As spring begins, plants and animals slowly wake from their winter hibernation. People likewise begin to spend more time outdoors – walking, gardening, golfing and playing other warm-weather sports. Spring is the season of rebirth and new beginnings. And this, not the first day of January, is the time of year for making resolutions.
A common resolution this time of year is to be more active. The warmer temps and bursts of green from fresh grass and young plants are a welcome respite from the endless white of snow and face-hurting air of winter and draw us outside. And there’s the desire by many to shed our winter weight and look better is less clothing in time for summer.
Although you may be mentally ready to ramp up your activity level, your body needs time. You can’t go from hunkered down on the couch all winter to a two-hour hike the next day. That’s a recipe for injury, and injury often derails resolutions for of becoming more active.
The best way to start and stick to a change to better health is to start slow. Set a small goal – perhaps a walk around the block three times a week. When you can comfortably do that, set a larger goal. Maybe this time you take a longer walk, add a fourth day or incorporate a new activity. Keep increasing your activity slowly, and eventually you’ll realize it’s become a habit instead of a task to check off your to-do list.
Physically, it’s important to start slowly so that your body isn’t shocked into injury. Your muscles, joints and fascia need time to adjust. Make sure you’re taking good care of your body’s inner working. Drink lots of water and stretch to keep your fascia fluid.
Most importantly, listen closely to your body. Do you need a rest day? Does one area of your body need a little more attention? Are you getting the proper nutrition to fuel your body?
A good massage can help you on your wellness journey. I can work out the kinks in your fascia that developed over the winter and loosen up your muscles before you increase your activity level. And as you become more active, I can not only ease any pain that may occur as a result of overuse, but I can teach you self-care techniques to keep your body moving smoothly and pain-free throughout your path to increased health.