Even if you are fairly new to exercising, you will probably notice that your body is extremely sore at times. Sadly, many individuals skip taking care of their muscles and ligaments in different forms of body maintenance. Nobody wants to be the person who can’t stand for longer than 10 minutes because of back pains, or walk further than a mile because their knees can’t take the beating. So today’s article is on staying healthy while exercising.
What can you actually do to keep yourself healthy and injury-free while working out? Let’s take a look.
1. Stretch a lot:
No matter how often you exercise, you need to stretch. Some exercises and positions affect your muscle and ligament health more than others. For example, while pull-ups (or pull downs on a machine) are primarily an upper back and latissimus dorsi (lat) exercise, your shoulders and neck are for sure going to be sore. After training for a while you might get used to it, but you will suffer in the long run for not stretching.
Take some time to think about what you actually did to your body while exercising and then focus on stretching those areas more. While many argue about when it is best to stretch (before or after your work out) it is always best to warm up before exercising and then finishing your workout with long static stretching. What works for one person might not work for you, so try to find the best time for your stretches. Good stretching helps your recovery, loosens up muscles and ligaments, increases blood flow to muscles and of course helps with flexibility.
2. Never skip warm ups:
Properly warming up can’t be emphasized enough. Every inch of your body should be warmed up and prepared for your workout. If the exercises you are doing are extremely demanding (which will be different for everyone), make sure you include a warmup that improves circulation and gets your heart rate up, as well as muscles and ligaments ready for each move set. These warmups will help to prevent injuries, such as pulled and strained muscles or overuse injuries.
Warm ups should be specifically planned to support the exercises of the day and focused on the muscles and movements that are needed. Warming up is also a great time to mentally prepare for the best exercise possible. You never want to do an exercise without proper focus, this is how strange accidents occur.
3. Think about your fascias:
Fascia (connective tissue between bones, ligaments and muscles) are some of the most underestimated parts of the body and many people have never even given a thought about them. If you belong to a fairly large gym, you have probably noticed colorful rollers lying around. These foam rollers are a great way to keep your fascia tissue elastic and pain free. Elastic tissue directly correlates with flexible and healthy muscles and joints.
Don’t have a foam roller? Tennis balls (or a lacrosse ball) also works well. Still don’t know what a fascia is? Many gyms and fitness centers offer foam roller classes and if that doesn’t work out there are always YouTube videos. Lastly, you can also get fascia massages – but they are fairly painful if you haven’t experienced one before.
4. Get full-body massages at least once a month:
While most people may get massages for the relaxing qualities, athletes know that massages also promote blood circulation. This means more oxygen and nutrients are flowing to muscle tissue and also removing toxins and waste.
Massages also help your body by increasing flexibility, faster recovery times, less soreness, inflammation, and tension in the muscles. Not to mention you also receive the relaxing benefits we mentioned earlier.
Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you and discussing all the options for staying healthy while exercising. You can contact us at (201) 729-0001. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West Orange, Aberdeen, Clifton, and Lyndhurst.