Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Autumn is a fantastic time to exercise outdoors, heading out into the fresh air is not only good for your physical health but also for your mental health. It is well documented that the look, see and touch of the natural environment has a calming effect on anxiety 😀 and can help with depression and other mental health concerns. Here are a few top tips to help with Autumn exercising.
A warm up will reduce your chance of injury
It is getting chillier and this is the time of year that people often head into the clinic with pulled muscles. So if you are out for a walk, a jog or a cycle it is really important that you warm up those muscles first. The warm up needs to be specific to your sport... so...
Top tips for warming up those muscles
If walking, start with a slow walk and build up the pace as you get warmer.
If running, start with a walk, slowly at first and then speeding up. 5 minutes is plenty of time to warm up those muscles and joints, so that you don't pull that muscle.
If cycling, specificity is still the best here, so warm up with slow gentle riding on a flat surface ideally while everything warms up and those joints become lubricated.
With any sport, squash, swimming, tennis to name but a few the best way to warm up for your chosen sport is to do that sport at a lower intensity. So hit the ball gently, do a few lengths of the pool slowly.
There is no point going for a walk to warm up your legs and then going kayaking which is mostly an upper body sport. 🙈So make it specific to your sport. 😀
If you are unsure, give us a call or pop us an email and we will give you some warm up ideas.
What about stretching?
Stretching is really good and very important in the colder months, but what is important here is when to stretch.
To know when to stretch we need to think about why we stretch in the first place. Stretching is all about returning a muscle that had been working back to its pre exercise length. This ensures that next time you use that muscle it doesn't start from a shortened position.
As shortened muscle will simply not be able to create as much force production as one that is of an optimal length.
So the key to stretching is not to do it before exercise!! 😲 No really! Remember our aim is to get it back to the pre exercise level and we can't do that if we haven't exercised yet!
It is very important to stretch after exercise, pre exercise the important thing is the warm up, as discussed above, but post exercise, while the muscle is still warm and the blood flowing, we want to complete a static stretch on the area.
Make sure you hold your stretch for at least 20 seconds to counter the stretch reflex and ensure you do actually get a stretch.
If you need specific stretching help, just give us a call and we will book you in.
The Reinge Clinic is a Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, Sports Science clinic based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Take a look at our facebook page for our pain, injury and exercise advice posts and learn more about us on our website.
#walking #exercise #exercisemotivation #exerciseisfun #walkingforhealth #cardiofitness #physiotherapy #sportstherapy #sportsmassage #kenilworth #leamingtonspa #warwick #coventry #warwickshire #stretching #autumnexercise #warmupforexercise