Summer is upon us and, in Colorado, that always means adventure season. We hope that this year you are still able to get outdoors and enjoy our great state, but we want to make sure you stay safe. We have prepared some safety and wellness tips for those of you who are just itching to get out and explore this season. Remember, whether you go hiking, camping, biking, rock climbing, or just playing some good ol’ kick ball, self-care and safety are the most important guidelines to follow.
Tip 1: Stay Healthy and Take Precautions
First and foremost, with all that has happened so far in 2020, you want to make sure you are following the county and state-mandated guidelines for keeping safe during Covid-19. This means that you should always wear a mask unless you are outdoors. Remember that rules can vary from county to county and state to state so always check in to see what the guidelines are where you are going. Avoid gatherings in groups of ten or more and try to stay with people you have been around throughout the quarantine or know are symptom-free. Nothing ruins a good adventure like illness.
Tip 2: Get the Right Gear
Once you have made sure you are following the correct guidelines, you will want to ensure that you have the proper equipment for your sport or adventure. Make sure that you have an up-to-date first aid kit with you at all times. Always drink plenty of water and make sure that you have access to clean drinking water to refill bottles when empty. Wear sunscreen and reapply regularly (we can’t massage you with a sunburn).
Tip 3: Take Care of Your Gut
It may sound so obvious, but eating healthy and taking care of your digestive system is a very important part of maintaining self-care. Remember that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. Eating lean meats and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best way to support your immune system. This is also another great way to maintain your body’s hydration levels as fruits and vegetables naturally contain a lot of water in their cells. There are also herbs like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon that help to reduce inflammation in the body and boost your immune system.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget to Stretch
When it comes to self-care in preparation for or management after your adventures, you always want to make sure you stretch. It doesn’t have to be yoga, just some great dynamic stretches before your activities and static stretches after will keep your muscles limber and ready for round two. Click the links to see some great examples of dynamic and static stretches. Ever wonder why so many Symmetry therapists ask you if you are ok with them stretching you? It’s great for your muscles, your recovery, and your maintenance. Next to hydration, stretching is the most important rule for activities. It is the easiest way to avoid injury.
Tip 5: Know What to do if Someone is Hurt
Speaking of injuries, what should you do to treat an injury? This depends on the type and severity of the injury. Of course, any serious injury such as a sprained joint, torn muscle or ligament, broken bone, burns, or allergic reactions to plants and bug bites should always be attended to by your primary care or an urgent care physician as soon as possible. Acute injuries (anything less than 48 hours old) should be iced to prevent swelling. Typically, anything older than 48 hours should have a moist, warm compress applied to reduce swelling. Avoid dry heat like electric heating pads as these can actually dehydrate the muscle and cause further injury. Remember that your massage therapist most likely won’t want to work on you until you have seen and been cleared by a doctor after a serious injury.
Tip 6: Self Care for the Body
Now onto the best part of self-care for activities: massage! Massage therapy is a great way to help your muscles stay in shape for any kind of sport or activity that you have planned. Massage helps the muscles to recover faster after activity by releasing lactic acid buildup and encouraging the growth of healthy muscle tissue. Massage can also warm up the muscles by increasing blood flow before an activity. Don’t forget our infrared sauna that is designed to help alleviate aches and pains with soothing infrared rays.
Did you know that massage therapists can specialize in specific modalities and even cater to specific athletes? At Symmetry, we have therapists that specialize in injury massage as well as sports. You can always read about their specialties on our website’s bio section or call and speak to our friendly concierges to see which therapist would best suit your needs. Remember that our job this summer is to ensure that you get the most out of yours. We love to see you before and after your adventures to ensure that you are staying healthy and happy.