How often do you think about your muscles? I ask because most of us don't think about them much. We wake up everyday expecting them to do whatever we need at any time.
When one of them is injured or sore we often play the "walk it off” game – either pushing through or ignoring them. We get to the point where we believe that our muscles don't really need much care.
Here’s the truth: Taking care of your muscles will have big payoffs now and into the future and it will benefit your entire body. Plus, you will feel GREAT!
It's not difficult to take care of your muscular system. Just a few regular habits will keep your muscles limber, relaxed and strong. And, they are super easy things to do!
● Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water every single day (i.e., if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 ounces). This will help your body transport much-needed electrolytes and minerals to your muscles to help them function properly. Plus, it will make it easier to flush out the waste from your muscles.
● Warm up before you work out or do any intense activity. Do some bodyweight exercises, squats, lunges, arm and leg swings, and movements that mimic what you’ll be doing for exercise. “Cold” muscles (i.e., without a lot of blood flow due to being warmed up) are not as pliable … and that means they are more prone to injury!
● Make time for flexibility. It can be tempting to shrug off flexibility work because it doesn’t seem as productive as a workout that makes you sweat. The fact is, if you want to be even more effective during your workouts, it’s important to be able to use full range of motion during your exercises. Flexibility helps with this! Plus … if you want to stay limber and agile as you get older, start making this a habit now! Spend a few minutes stretching out after your workout, or at night as part of your evening routine.
● Eat a balanced diet packed with whole foods (proteins, healthy fats and healthy carbs). These will give your muscles the fuel to power through your daily activities, as well as the nutrients necessary to recover, repair, and grow.
Take a minute or two and thank those muscles of yours. They work hard for you and they have to carry you through this amazing journey called life!
If you want to ramp up your progress, or get started with a fitness or nutrition plan, I'd love to help! Join my March Back to Basics program or check out my personal training and health coaching services here.