‘Tis the season… for achy backs, cranky knees, and shoulder knots that rival the tightest nautical techniques any sailor’s ever seen.
Yard work. Pulling weeds. A long hike in the woods.
All these activities are great, and your body definitely appreciates the usage.
But after a long, sedentary winter, you can pay a pretty hefty price for your weekend adventures. Here’s how to relieve and/or prevent the sore muscles and joints that tend to accompany daffodils and tulips as harbingers of spring.
1. Morning stretching. Build 20 minutes of gentle stretching into your morning routine, and your whole day will be so much better. Find a manageable yoga routine (like the one below), or just run through a head-to-toe joint mobility series. Think neck circles, knee bends, shoulder rolls, and twisting back and forth from your spine.
2. Evening stretching. Your evening routine can really just be a repeat of your morning movements. But you can also hold longer stretches in the specific areas you worked that day. My favorite? Lie on one side, with a bolster or several pillows propped under the opposite side. Hold for five minutes each side. Like that lady.
3. Drink more water. How many times have I told these people to drink more water? (I wondered while writing this post.) A LOT. The thing is… it’s important! Dehydrated muscles stay sorer for longer. A lot longer. And they’re more likely to become sore in the first place. Just do it.
4. Take more breaks. This seems like a no-brainer (and it is), but the frequency of your breaks is directly proportional to the happiness — or unhappiness — of your muscles and joints the next day. Set a timer on your phone (and HONOR it). Stand up, stretch, walk around the block, drink some water… and get back to it! (See how that works?)
5. Epsom Salt baths. My personal favorite. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which helps your muscles relax, thus reducing soreness. The hot water is great for sore backs and necks (like, the best), and if that’s not enough, epsom salt helps draw irritants and allergens out, so they’re a key element in allergy relief too!
The more love you give your bones (and muscles, and joints), the better able to be to keep doing all those things that made you so sore in the first place.
You’ll be able to weed for hours! (Oh joy). You’ll summit that mountain like it was nothing!
Because when you take care of your body?
It takes care of you.