Winter is here and although we had a mild December, January has been frigid to the point of driving most of us indoors. I recently appeared on WKOW-TV in Madison on the weekend morning news program to talk more about this topic. Whether you are an athlete or someone looking to stay mobile and functional, here are some tips to keep you moving.
1) Continue physically challenging activities through the winter months. For example, I often hear from gardeners about the difficulty getting up and down from the ground. To practice this in a safe manner, kneel down on one knee in front of a sturdy chair for balance and support. Use your legs to push yourself back to standing. You may also practice repeated chair squats which is standing with your back to the chair and squatting down until you buttocks nearly touches the chair and return to standing. Practice these things in a safe manner 3 times per week to maintain that body strength!
2) Aging and strengthening: Research shows that from the young to the elderly strength can be improved. The typical individual who starts a strengthening program will start to develop strength gains at two weeks just from the brain improving its ability to tell the muscle what to do. Muscle growth will start to take place after six weeks.
3) Taking protein within a half hour after finishing strength training can help build muscle.
4) Variety, Variety, Variety. Winter is a great time to cross train. Try Yoga, Pilates, swimming or just something new. This will also alleviate boredom and the repetitive nature of exercise equipment. If using stationary exercise equipment make sure to vary your speed, intensity and incline to keep joints moving fully.
5) Take care of yourself! Winter is a great time to heal those nagging aches and pains. Several sessions with one of our manual physical therapists will mobilize, strengthen, and train posture and movement that you can’t do on your own. Then your exercise will work better and maintain your painfree function. And now, Body Mechanics has three clinics to serve you including our new clinic in Madison, WI where I work. Go to www.bmechanics.com and become a fan of our Facebook Page for ongoing information.
Take care and stay active!
Adam Lindsey, DPT Adam’s Bio