Just like warming up your car before a ride, your body needs to be warmed up before activity. Especially during these cold winter months it is imperative your body is prepared for any strenuous activity. Some of the leading causes of injury during the next few months will be due to shoveling, and mainly because people did not prepare their body. Muscles are not stretched and therefore strained because they are cold and tight.

Stretching may seem unnecessary and may be tedious or mundane but there are many benefits to it. Besides preventing injury, stretching reduces muscle soreness after exercise by increasing blood flow to the area. Stretching can increase your flexibility and therefore your range of motion, which can benefit you in sports or activities you enjoy, like catching a football. I’m sure Odell Beckham Jr. stretched his arm before making that impressive one-handed catch.

Although stretching is important, there is a wrong way to stretch! When your muscles are cold, they are also tight. When you go to pull on them and stretch you may possibly do more harm than good. Yes, it is important to stretch either before or after a workout. However, your muscles shouldn’t be ice cold before tugging on them. If you are this cold it is recommended you start a warm up with a light walk or jog to get your body temperature up before stretching.

In general, exercise and stretching make you better at what you like to do. You wouldn’t rev your engine immediately after getting into a freezing car so why push your body before it’s ready? Next time you warm up your engine use that as a reminder to warm up your own engine as well.

We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montogmery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Ferndale. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona.  If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County.  Give us a call today!