Summer Injury Prevention
It's summer once again, and time to start doing the activities you love! With the mountains in our backyard, and Calgary being the number one sunniest city in Canada; it's time to take advantage of the warm weather while we can.
If you're into gardening...
Gardening is a wonderfully rewarding hobby that can result in fresh fruits and veggies and enjoying the essence of nature in your backyard, but bending down to get those nuances that we call weeds could result in throwing out your back.
Here's how you can help prevent back injuries:
Although gardening may not seem as rigorous as some of the other summer activities on this post, it most certainly can result in injury. That is why stretching before and after you put come those gardening gloves can help prevent injuries and keep you feeling great! Keep in mind, not everyone can do the exact stretch, duration, or action. Talk to your physio about what might stretches will work best for you.
You should stretch when your muscles are warm and relaxed! A brisk walk around the block should do the trick, it's best to get your heart rate and body temperature up to ensure your muscles are properly warmed up.
When it comes to gardening, dynamic stretches are the way to go! To stretch using dynamic movements you want to go through your range of motion, while keeping control. Light resistance while stretching is good and should be aimed for, but you should never feel pain while stretching.
Some dynamic stretches are:
Neck stretch Arm Swings Wrist Circles
Leg Swings Forward and Back Back Rotation Stretch
Complete these motions for several repetitions (10-15 times.)
Once you're finished gardening your need to stretch out the key muscles that you've worked, in order to ensure you are taking the steps to avoid any injuries that could begin after you've finished gardening.
Here are some static stretches you can do:
Hold the stretch in a static position. Do not bounce.
Maintain each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat each stretch 2-3 times. Static Stretches
Posterior Shoulder Stretch Chest Stretch Hamstring Stretch
If you're into bike riding...
There's nothing like a good ole bike ride with the breeze running through your hair and the adrenaline pumping through your veins. But bike injuries are more common than you think. According to Injury Facts bicycle accidents peak in the summer months, making people more susceptible to injuries.
But there are ways to reduce the risk and prevent said injuries.
First of all, always wear a helmet!
The government of Alberta also recommends to do an ABC check before starting off on your cycling adventure!
A = Air: Make sure the tires are firm.
B = Brakes, Bar, and Bell: Check that your brake levers work and the handlebars are the right height, and test your bell.
C = Chain: It should be tight and well lubed.
Now that your bike and equipment are in check, it's always best to warm up and stretch before bike riding. Just like in any activity that requires physical exercise, a good warm up can go a long way. Getting your heartbeat up and making your body temperature to rise is a good way to ensure your muscles are warm and ready for your ride.
Dynamic stretching is ideal with cycling. Some exercises that you can do are:
Torso Twists Lunges
When riding, the speed and intensity is gradually increased. Technicality and speed are good warmups as well, this includes bike drills, sprints, and sprint drills. Drills should aid in speed and agility, but be kept short with recovery time. This is to ensure you are not fatigued before a race or ride.
Make sure to cool down after your ride! A cool-down reduces the risk of becoming faint or dizzy after exercise and helps reduce the risk on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You can cool down by slowly reducing your intensity for about five minutes before ending your ride.
Static stretches are best for after your ride, but before your muscles have fully cooled down.
Some static stretches are:
Calf Stretch Quadriceps Stretch Anterior Shoulder Stretch
If you're into hiking...
Get out your ole backpack and head into the mountains! Check out our other posts on how's that backpack of yours and try out some stretches under Fall Walks!
And if you have any questions, call us or visit us in person!
We look forward to seeing you again.
- The Team at Fix Physio