Take Care of Your Body: Stretch, Hydrate, and Reward Yourself


In partnership with Million Mile Month, a cause that promotes Texans running, walking, or riding a collective 1 million miles during the month of April, we will be offering some health tips to keep you feeling your best this Spring. Follow us at Facebook.com/MantisMassage to hear even more.

The best way to prevent injury is to stretch before and after your workouts. Here's how it's done: Warm up with 10 minutes of light outdoor cardio exercises, then do dynamic stretching -- as in, stretching while moving. This includes lunges, touching your toes and walking your hands forward, swinging your legs while standing and twisting from side to side. After your workout, complete "static" stretches -- a.k.a. your typical "touch and hold" routine. Yoga, Pilates, and dance classes are also great ways to stay flexible.

Avoid muscle cramping and fatigue by drinking about two liters of water a day, and 17 ounces about two hours before exercising. Another general rule of thumb: The more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace, so drink up after a vigorous workout. Use stainless steel bottles to avoid some of the chemicals associated with certain plastic varieties.

Don't forget to take care of your hard-worked body! A sports massage is the perfect way to pamper yourself, while alleviating toxins and speeding up muscle recovery. Even if you can't get a massage as frequently as you’d like, you can still get your hands on the muscle-soothing cream their therapists swear by: Topricin. Rub this fast-absorbing topical pain reliever on after a tough workout and your muscles will thank you.

As you get back to training in the Spring, you may have some minor muscle aches and soreness. But if you have any unusual pain or a soreness that doesn't go away, pay attention. You may be on the way to an injury. It's important to listen to your body and not overdo it.

Varying your workouts can improve help you performance and reduce risk of overuse injuries. By participating in a variety of different activities, such as running, weight training, hiking, bootcamp classes or biking, you limit the stress on one specific muscle group, because different activities use muscles in slightly different ways.