One aspect of starting a workout regimen that people dread is the soreness that comes with it. The day after a workout can be tough for even the most dedicated gym goers. It is important to recognize the difference between soreness and a sports-related injury.
Soreness is very common and naturally occurring caused by muscles stretching and growing during and after workouts. Typically, you will notice the first signs of soreness either the night of or the morning after your workout. With soreness, you may feel weak and have aching pains in the muscles that you used at the gym. In addition, you may have tenderness and stiffness.To treat soreness, ice the muscles that are causing you trouble and continue light activity that keeps you moving but doesn’t cause extra stress to the impacted muscle groups. Let your trainer or instructor know if you're feeling sore so they can adjust your workout. Normal activity should resume once you feel strong enough to do so.
Unlike soreness, an injury will typically show itself as a sharp stabbing pain. If this occurs, it is time to see a doctor. Sometimes though, an injury is not as obvious and can disguise itself as common soreness. The difference between an injury and soreness is the length of recovery. Soreness should only last a few days, and anything longer than that could potentially be a sign of underlying injury. If movement is hindered and home treatments like icing are not working, it is time to make an appointment to let a professional determine what is causing your pain.
Physical therapy can help in both treating an injury and preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. Before you begin a workout regimen, consult a physical therapist to determine what your body can handle and to learn proper techniques when working out. If an injury occurs, a physical therapist can create an individualized workout plan to get you back to full strength and back in the gym.
For more information about the differences between soreness and injury and how physical therapy can help with these problems, contact the team at Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center at 541-505-8180. Their team of therapists and trainers (some of whom also teach here at Evolve Fitness Studios) wants to help you reach your full potential. Together, we will focus on you and your situation to create a fitness plan that will help you achieve your goals.
by Brandy Krumdieck, Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM), CoreAlign Instructor
There are a lot of health benefits associated with inversion (being in a position where your heart is above your head), and I believe that everybody should reap some rewards by inverting regularly. To many people, inversion is seen as a scary advanced/acrobatic-like form of exercise. And it can be, yes, but inverting can be as simple as lying on your back with your legs resting up against a wall.
Some of the benefits of being upside-down include:
Improved Blood Flow & Brain Function
Being inverted increases blood flow to the heart, giving it a break from having to work hard to pump, making your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Blood flow increases to the brain as well, giving it more oxygen and nutrients. This allows the brain to function more efficiently, improving concentration, memory, observation and clear thinking. Stagnant blood from the legs and feet is also moved while inverted, which decreases inflammation and leg pain (I do the legs-up-the-wall pose as recovery after an intense lower body workout).
Improved Hormone Production
Being inverted stimulates all of the glands of the body (adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, etc.), increasing hormone production and balance. We rely on hormones to regulate our mood, skin, bones and metabolism. Yes, spending a little time in inversion can boost your mood and metabolism... and it’s been thought to help clear your skin and improve hair growth. Cortisol (the stress, “fight or flight” hormone) is also decreased while being inverted, which calms the body and mind. If you have trouble sleeping, try inverting right before bed. It will make a difference.
Unlike the circulatory system with the heart, the lymphatic (immune) system doesn’t have an automatic pump to circulate lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Being upside down increases lymphatic drainage, boosting your immunity. Do you get sick a lot? If so, start inverting daily!
Being inverted increases movement through the bowels, helping to clear your digestive system. When you’re dealing with indigestion, spend some time upside down.
Improved Upper Body Strength
Headstands (when supported correctly), forearm stands, and handstands require a lot of work from your shoulders/arms to keep you supported. If you invert in either of those positions regularly, your upper body strength will increase.
If being upside down scares you, it’s okay. Like I mentioned above, inverting can be any position where your heart is above your head. If you work on progressing to a more difficult inversion, conquering that fear will greatly increase your confidence, improving your awesomeness. If you have no desire to progress your inverting, that’s okay! You’ll notice a difference in how you think and feel after regularly inverting, which will also improve your awesomeness. It’s a win-win!
Important things to keep in mind… if you deal with neck pain/issues, be very careful. If you do a shoulder stand, DO NOT turn your neck to the side. If you’re doing a headstand, have your weight on the crown of your head, NOT YOUR FOREHEAD! There should be NO pain or strain anywhere, so please be cautious and listen to your body. Also, you shouldn’t stay inverted if you start to feel dizzy, or like your head is about to explode. Invert at your own risk. Start simple, then progress from there.
Now get upside down!!
When you hear people talk about the "core muscles" do you know what they are talking about? In simple terms, your core is just about everything on your body except your arms and legs. This means you can think of your glutes, hips, abdominal muscles, inner abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and scapula as your core. Your core is where your power is generated in order to carry out any movement. While abdominal and inner abdominal muscles do play a large roll in core stability, they don’t make up the core all by themselves.
What does the core do?
Your core most often acts as a stabilizer and force transfer center rather than a prime mover. Yet consistently people focus on training their core as a prime mover and in isolation. This would be doing crunches or back extensions versus functional movements like deadlifts, overhead squats, and pushups, among many other functional closed chain exercises. By training that way, not only are you missing out on a major function of the core, but also better strength gains, more efficient movement, and longevity of health.
So, with all this in mind, it's a good idea to keep your core at the top of the "to strengthen" list.
Watch the video below for 5 great core exercises you can do today.
If you'd like personal help in strengthening your core, contact us today to schedule time with one of our certified personal trainers.
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