Is your body ready for summer fun? 3 simple tips to get you started
Ready – or not – summer begins in June. Rain or shine, it is on its way. But just because the season changes, it doesn’t mean that our body is ready.
For many, the last few months have been spent indoors waiting for the rain to let up. Oh sure, a little bit of gardening here and a little weeding there, but for the most part not much physical activity. Now is the time to get ready.
Here are 3 simple tips to help you prepare for your summer fun:
- First, get up, get out, and get moving. It is ok to start slow, but you need to get moving. You can start with a light walk for 10 to 15 minutes and work up from there. One of the biggest mistakes I see in my clinic are the patients that try to go from couch potato to marathon runner overnight. Don’t let that be you! If it has been a while since you regularly exercised, it is going to take a while to get back in shape. Just because you were able to exercise at a certain level 5 years ago, doesn’t mean you still can.
- Second, warm up and cool down. Another mistake I see are patients that immediately go all out without taking time to warm up. Putting heavy strain on cold joints and muscles is a prescription for disaster. Please, please, please – take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up your body before you begin a workout. Take even more time if you are planning an intense workout. This concept also applies to ‘just working in the yard.’ When you are done with your activity, take another 5 minutes or so to cool down and do some light stretching. This will help work some of the lactic acid out of your muscles which will decrease the potential for the post-workout ache.
- Third, and most important, make sure your body is ok for added physical stress. It is one thing to start your exercise program slow and begin and end your routines with stretching, but if your body’s structure is not prepared for the added stress, an injury may be just around the corner!
You wouldn’t continue to pound a crooked nail with a hammer, nor should you add stress to a spine that is out of alignment. Over the last thirty years in practice, I have worked with athletes from semi-pro women’s soccer teams, world elite level Masters runners, and those just starting to exercise for the first time in their life. One thing was true for them all, the better the spine functioned, the better they performed in their chosen activity! If you have not had your spine evaluated to assure that it is functioning properly, this is the best first step as you prepare for summer.
A bonus tip, find an activity that you enjoy doing. If you pick an activity that you enjoy doing, it is much more likely that you will stick with your program. Too often I have patients that begin an exercise thinking that it was supposed to be the best program, only to give up after a short time. If you don’t like to run – don’t! If you can’t swim, maybe bike riding would be better.
One last thing, get a friend or two to join you! Having friends to work out with is extremely valuable. It can make your workout more fun and pass by quicker. More importantly, a friend can help keep you motivated during the times that exercising gets tough. Have a great month!
Dr. Dan Miller has been serving the Beaverton area since 1992. He has long held the belief that good health begins before birth. For more information, visit his website at: www.BeavertonFamilyChiropractic.com