If you are like me, the start of summer means lots more outdoor activities like running, playing with your children, walking the boardwalk for endless hours, swimming, surfing or going for a family bike ride.
I have always found it interesting that no matter how active you are, changing activities as the seasons change can result in soreness and sometimes pain.
There are some things we need to do in order to prepare our bodies for the change in activity from season to season. Our body will adapt to how we train it, known as specificity, but ultimately changing our regimen with exercise or physical activity requires preparation.
For example, during the winter months, I enjoy running on a treadmill for cardiovascular exercise. When the weather begins to improve, I like to ride my bicycle with my family, or jog into town. These activities are very similar but will place different stresses on my body.
If I am running on a treadmill, it is a flat surface where the motor moves the belt for me. However, when I am running on the street, there is plenty of uneven terrain, turns, hills and obstacles, where my legs making contact with the road have to propel me forward.
Summertime bike riding is always enjoyable. Whether on a road or a trail, outdoor riding requires balance, strength and whole-body endurance as opposed to the stationary bike you might have been on during the winter.
Schools are closing and many of us are looking forward to more and more outdoor activities. Preparation is very important. Understanding what muscles are being utilized during an activity and getting on a well-designed stretching and strengthening program are recipes for success.
There are times, when preparing for such activities, that pain or discomfort will occur and working through the pain is not the answer. Pain is the way our body tells us something is wrong, and it needs to get examined to prevent further damage.
With many more outdoor activities beginning, having good spine mobility and flexibility of our legs, specifically our hamstrings, is important. Finally, thinking about proper body mechanics will prevent injuries and needs to be considered with every chore and activity.
So before purchasing that over-the-counter or prescription medication to alleviate that nagging pain, and before beginning strenuous activities after being sedentary for several months, come and see your local physical therapist, at Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center, conveniently located on 77 Brant Avenue in Clark.
If you have any questions regarding any injury or condition, and possible treatment options in a relaxing and convenient environment, give us a call at (732) 499-4540.
We specialize in many facets of physical therapy, focusing on complete patient satisfaction, and patient results. We also guarantee that each individual will be seen within 48 hours, open 6 days per week, making ourselves available for our patient’s hectic lifestyles and accept all insurances.
Let us help you enjoy your life, without worrying about uneasy pain.
David De La Fuente, PT, DPT, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center, PC