The hot weather is finally here and everyone is outside making the most of it, or off on holiday to soak up the summer sunshine, but make sure you don’t overheat your muscles this summer.
We can feel sluggish, dehydrated and a bit overheated when the temperatures start to rise, and of course this coincides with being more active in the summer holidays, getting out and about more and taking part in sporting events that we just wouldn’t think about signing up to in the winter months.
It’s super important to keep up your hydration and fluid intake up when the weather is warmer than usual, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because if you’re active, sporty or outdoorsy, your muscles and tissues need more fluids than usual to avoid spasms and sprains.
Massage is also really helpful at this time of year – if you’re making the most of getting outside when your usual activity levels are just above sedentary, your muscles will thank you for some extra attention when the weather warms up.
Lactic acid can build up in muscles that aren’t used to working hard if you start to use them more than normal. This isn’t serious, but it can be really sore! The lactic acid builds up in the muscle fibres and causes the muscles to hurt and go into spasm, which can also lead to strains if you carry on. Runners and athletes know all about this from their training – it’s important to warm up.
You can avoid this sort of annoying and painful acid build up with the help of a little professional massage therapy. It’s a great idea to have some massage before a holiday when you’re likely to be out and about walking a lot more than usual, or if you’ve signed up for one of the summer’s walking/running/cycling challenges you definitely need to prepare yourself for the exertion with more than just regular sport training.
If you do find that you’ve overdone it, use ICE therapy to reduce the inflammation as soon as you can; apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel to the affected area for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours.
Massage therapists know the different types of technique to help loosen up tight muscles before an event or holiday, so a few decent sessions will help your muscles and joints release their tension – which helps avoid cramping, spasms, and other aches and pains.
Massage also helps to increase the production of white blood cells, which in turn supports your immune system, a good thing when there are so many summer bugs doing the rounds. The last thing you need when you’re on holiday is to catch a bug on the plane, and you certainly don’t want a cold if you’re setting off on a long bike ride or run for charity.
If you’re affected with swollen legs and ankles after a flight, massage can help to prevent this; and relieve it if it happens. Summer heat affects our lymphatic system; making us feel sluggish and ‘blah’ (you know that feeling, right?) – massage can help bring the swelling down and get lymph fluid moving again, which will make you feel much better before and after that four hour flight in cattle class.
So, book yourself in for a few massages before a holiday or big event, and your muscles will certainly thank you for it!
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