Here is the first of my 3 installments on the magic pill.
One of those things that seems to be the hardest for all of us to do is maintain a good exercise routine. Yet that is one of those things I firmly believe can have great benefits to sufferers of RLS, again no magic pill, just good old fashioned hard work. I have mentioned before that a light walk before bedtime can release some of the tension in our muscles and help us sleep better, but I think stretching can also have a big impact on our symptoms. I subscribe to a chiropractic newsletter “To your Health”, that has wonderful “stuff” in it. In the latest newsletter was this short article on stretching that I feel has great value toÂ all of us, that is why I mention Chiropractic care in the title of this blog, but also I am going to address a revolutionary approach in chiropractic care that I have been on for the last 6 months that hasÂ really helped with my RLS. I will talk more on that new approach on another blog. Back to Stretching, here isÂ the article.
“Stretching the Limits
A surprising number of people believe stretching is a waste of time. Stretching exercises relieve muscle tension, flush lactic acid out of your muscles (lactic acid accumulates during high-intensity exercise, creating that “burning sensation,” and can contribute to suboptimal muscle performance), and increase your range of motion for longer strides and better athletic performance.
Contrary to popular belief, stretching shouldn’t be the first thing you do when you are about to work out or play a sport. In fact, stretching cold muscles can result in pulls and injuries. Your best bet is to start with a five-minute warm-up, consisting of a shorter, less intense version of whatever activity you’re about to engage in.
After your warm-up, take a few minutes to stretch your major muscle groups, with a particular focus on the areas you are about to train. Each stretch should last about 30 seconds. In general, there is little benefit to stretches that last as long as 60 seconds.
Every workout should end with a brief cooldown and stretching routine. Research indicates that if you only have time to stretch once, you should make time after your workout, when your muscles are warm and responsive to stretching. If you’ve done your workout right, your heart rate will be at its peak and you’ll feel warm and tired. The cooldown lets your heart transition to its normal rate and lets your muscles adjust out of their contracted state, which can help prevent strain and soreness.
Now that you know the benefits of warming up, cooling down and regular stretching, never again underestimate the importance of the first and last few minutes of your workout.”
More things to think about.