As winter comes to a close and the warmer weather approaches, you’re probably ready to get outdoors and get moving again. Oftentimes, your health, wellness, and fitness takes a backseat during the wintertime. Although we may not get those debilitating winter storms here in Murfreesboro like they’ve been getting to the north of us in New England, cold temperatures and dreary weather makes it hard to get motivated to get active. Now that spring is finally here, we are certain that many of you will be taking advantage of the warmer weather. Below are tips to consider as you become more active this spring so that you can protect your body from injury while getting fit.
Set Small Goals
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get fit right away, but you’ll want to set realistic goals for yourself as you get moving again. If you start an intense exercise routine that surpasses your abilities at the current moment, you may be setting yourself up for an injury. The last thing you want is to suffer an injury that has you shut in your home for several more weeks. Journaling is a great way to write down and track your health goals. As you achieve one goal, set another. You’ll be running that 5K marathon before you know it!
Gradually Increase Physical Activities
Don’t overestimate what you are physically capable of as you begin your new fitness routines. Setting small goals will allow you to gradually increase your physical activities over time to prevent soft tissue injuries. Overexerting yourself the first time you decide to get out and get moving can lead to neck and back pain, extremity injuries, and intense soreness. Start by doing simple physical activities like walking or bicycling for 20 to 30 minutes every other day. Extend your walking time by 10 to 15 minutes or increase the amount of days you walk. This will give your cardio health a boost as you gradually increase the difficulty and frequency of your activities.
One of the best ways to prevent soft tissue injuries is by stretching before and after physical activity. Whether you’re shooting hoops with coworkers after work or taking your dog for a walk, make sure to incorporate stretching into your activity. If you’ll be playing basketball, you’ll want to stretch your arms, legs, and back to prepare them for the various movements and pivots. Going for a walk with your dog? Stretch your extremities, neck, and back to prepare muscles and joints for any sudden or sharp movements.
Replenish Your Muscles
Muscle cells are composed of approximately 20 percent muscle protein, which means muscles need protein and other nutrients to be strong and healthy. What’s more, muscles need to be replenished in order for them to grow. Eating a healthy diet that includes protein- and antioxidant-rich superfoods like eggs, berries, fish, and green leafy veggies can support healthy muscle growth while reducing fat. A healthy diet will also help prevent injuries and speed up the recovery time for injured tissues.
Schedule Chiropractic Care
As you become more active this spring, schedule a chiropractic treatment with your Murfreesboro chiropractor at Barfield Chiropractic to optimize your spinal health to reduce neck and back pain and prevent injuries. Join us next time to learn more tips for springing into a healthy routine safely.