It’s easier to remember proper stretching, breathing and hydration when you’re thinking fitness but in the summer we all want to play as well. Everything from outdoor concerts, movies in the park, riding your bike and canoeing to hiking, running and gardening (even work projects like building a deck or remodeling) can all put your body at risk for injury.
Forgetting to stay hydrated and missing opportunities to stretch top the list of summer fun faux pas. Here are a few more tips for keeping things running smoothly this summer:
- Sitting cross-legged watching Star Trek in the Park? Try sitting on the grass with your legs forward, toes pointed upward to provide a nice stretch for your hamstrings.
- You may also forget that many activities are one-sided (Frisbee tossing, softball, golfing, etc.) Alternating sides, or at least stretching the opposite side, to keep yourself balanced are key to keeping your spine in proper alignment and minimizing imbalance and strain.
- Activities like gardening can provide even more opportunities for balance, since you can hold things with either hand and make an effort to work different muscle groups by changing positions from sitting to kneeling and standing.
- Spurred on by the good weather, you may be anxious to complete those building or remodeling projects you put off all winter. But sometimes the desire to finish can leave you forgetting to take a break and rest. Try to build in breaks for yourself — take time to survey your progress, use the bathroom, eat a snack or lunch and drink water.
You’ll know you’ve reached your limit if you start feeling pain, headachy, or overheated or if you find yourself forgetting things, injuring yourself or having to redo tasks. If this happens, you should quit immediately, go inside or sit in the shade, resting and hydrating.
Each person has their own threshold and should pay attention to it, overdoing it one day will mean paying for it for several days afterward, effectively negating the healthful benefits of your activity.
As always, if you’ve overdone it and want to recover quickly, come and see us and we’ll get you back out in the sunshine, in no time.