Whether swimming laps at the pool, joining a competitive baseball or softball league, running trails at your favorite park or simply playing a game of HORSE with a good friend, summer is one of the best times of the year to get outside and be active.
Yet, before you get started, it’s crucial to always warm up and stretch properly to help avoid injury. And while there are numerous ways to help get your body primed and limber, these are some of the best methods to use:
It’s been found that static stretching can actually hinder your body’s performance when exercising, so dynamic movement and stretches are much better for warming up all those muscle groups. Stretches such as lunges, squatting, arm circles, butt kicks and leg kicks move you through a continuous range of motion and help loosen your body up properly.
If you have one readily available, utilizing a foam roller before and after your workout keeps your muscles relaxed and capable of moderate to strenuous exercise. Also, post-work out rolling helps your muscles regenerate and grow more efficiently.
Yes, seriously. Jumping rope or in place for 5-10 minutes will get your heart rate and body temperature up, loosening up your arms, legs and core. Obviously, don’t over exert yourself and do however much that your body or fitness level will allow and build from there.
Speaking of jumping, jumping jacks address all major muscle groups and open up your flexibility and range of motion significantly. Try substituting in a few sets of 20 pre-workout to help get that blood flowing.
Nothing demonstrates flexibility and stretching quite like yoga. While there are many stages and degrees of difficulty to the art, performing basic functions allows the body to regulate oxygen through the bloodstream and loosen up and stretch those major muscle groups. Obviously, don’t go above and beyond your body’s limits the first few times, but begin incorporating different positions in as you become accustomed and more flexible.
Get to Walking – The easiest way to warm up and cool down after any exercise or sport is walking. You’re able to help regulate your breathing and, depending on the amount of energy you plan to exert, can adjust your speed accordingly.
Clearly, there are multiple ways to help get your body prepared for any physical activity or sport you want to participate in. If you have fallen victim to strains, sprains or other injuries, contact the physical therapists at Methodist Hospital Surgery are get back on the road to recovery today.