Are you an active individual? Do you love going for casual walks around the park or training for marathons? Is the gym your happy place?
Being someone who enjoys exercise — whether recreationally or competitively — staying active is something that’s important to you. You make time for your workouts or training because it’s your way to focus, spend time with yourself, and work toward personal goals and achievements.
Exercising and staying on track with your regimen induces feelings of energy, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment. You love how you feel after working out and you love seeing your progress grow over time.
The only thing that would get in the way is the one thing you want to avoid at all costs — an injury.
An injury would hold you back. It would prevent you from advancing like you wish to. Even if it’s a small, nagging pain – it still bothers you and stunts your growth. Your goals would have to be put on hold until your injury heals — and depending on the injury, who knows how long recovery could take!
With an injury, instead of working towards your goals – you’ll be tirelessly searching for ways to relieve the pain so you can get back to your favorite activities.
So, as an active individual, what can you do to prevent an injury from occurring in the first place?
The answer is: warming up.
The Importance of Warming-Up
Before you begin any physical activity — it is essential that you warm up your body.
Some people don’t know that this is an important step to take before working out.
They think they can just begin without loosening the muscles and preparing the body to be active.
While this can work sometimes, other times people find themselves wondering why after a brisk walk their foot begins to hurt or why their knee is clicking.
It’s because they didn’t warm up before – not realizing that they accidentally subjected their body to pain, discomfort, and potentially an injury.
You’ll hear any exercise professional tell you that it is essential to your well-being that you warm up properly before each workout, no matter what the intensity. Without it, one wrong move can send you into pain, and then you’re not able to work out as you’d like anymore.
Going from 0-100 too fast isn’t something to be proud of — it’s something to be wary of. Warming up helps your body ease into the workout instead of just jumping right in.
When you warm up, your body experiences an increase in circulation and lubrication gradually. This helps you ease into the workout so you don’t put too much strain on your body and muscles, allowing you to move your body seamlessly – without the worry of injuring yourself.
Think of it like this — before you work out, most likely your body has been pretty stagnant. Maybe you’ve walked a few steps around the house, around the office, or in the grocery store, but other than that, you haven’t done a lot of physical activity during your day.
Then, it’s time to exercise. But your muscles, blood flow, and body are going from being relaxed to strained.
There was no warning. Your body wasn’t prepared to be launched into physical activity – so you begin to feel the repercussions.
Even worse, the people who don’t warm up, or exercise, start experiencing pain and don’t do anything about it — ultimately making the injury worse, simply because they didn’t know any better.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Be prepared and warm your body up properly before each workout to ensure you’re giving your body the time it needs before engaging in physical activity. And, as always, make sure you’re performing each exercise in your warm-up properly. Using correct techniques will also minimize the possibility of injury.
So, next time you’re putting on your tennis shoes and getting ready for a run around the neighborhood or putting in your headphones to lift in the gym – take a few minutes to stretch your body.
Doing this can make all the difference.
If you have already experienced an injury and are looking for pain relief — contact us for more information on how we can help you out.
Here at Spaulding Physical Therapy we’ll help you get back to your normal mobility and strength while teaching and giving you tips on how to prevent your injury from ever occurring again.