During this month, I hope you’ll make taking care of your body a priority. Reading this Washington Post article on muscle recovery, got me thinking about the ways in which we care for our bodies. While exercise and rest are great for self-care, we don’t often talk about how to recover from exercise or what exactly to do on rest days.
After exercising, it’s important to cool down and stretch and/or massage your muscles and tissues. By cooling down, you allow your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal slowly, preventing a dangerous irregular heartbeat and keeping you from getting dizzy. An active cool down, like walking or massaging with a foam roller, helps the lactic acid from building up, which will keep you from having sore muscles the next day. Stretching when your muscles are still warm from your workout is important; this keeps your muscles flexible, therefore, you are less likely to pull a muscle. As we age our flexibility decreases, so it’s important to add stretching into a regular exercise program to maintain your range of motion in your limbs as you age.
On days when you rest, or aren’t up for a full workout, try adding foam rolling to warm up your muscles, then stretch or do yoga to keep you limber. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and you will help your body in the long run by staying flexible and mobile.
If you have any questions or need help developing a recovery program, call L A R Physical Therapy at 410.381.1574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.