, pause for a moment and stretch. Target the major muscle groups in your upper and lower body to prepare your arms and legs for action. Failure to stretch, especially before strenuous physical activity, could result in a torn ligament or strained muscle. A simple stretching routine is the best way to prevent this.
You probably remember how active you were at the end of last summer, but you only got there after working your way up to it all season long. Unless you maintained a moderate fitness level over the winter, resuming full-fledged physical activity could cause muscle strain.
Even someone who ran a marathon at the end of last summer can’t expect to run a 5K on the first day back after a long winter of inactivity. Start slow and work up your endurance. For instance, you might take a brisk walk around the block before you hike the most intense trails in Broomfield. Go on a short bike ride close to home before you venture out too far. After several days, you can begin increasing the duration, intensity, and frequency of your summertime activities.
Know Your Limits
Along with starting slow, you must determine how far you can go before you reach your limits. Take any chronic physical conditions into account, such as neuropathy, arthritis, or back pain. These ailments may require you to modify your summertime activities so you don’t aggravate your symptoms.
Even if you don’t struggle with chronic pain, avoid being a “weekend warrior”—that is, pushing yourself hard only occasionally and being sedentary the rest of the time. This stresses your body by forcing it to do things it’s not used to without time to acclimate. This approach to physical activity is likely to result in injury, which may leave you bedridden for a few days or even longer.
Check Your Equipment
Whether you enjoy running, biking, or playing casual sports with your family, make sure your equipment is in proper working order. Consider buying new running shoes if they look and feel worn out. Take your bike in for a tune-up or check the brakes, handlebars, seat, gears, and other components yourself. Inspect all other equipment you need for summertime activities before using it.
Bring the Right Safety Gear Along
If you engage in certain activities, you need the proper safety gear to prevent scrapes, scratches, and head injuries. This includes wearing knee and elbow pads when rollerblading or skateboarding; wearing a helmet when riding your bike; and bringing a backpack with a first aid kit when hiking. A little prevention can go a long way toward preventing an injury or accident.
Drink More Water
Rising temperatures and increased activity levels make you sweat more. To stay hydrated, make sure you drink more water than usual while engaging in summertime activities. Aim for about one cup of water every 15 minutes. Avoid that uncomfortable “sloshing” feeling in your stomach by taking frequent, small drinks.
Sports drinks can be beneficial if you’re an endurance athlete working out for four hours or more at a time, or you exercise in extremely hot conditions. Otherwise, stick with plain water for the best hydration without the extra sugar and calories.
Eat Healthy Food
Your diet fuels your summertime activities. Make sure that as you go out and about more, your body has the vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins it needs. According to the US Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet consists of whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of processed junk food and power up with whole foods instead.
Listen to Your Body
As you begin to be more active, pay attention to any aches and pains, soreness and stiffness, or other symptoms that arise. Back off the moment you start to feel any discomfort. If you push it, you could end up with a deep tissue injury that requires professional treatment. Of course, if you need treatment but you ignore the pain, worse problems could develop.
Visit a Broomfield Chiropractor to Treat or Prevent Injuries from Summertime Activities
Muscle strains and sprains can cause lasting discomfort if you don’t have them treated promptly. Visit Mile High Spine & Pain Center in Broomfield for non-invasive treatments of your soft tissue injuries. Our chiropractic care, spinal decompression, and other treatments will help you heal faster so you can resume your favorite summertime activities before the season is out. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (720) 507-0080.