By Emma Bramfit
Remedial Massage Therapist at Life Ready Physio + Pilates Point Cook
Warmer weather and longer days bring many Australians outside for pool parties, beach trips and picnics at the park. Unfortunately, some of these activities also bring about injuries and sore muscles.
Here are three simple ways to prevent these “summer injuries”.
1. Daily stretching
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible and healthy.
Muscle flexibility helps to maintain a good 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. When you skip stretching, joint pain, strains, and muscle damage at put at risk.
To get the most out of a stretch, hold it for 30 seconds and don’t bounce, as this may cause injury. You’ll feel tension during a stretch, but you should not feel pain. If you do feel pain, there may be an injury or damage in the tissue. Stop stretching that muscle and talk to your physiotherapist.
2. Staying hydrated
We all know that drinking water is important. But why is it so important?
One main benefit of drinking water is that it regulates your body temperature. Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining your body temperature. Your body loses water through sweat during physical activity and in hot environments. That sweat keeps your body cool, but your body temperature will rise if you don’t replenish the water you lose.
Drinking water also helps lubricate the joints. This is because cartilage (which is found in joints and the discs of the spine) contains around 80% water. Long term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
3. Getting a massage
Due to the heat and humidity, swelling or oedema in the body can occur which can also make you feel lethargic and less energised during the scorching weather. Massage therapy is an excellent method to release and ease this swelling by boosting circulation, making you feel more energised. This also helps removing toxins and dead cells, and even helps boost your body’s ability to fight off infections.
A massage can also help reduce aches and pains related to sore, strained, or pulled muscles resulting from that increased exercise during those summer months. Getting regular massages helps your muscles stay elastic, reduces inflammation, and lessens the chance of injury.
Take some “me-time”!
Summer means school holidays, and with kids at home to entertain, endless plans, driving to and from activities and planning vacations, it can easily become very stressful. Even if you don’t have children, most people make more plans in the summer months, which adds to the stress. A massage is a great excuse to take some time out for yourself and replenish your body.