Even though you may focus your physical activity on two or three days of the week, it’s important to take care of your body continuously for it to be adequately prepared for the exercise and to stay as healthy as possible.
Pliability, which is defined as elasticity and extensibility, is an essential part of injury prevention and physical health. It allows tissues to be stretched without incurring damage or pain. A consistent stretching and exercise regimen can help establish muscle, fascia and joints that can better withstand impact and frequent use. On the other hand, a lack of flexibility can lead to an increase in injuries including muscle pulls, ligament strains, and even overuse conditions like tendonitis or bursitis. The ability to stretch and move in all directions can make a huge difference for anyone’s workout and day-to-day comfort, especially those who are sitting for 5 day periods in between a weekend of activity.
Here are some tips to help keep your body healthy and pliable:
- Foam Rolling: Use a foam roller to increase circulation and reduce muscle tightness in the area of focus.
- Stretching: At the conclusion of a workout, make sure to stretch as your muscles are warm and primed. This will help reduce lactic acid build up and prevent you from becoming stiff.
- Prioritize Sleep: Sleep is when the body does its best recovery work. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Try to avoid using a device, like a phone or computer, for 2 hours before sleeping. Reading before bed is a great option that can be productive, enjoyable and very beneficial for sleeping.
- Hydrate: Sick of hearing about drinking water? Yes, it really IS that important. Make sure that you stay hydrated, not only drinking water after vigorous exercise but throughout the day.
- Maintain A Healthy Diet: For optimal health, make sure you eat a well balanced diet. Avoid highly processed foods and added sugar as much as you can. Foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, like many fruits and vegetables, will help keep your body ready to perform.
- Cultivate Awareness: Your body’s positioning throughout the workweek will have a significant impact on the quality of your weekend activity. Stay aware of your posture at your desk, during travel, and any other times you may be likely to find yourself in an unnatural position. Try to keep your body comfortably aligned and balanced, and avoid positions that put an unnecessary stress on one side or area of your body for prolonged periods.
- Comprehensive Exercise: When deciding on your workouts, be mindful to include a range of exercises. A full range of motion and comprehensive movements across different muscles are important parts of pliability. If you are overly focused on one movement, it can create imbalances, tightness, and also increase the risk of overuse. Combining a variety of resistance training, aerobic exercise and strength training can help prevent imbalances and injury. Using the tips above alongside a balanced workout plan can help ease the tension in the muscles, boost recovery and increase pliability.