Posted in Blog.
Movement Is Not Cancelled
There have been many changes in people’s lives over the past couple of months which has prompted changes in routines. Some might have tossed their foam roller in the corner when they got the race postponement email or buried their sneakers down in the closet when the group runs got cancelled. Being stuck in a small apartment or at their parent’s house for eight or more weeks may be causing more stress than usual. So not only have we changed our exercise routine, we are also more stressed and tense not knowing what is going to happen next. Some may have doubled their workout routine because WHY NOT we have all this time! But one thing that shouldn’t have changed and perhaps should be increased – is adding in more mobility, soft tissue maintenance, and strengthening to keep our joints and muscles active and strong.
Every day we should be doing things to maintain good health. Whether it is what we eat or the cream we put on our face, we are trying to do things to keep ourselves healthy and ‘ageless’. Daily maintenance of our musculoskeletal system is also essential to sustain that good health. The musculoskeletal system is your muscles, joints, and the deep structures supporting the muscles and joints. Some people call this soft tissue hygiene – the way we keep our movement system healthy throughout our lives. Keeping this system healthy is crucial to complete activities through all phases of life – from lifting heavy boxes overhead in our closet to being able to get up off the toilet independently. If we want to be able to do these things throughout our lifespan, we must have a routine to help keep the muscles and joints healthy!
Some people who were training for events might think since the race was cancelled or postponed it means NO more foam rolling or strength training – ‘tissue hygiene’- is needed. But in reality, it is almost MORE important to keep tissue maintenance a part of the daily routine now more than ever. Preparing our body for the time that it can take on a higher training load will allow for a more successful training cycle and better long-term outcomes. Having more movement and pliability in our muscles after foam rolling and more stability around our joints with added strength training will help prevent injury- and lead to more successful training and results in the future! Now, who doesn’t want to see all of their hard work and time executed on race day because they were able to get in a full, healthy training cycle?!
Whether you want to ensure you can be a lifelong mover or train more competitively for an event, having a daily routine that maintains joint and muscle health is the key to success. If the body has the proper movements available from doing mobility and strengthening throughout the week, we can prevent those muscle pulls and joint strains because the body will be prepared to do the activities we want to do. Daily mobility work can make sure that the joints have the proper range available to complete the task that we will ask it to perform. Strength training throughout the week will help maintain the joint feedback and add power to the body.
So what should we do? Taking at least ten minutes a day (regardless of training for an event or not) and building a strength and mobility routine that will address different parts of your body is a great way to maintain the health of the musculoskeletal system.
There are three things to keep in mind when building this routine.
- If there are any specific parts of your body that have been bothering you or are known to cause pain, make sure you are addressing these areas first – whether it be foam rolling and/or mobility work.
- This is a routine to be done daily even if you don’t have any aches and pains at the time. The point is to PREVENT an issue from arising and to maintain longevity of the tissues so there will always be a benefit from doing these types of exercises.
- Make the strength training part of your routine specific to what you are trying to achieve. You want this part to be specific to the activity you are training for to make sure your body is ready for the way that it will eventually be used. Whether it be double leg squats to work on getting off the couch or single leg rotational movements to mimic running, pick the exercises that look like what you would like to do in the end.
Feeling like you don’t know what you should be doing? We’re here for you. Doctors of Physical Therapy are not just for after a surgery when the surgeon forced you into our office. We are here to make sure you have the tools to address different areas of your body and keep yourself healthy. Physical therapists make sure you know what a sport-specific strength routine looks like and you are maintaining proper alignment. Don’t think of this as the time to slack off on maintenance work and strength training just because you may not have an event coming up.
It is more important than ever to maintain that mobility regimen and soft tissue hygiene since movement is NEVER cancelled.