Our clocks have sprung ahead an hour, the temperature is slowly rising, and the green stems of tulips are starting to poke from the ground. Spring has officially arrived.
Winter is the time to hunker down and conserve our energy, much like tulip bulbs waiting underground. But as those first green points of leaves begin to poke through the thawed ground, we wake up and emerge from our houses.
Spring is a lovely time of year. But it is also a busy time of year for me and others who heal aching bodies. Unless you’re a winter warrior, you’ve likely spent the past several months cooped up inside. Eagerly jumping into an exercise routine or vigorously working on yard cleanup after months of inactivity is a recipe for injury.
So how do you avoid injury? By thinking ahead.
Think about how your activity level will change with the nicer weather. Will you be cleaning up your yard and gardening soon? Do you enjoy long walks after dinner once the temperature climbs above 50 degrees? Are you going to be spending more time in the gym in preparation for a Spring Break vacation or swimsuit season?
Is your body ready for an increased activity level? Think about your goal and slowly work your way there. If you want to take a 45 minute walk every day, start with 15 minutes three times a week and gradually add time and frequency until you are able to comfortably walk each day for 45 minutes. If you have a lot of cleanup to do in your yard from the past few wind storms, spend just 10 minutes at a time carrying branches to the curb. These starting points are small enough that you will be able to stop before you start to feel pain.
Think about your self-care plan for the spring. Will you be changing how you care for your physical and mental wellbeing? If you’ll be more active, will you also need more massage therapy appointments? Instead of waiting until you feel pain, think ahead and schedule a few appointments at a time. Regular appointments allow your massage therapist to identify and treat problems while they are still minor and easily treatable. And you won’t have to make a frantic call begging to be squeezed in if you do end up in pain.
Thinking ahead can help you prevent injury by making sure your body is ready for the increased activity level that comes with warmer weather. If you’re thinking spring but need a tune-up, give me a call. I can smooth out the wrinkles in your fascia that have built up over the winter, address any areas that tend to give you pain and help you create a self-care plan to keep your body working smoothly between massage appointments.