May 22

Get Moving and Feel Better!

With the sun shining and the warmer temperatures, many people are motivated to get moving. For some, it is fixing up the lawn and weeding the gardens, while for others it might be starting a running program or biking with your children. A common mistake that people make is that they try to do too much at once. Other than the immense snow shovelling of this past winter, many people were inactive over the winter. They then go out and try to make up for a winter of inactivity. It is also common to become excited when we first get into our garden, thinking we will be out there for 30 minutes and this turns into 2 hours. garden_injury_back

My advice to you is to start gradually and to warm up. Muscles are more pliable and elastic when they are warmed up. Thus if you start by warming up, you are less likely to tear a muscle. Contrary to what people think, warming up before exercise is more important than stretching. As we age, our muscles become less elastic. If we go out and start exercising without warming up, because of the inelasticity, the muscles are less forgiving and more prone to tearing. Stretching is still important but you will not tear a muscle because you didn’t stretch before you started exercising. It is actually better to stretch at the end of your exercise because this is when the muscles are warmed up and you will get a better stretch and thus improve your flexibility.

For example: You are going out to garden or mow the lawn. You should first do a little walking, marching on the spot and squat up and down a few times to get the big muscles of the legs warmed up. Swing your arms around in big circles to warm up the arms. Twist back and forth through the waist and bend over to the front and then as far as you can backwards to warm up the lower back. This will get blood pumping to your muscles making them more pliable and elastic. You can then do your activity. When you are finished do a little stretching of anything that feels tight as this will help improve your flexibility.

Your physiotherapist can teach yougarden_stretching warm up exercises, stretching exercises, and strengthening exercises that are specific to your body, your injuries, and your activity. They can also help you if you do injure yourself with your new activity or help you improve your performance with your activity. Massage therapy can help with any delayed onset muscle soreness that you have as a result of your new increase activity level as well as any injuries that may have resulted.

Make your physiotherapist happy and increase your activity level. May is national physiotherapy month. This month is an opportunity to celebrate the profession and recognize the expertise and care that physiotherapists provide to promote good health, prevent injury, and improve the physical function and well-being of Canadians through the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

This month improve your physical health. “Get moving and feel better!!!”

– Liz van Zutphen, PT

Do you want to encourage a loved one to become healthier? Consider a gift certificate. We offer gift certificates for both massage therapy and physiotherapy. They also make great birthday presents!

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