Happy first day of Spring!
The sun is finally out, and the temperatures are (mostly) above freezing! It’s time to start thinking about making the most of the longer daylight and enjoying the sun and warmer weather by exercising outside!
Whether it’s in your neighborhood, at the park, or just in your yard or on your patio, there are lots of exercises you can try outside:
Invite a friend to your outdoor workout, or find a group that does outdoor activities together! This makes it more fun and keeps you accountable to your workouts.
As you begin to exercise outside this spring, don’t forget to warm-up, especially with the temps still being cold. Your warm up can be just a few minutes long, inside or outside, and should focus on getting your heart rate up and should include dynamic stretching. Here are a few warm up exercises/dynamic stretches to try:
1. Leg swings - 10 reps on each side, to stretch the front and back of your hip and leg; hold something for balance if needed
2. Forward march with knee-to-chest stretch - 10 reps on each leg, to stretch your hip and groin
3. Walking quad stretch - 10 reps on each side to stretch the front of your leg and hip
Let us know your favorite outdoor exercise in the comments! As always, if you have a nagging injury keeping you from exercise, call us to set up a physical therapy evaluation: 616-662-0990.
By: Lisa Bartz, C-EP (Cert. Exercise Physiologist)
Summer is in full swing, and you may already be more active than you've been all year! It's a great time to exercise because it's warm out, there's no ice to slip on, and you can get some Vitamin D while exercising.
Here's a few ways to improve your health and up your exercise game this summer!
1. Go outside and walk or run! If you don't like walking or running, bike or swim - find a cardio exercise that you enjoy!
2. Incorporate a strengthening routine a couple days per week! Focus on large muscle groups using exercises like squats, rows, push-ups, and planks. Make some of your exercises complex movements to target more muscles, like bicep curls with a shoulder press, or push-ups with a single-arm row, or squats with a lateral raise. Vary your exercise routine to continue challenging your body and developing different muscles!
3. Add some stretches to your workouts at the end. Stretching is most effective when your muscles are already warm, so do it after a walk or after your strengthening exercises. A few areas to focus on are your hamstrings, hip-flexors, IT band, calves, shoulders, chest, wrists, spine and neck. Yoga is another great way to work on your mobility (and strength).
Remember, even if you're not exercising for a long amount of time, or many days per week, the exercise you do is going to strengthen your muscles and joints and is good for your cardiovascular system. More is better than some, but some is better than none!
If you have any questions, or are dealing with pain with exercise, call us at 616-662-0990 to set up a free consultation with one of our skilled and caring physical therapists.
By: Lisa Bartz, Certified Exercise Physiologist
As the dog days of summer are upon us, so are the high temps and humidity. Summer can be a lot of fun but it can also be dangerous. Every year, according to the CDC, over 600 people die from extreme heat. Thousands more are treated for heat related conditions. The very young and very old are at the most risk. When people are not careful and are exposed to too much heat they can suffer from heat exhaustion. This is a very serious condition and needs to be treated immediately. If people don’t take it very seriously heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke very rapidly and this can be deadly.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool moist skin, nausea.
If it progresses to Heat Stroke the signs and symptoms include HA, dizziness, lack of sweating, red hot skin, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and rapid shallow breathing.
The key is when people stop sweating Heat Exhaustion becomes Heat Stroke. When this happens people need to go directly to ER.
The good news is if we are smart we can enjoy the summer and stay healthy. Here are a few steps to follow to keep from overheating:
1. Stay hydrated - drink water before being out in the heat and then continue to drink water while outside in the heat and sun. It's easier to stay hydrated than to catch up once you're dehydrated!
2. Take frequent breaks
3. If you aren’t feeling well get out of the heat or at least rest in the shade
4. Find and alternate activity, out of the heat
5. Remember the very young and elderly are at the most risk
If you follow these steps, the heat of summer can be fun and safe. Keep an eye out for other around you that may appear to be suffering from the heat!
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Who's bad at remembering to drink enough 💧WATER💧?
Dehydration caused by lack of water can cause all kinds of issues, like headaches, dry skin, fatigue, kidney stones, low blood pressure and much more! Avoid dehydration and feel more energized this summer by drinking 2 to 3 L of water every day! If you're out in the heat sweating, or exercising, make sure you drink extra!
Try a couple of these tips to make drinking water easier:
1. Drink a cup of water BEFORE your morning coffee 1️⃣🥤 2️⃣☕️
2. Get a high quality water bottle and bring it with you everywhere💧
3. Set an alarm reminder on your phone to drink water a few times throughout the day ⏰📱
4. Hate water? Try adding lemon, lime, cucumber, fruit (get a bottle with an infuser!), or sparkling water 🍋🍓
By: Lisa Bartz, C-EP
As the weather warms up, everyone is ready to get outside and be active! This is great, BUT this often is a time when we see a spike in injuries, as people have been cooped up all winter and hop into full-swing activity too quickly.
Be smart and don’t start your spring out with an injury. Whether its sports, exercise, or yardwork, people tend to put a lot of strain on their body when it’s not used to moving as much in the winter.
As we age, our body can’t go from 0 – 60. Here are a couple of simple tips you can do to stay healthy and enjoy your spring free of injury:
Preventing injury will be much easier and more comfortable than recovering from it!
If you do suffer an injury this Spring, we can help and are just a phone call away. Let us know and we’ll get you in right away!
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Steve Bartz, PT