Put Spring Back In Your Step!
As the seasons change and the weather starts warming up, we all shift into a more healthy and active lifestyle.
From jogging to gardening, swimming to walking around a local park, it’s time to get outside and enjoy these longer springtime days. But if you’re too eager when adopting a new exercise routine, you might find yourself back on the couch.
Here are 3 tips that will help get you ready for a more active spring:
Make Sure You Warm Up
Before going on a jog or hitting the tennis court, it’s important to take time to warm up and stretch. Improving the flexibility of your muscles, joints, and tissues helps decrease your risk of injury, so you can enjoy your new hobbies into the summer.
Before running, try a hip flexor stretch. Kneel on the ground or on a towel, with your other foot flat on the ground in front of you. You should feel a stretch towards the front of your kneeling leg. As you gently tilt your pelvis bone forward this stretch will progress.
Increase Your Heart Rate
Now is the time to get cardio in! Choose exercises that keep your heart rate up. Power Walking is a good place to start. You can also throw in some cycling, jogging, or swimming depending on your schedule as well!
Increasing your heart rate will improve your cardiovascular health over time. Take it easy though – if you’ve been stuck at home during the winter without too much daily exercise, you’ll need to work yourself back up to it. Most experienced athletes engage in a slow-fast-slow routine when getting back into shape.
For example, walk for 10 minutes then slowly jog for 2 minutes. Increase this ratio over time. Obviously, this could start with walking for 2 minutes and not jogging and slowly increasing endurance over time too. If you have more questions, your physical therapist or personal trainer would be a wonderful resource.
Improve Your Balance
The best way to avoid injury is to ensure you don’t trip or fall in the first place. Balance generally decreases with age, so maintaining it is important if you want to age vibrantly. Improving your balance will not only help you avoid injury, but will also help improve your ability to engage in more strenuous activities.
A well-rounded yoga routine is a good place to start. Many yoga poses help strengthen your core, which is an essential part of your ability to keep your balance. Yoga also increases foot strength and not many forms of exercise do this. Many poses also incorporate balance into the routine as well, by having you stand on one leg, shifting your weight to target certain muscle groups, and more.
Balance is dependent upon the ability to feel and sense your position in space. This means that optimized nerve health is necessary too.
If you’re looking to get more active, and think you need guidance on where to start, make an appointment with our expert physical therapy team today!