Summer is beginning to wind down and with that, the seasons are changing. It’s time to say goodbye to those sunny, 90-degree days. Say goodbye to beach days and barbecues. And say goodbye to having to buy seemingly endless amounts of sunscreen. It’s time to say hello to the fall. Now imagine that it’s a cool fall day. You decide to go for a run. You look around and you see leaves falling, each a different color. As you run, you hear birds chirping as a gentle wind blows by. Suddenly, you feel a harsh pain in your calf and are left limping home, cutting your run short on such a nice day. The worst part is that you know it could have all been easily avoided.
Arguably the most critical part of any athletic activity is not actually performed during the activity itself, but rather before. Performing a proper warmup and stretching routine is critical to any athletic activity whether it is a high intensity, high impact sport such as football or a relatively leisurely activity such as going for a light jog. This is ever more critical as the temperature continues to decrease.
There is a legitimate reason why it’s called warming up. Whenever you are performing an activity that requires that your muscles are strained to an extent, this causes more blood to flow to the muscles in use at a faster rate to that they can get more oxygen for the purpose of producing more energy. Because humans are warm-blooded, this actually does result in warming up the muscles, hence the expression warming up before exercise. You can warm up by simply performing some dynamic stretches. Try to avoid performing any static stretches if not properly warmed up because this could actually do more harm than good because the muscles are still cold.
It is very important that you sufficiently warm up before any form of exercise as it also loosens up your muscles so that they are ready to do work. Failure to do so can often result in a number of possible injuries such as pulled, strained, or even torn muscles and tendons. These are often very pain and the recovery for these injuries can often be very extended periods of time. However, these injures can easily be avoided by simply spending a few minutes before exercise to properly warm up your muscles. As always, if you do happen to experience an injury to the lower leg, come by our offices in either Frederick, MD or Urbana, MD so we can diagnose you, treat you, and keep you moving.