Back in the Swing of Summer
As we start to get back to life, activity, and things indoors/outdoors, especially during the hottest part of the year, a warm-up and cool-down are more important than ever. Taking time to stretch and ease into activities, whether it’s a bike ride, run in the park, swim in the pool, or even throwing the baseball, will help decrease injuries and post work out soreness. Along with proper hydration and a healthy diet, we can keep our bodies ready for the rigors of life and the next activity we have planned.
Dr. Brandon Eck, Sports Medicine Primary Care Physician recommends taking 5-10 minutes to perform dynamic stretching with simple movements such as these exercises below:
- Bird Dog
- Spiderman Lunge
- T-Spine Rotation
- Inch Worm
- Good Morning
- Toe Touch to Squat
- Static stretching focusing on the major muscle groups can also be helpful to loosen up the body and lungs, prepare you for your activity, and allow your muscles to receive oxygen.
Major Muscle groups to stretch:
- Hip flexors
- Rotator cuff
- Calf muscles
After exercise, taking another 5-10 minutes to cool down, allow your heart rate to return to normal, and calm your body are all important when you transition to your next activity of the day. Drink extra fluids and take in calories within 1 hour of exercise, especially a hard effort will help with the recovery process and prepare for your next activity. As we get older, stretching becomes even more important to decrease injury risk and keep us as active as we want to be and less prone to injury.