Keeping your summer workout pain-free

Woman stretching before workoutBY GERARD BURLEY
Washington Blade

As the weather has leveled off to a consistent summer heat, I am seeing more and more people running, biking and playing outdoor sports. This is a great thing for your overall health, but as you may know, the more intensity and time you put into your active lifestyle, the more wear and tear is put on your muscles and joints. I’m currently playing basketball, flag football and still completing my workouts throughout the week, so I definitely can feel your pain.

As our workout time and body stress goes up, it’s even more important to include injury prevention — or what I call maintenance type sessions — to our regimen. I have two key elements you need to add to your current routine to keep you active and pain free.

Get your Roll On. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself injury free is by adding foam rolling into your current routine. You probably have seen these cylinders, usually black or white, long pieces of Styrofoam lying around the gym collecting dust. They are used to help you with a type of self massage called myofascial release. Rolling on the foam basically forms extra pressure on certain points of tenderness and tightness in our muscles and fascia (connective tissue). This extra pressure forces the body to relax the area and therefore gives us better tissue quality and flexibility throughout our muscles.

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