Think of your body’s muscles and tendons as an all-encompassing coating of bands and straps that hold your bones and shape together.
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Like the belts of a car engine, your muscles are affected by overuse, weather and a variety of other factors, and they can get sore an uncomfortable at the worst times.
If you have an office job or spend a lot of time not moving, your muscles will get weak and less used to being stretched out, making it painful and more difficult to do simple activities.
You don’t have to be a yoga master to keep your body limber enough to be comfortable.
Here are some easy steps you can take to make life easier for you and your precious muscles and tendons.
Drink Plenty Of Water
The machinery analogies aren’t ending yet: Your body is not unlike a well-oiled motor, except for when it’s, well, not-so-well oiled. Keeping yourself hydrated makes everything more efficient in your body by helping your blood flow cleanly and quickly.
Water allows your body to more adequately remove toxins from your system, which is good for just about everything, and it can also help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which forms while you’re working out and causes the burning sensation your muscles create during intense physical activity.
It almost goes without saying that stretching is good for you, as long as you do it properly. Gently stretching out your muscles, especially after some degree of activity, can help release the lactic acid that builds up.
Stretching also helps your muscles become more accustomed to the degree of movement you are simulating, which helps reduce the chance of injury or strain.
Another automotive allusion: Just like a car on a busy highway, bad things can happen to your body if you run out of fuel.
Keeping your diet high in protein allows your body to repair muscle properly that is damaged from exercise and injury.
Eating non-starchy carbs will keep your energy levels good enough to keep going in the short term.
Foods with high fatty acid content will give you long-lasting energy, which allows your body to use its muscles for longer without having to produce lactic acid.
Also, make sure you eat your greens, as the mineral magnesium found in leafy delights helps your body more efficiently deliver energy to your muscles when they are being used, which can also limit the production of lactic acid.
The more you use your muscles, the more used they will be to your daily activities and the less sore you will be.
If you can’t make it to the gym, at least try to get up every hour or so and walk around. Consider doing some simple calisthenics, like push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and squats, just to keep things regular.
Cold Is Good
A little chill in your life can be a good thing, and there’s a reason athletes ice their muscles after exercise. Coldness helps reduce inflammation associated with muscle use and can help reduce the severity of injuries.
Consider a quick, cold shower after a long walk to keep your leg muscles fresh for the next walk.
You don’t need to spend a killing at a professional masseuse; some simple rubbing and kneading of sore muscles helps break up lactic acid and works as an alternative means of stretching.
Massage is very effective at helping joint pain and any other tendon related problem, like tennis elbow, and can help increase blood flow to affected areas.