“The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest.” – Hal Higdon
Whether you are a runner, a bodybuilder, or a triathlete, taking care of your muscles is a high-priority commitment. However, everyone needs to keep up their muscular health to live a life as free from muscle pain as possible.
And one of the ways many of us can take care of our muscles is with periodic physical therapy.
Physical Therapy, Your Muscles, and You
For those who are largely inactive and sedentary, maintaining a modicum of muscle strength can be challenging. Muscle weakness is a more or less modern plague that accompanies jobs requiring hours of sitting in front of computers. And, to make matters worse, many of us do little if any physical activity outside of work.
Aside from an occasional walk or cleaning the house, many Americans are not regularly active. And it shows.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the results of a report on the prevalence of physical inactivity among American adults at the start of 2022. Overall, the prevalence of physical inactivity was 25.3 percent.
In simple terms, this means that one in four Americans engage in little to no physical activity aside from walking from one place to another.
The danger is that physical inactivity can contribute to serious health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity. In addition, it leads to muscle weakness, a condition more often attributed to medical conditions or diseases.
As one clinic notes,
“Along with chronic fatigue syndrome, muscular dystrophy, injuries, trauma, and stroke, prolonged immobilization is a cause of muscle weakness. This means that not using your muscles for longer periods of time can cause muscle weakness.
As the inactive period progresses, your muscle fibers are slowly yet gradually replaced with fat. Eventually, muscles that were once toned and healthy become chunky and floppy.”
In many cases, physical therapy can be applied through muscle-strengthening exercises to ease pain and address muscle weakness. These muscle-strengthening exercises can typically include equipment such as resistance bands and weights.
The good news is that you can practice some “in-home” physical therapy to help take care of your muscles and improve your muscular health.
Taking Care of Your Muscles at Home
The most common and simplest method for improving muscle health is through exercise. This can be simple calisthenics.
According to Healthline,
“A major benefit of calisthenics is that it involves compound exercises. This means it uses multiple muscle groups at once. It requires a high amount of movement, allowing you to burn a lot of calories in a short period of time.
The result is lower body fat, which increases muscle definition. It gives the body a chiseled, lean look with visibly toned muscles. Calisthenics can also improve:
While it involves an investment in equipment and space for storing and using it, working with weights is another time-tested and effective means to improving muscle strength, mass, and health.
You can consult a physical therapist to advise you better regarding ideal workout practices and routines based on your individual needs. Whether you rely solely on calisthenics or mix it up with some weightlifting, there are a few key practices to keep in mind for safe workouts.
Warm-up and cool down
Before beginning a workout, it is imperative to give your body time to adjust to the increased physical activity levels. A warmup session lasting for at least 15 minutes is necessary to warm up the muscles that will be exercised during the workout.
Stretching is absolutely essential to prevent muscle tears and allow your muscles to gradually get accustomed to the activity levels you intend to perform at. Holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds is the ideal practice.
Staying hydrated is important for good overall health and well-being of the body but it is especially important to keep your muscular system healthy as it helps the body replenish the electrolytes lost during a workout.
Diet is a major factor that needs to be perfected to keep your muscular system healthy. The right diet helps muscles regain their strength, repair themselves, and to continue to function smoothly.
One problem that often arises when becoming more physically active – or with the other extreme of excessive inactivity – is muscle pain.
Healthy Muscles with Pain and Performance Solutions in 2023
Treating muscle pain with over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDS can lead to other health issues. In addition, pain relievers cannot prevent nor eliminate chronic pain.
In fact, the best approach for finding real relief from muscle pain and eventually becoming pain-free is to make an appointment with Pain and Performance Solutions. Call today and let us get to know you and your pain issues.
Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain. And after providing you with a full examination, we can then determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery.
Often, when pain occurs, our bodies will try to compensate for the pain in order to allow us to get through the day with less pain. However, because the pain has been shifted around to compensate for our discomfort, this often leads to other areas of pain.
Achieving chronic pain relief with therapies such as Proprioceptive – Deep Tendon Reflex (P-DTR®) and Active Release Technique® (ART®) is a process that can only begin once we understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us and your openness is key. Getting your body to work properly and healthily is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.
You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.