Snowy season is upon us and that means we are out there shoveling heavy snow and doing activities that are body doesn’t normally do (skating, sledding, skiing, ect…). Doing these activities without proper care puts us at a greater risk of injuring ourselves. There are a number of ways to help ensure that you make it through this snowy season injury free. Here is a short list of what to do to keep you in tip top shape!
• STRETCHING! That means if you are out there skating, skiing or sledding make sure to stretch all those leg muscles. Most of us remember the quads and hamstrings but tend to forget the gluteus (buttocks), calves and hip flexors. These areas work just as hard and need stretching too! Another forgotten section for stretching is usually the arms and upper back. These sections of the body will be used during these activities but also in our everyday lives which means they need stretching on a regular basis.
• PROPER HYDRATION. Our bodies need proper fluid intake all year round and not just when it is hot and sunny out. Most people tend to not drink as much fluid during the winter as during the summer but it is important to continue drinking fluids at the same rate all year long. Rule of thumb is 2.2L for women or approximately 9 glasses and 3L for men or approximately 13 cups of fluid. During physical activity it is important to increase the amount of liquids you consume. A dehydrated body is more prone to injuries than a hydrated one!
• PROPER FORM. While doing all your activities make sure that you are performing those activities in proper form. For example while snow shoveling it is important to lift and bend at the hips and not the low back. When lifting heavy snow make sure that your abdominal muscles are kept tight to help support the lower back.
As always make sure to keep up with your current treatment plan. If you feel like you have injured yourself don’t wait, call and get in to see your massage therapist.