Clients will often ask my advice to help prevent injuries. One of the easiest ways to prevent injuries is to warm up and stretch before you exercise

If you haven’t been working out regularly, or even if you have, your ligaments and tendons will be tight. When you jump into a strenuous exercise routine, without warming up first, you can cause your body some serious damage.  So, before you hit those weights, or that stair stepper or begin a run, take a moment. Slowly stretch your body. Give it a chance to warm up. And please, if you are getting fatigued or something starts to hurt, slow down, or perhaps sit down. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes, it’s good for us to push ourselves, but push too hard and you can cause an injury, and that defeats the whole purpose of exercising.

I would even suggest that before you begin a new training regimen, come get a few massages. I can help you warm up muscles that haven’t been used for a while. Warm muscles are much happier than cold brittle ones.

This post from the Harvard Group explains it well:

Why it’s important

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

For example, sitting in a chair all day results in tight hamstrings in the back of the thigh. That can make it harder to extend your leg or straighten your knee all the way, which inhibits walking. Likewise, when tight muscles are suddenly called on for a strenuous activity that stretches them, such as playing tennis, they may become damaged from suddenly being stretched. Injured muscles may not be strong enough to support the joints, which can lead to joint injury.

Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, and this means that exertion “won’t put too much force on the muscle itself,” says Nolan. Healthy muscles also help a person with balance problems to avoid falls.”

 

Remember warming up and stretching are good for pre and post exercise, but they are also beneficial for those of you who sit in front of a computer all day. In fact it may be even more important for you to get up and stretch at regular intervals. Stretch, take a walk, get some fresh air if you can.

Valentina Boonstra

massage therapist, trainer.

Yoga instruction, massage therapy, pilates, pain relief, massage therapy, brevard county massage therapist, personal trainer, trainer for those in chronic illness

About Brevard Massage

I have been a personal trainer and massage therapist for many years now. My specialty is getting people moving again. I have learned through the years that preventing injuries is as important as relieving pain after an injury. To that end, I have also learned Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Pilates.