Do you like to move? Do you want to keep moving, doing sport, and stay healthy? Sport represents for many people fun and relax. But it is good to know the principles of how to correctly perform it in order to enjoy it for as long as possible. Pain is the most common cause why many people are willing or forced to stop doing sport. The pain during or after the physical activity doesn’t have to be a requirement! You just need to keep few principles, in order to prevent the unpleasant problems and pain completely.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF SAFE MOVEMENT
Do you want to train without pain? These six simple principles applying to every sport activity will ensure it:
- First prepare your muscles for the physical activity by a warm up and thorough stretching. Warming up your muscles is very easy, you can achieve that by for example power walking or light jogging. By stretching your muscles you will prepare them for the physical activity. It is very important to keep the muscles in a stable temperature.
- Be ready for sudden weather changes and temperature changes. Do not let cold or rain baffle you. You just need to dress accordingly to the weather and you can keep your body temperature, which will also improve your performance. If your muscles cool down, you can get easily injured even during a seemingly simple and safe movement. Cold muscles can delay your physical activity for some time. The same applies to your joints, simply said it is important to keep your body warm, and not let it cool down.
- Do not forget to drink during sport in a warm weather a little more liquids than you are used to during the day. Our organism is losing water not only by sweating, but also by breathing and warming up. When the muscle has lack of liquids, it will start to loose the needed minerals and it will react with spasm. The best source of liquid is clear water, not sweetened drinks.
- After every physical activity we should let our organism to cool down gradually. Every sport activity, whether it is endurance or strength sport, can be “walked off”. The worst thing you can do to your muscles is when you go from intense activity into complete inactivity. Let’s look at common mistake done by many runners who right after running sit down sweating, without stretching or walking it off. This sudden change represents a shock for our muscles, and they are threatened by already mentioned, cold temperature.
- Immediately after lowering the heartbeat frequency and “walking it off” we should start with stretching. Muscles need to be relieved after the physical activity by sufficient stretching, in order to remove all lactates created during the activity of the muscles. In case you do not give enough attention to stretching these waste substances will stay in the muscles and cause pain. The muscle is in addition constantly contracted, and after physical activity it is not able to stretch to the original length.
- Too much of everything is bad, and therefore even here we need to apply the rule: “less is more”. So all we can say to you is to not overestimate your abilities! Muscles, especially in older age cannot keep up with high intensity exercise, like they did in younger age. Mentally you can be stronger and more experienced, but from the functional point of view your body gets faster tired. Tiredness is another risk factor which can lead to injury, and are for further physical burden a clear warning.
Keeping these principles is a base for success in any physical activity. Contact sports in an irregular frequency represents for untrained organism enormous burden. Therefore it is best to do sport regularly, at least 2-3 times a week, and keep your body adjusted to withstand the pressure. Movement is ideal compensation for static positions we often stay in our jobs, and sedentary lifestyle.
The most important this is to realize the fact that movement should bring you joy, not suffering. Therefore give your musculoskeletal system enough attention and stay healthy for as long as possible.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience in private practice and physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika