Warm Up & Cool Down

No, that's not a clever way to discuss the current weather patterns in Portland. Warming up prior to you work out or exercise routine and cooling down after are just as important as your activity. 

Warming up increases the temperature of your muscles for increased flexibility and mobility. It also dilates your blood vessels to increase oxygen flow throughout the body. A warm up slowly raises your heart rate and reduces stress on your heart. When you include a stretch in your warm up you increase range of motion and mobility in your joints preventing injury. Warm up for at least 5-10 minutes doing a similar activity to the one you have planned (walk before a run). 

Cooling down allows your heart rate to come down gradually and your blood vessels to contract so you don't pass out or feel sick. Including a stretch in your cool down will help the build up of lactic acid (known for soreness and stiffness) in your muscles. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and don't bounce. 

Including these in your summer activities will help improve your overall health. 

Get Out and Do Something Active!

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month so get out there and get active! Regular physical activity can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Exercising regularly strengthens muscles, reduces fat, controls your weight, and improves your sleep (among other things). 

There are lots of way for adults to get the recommended 30 minutes per day of physical activity. It doesn't have to mean going to gym or a spin class. Look for ways to incorporate into your every day life like taking the stairs or parking your car farther away from your intended destination. 

You can also add balancing exercises into your routine in order to improve muscle control and function. Stretching during TV time is also an easy activity to improve flexibility to reduce the risk of injury. 

A few other fun ways to stay active (especially as the weather improves): plant and care for a vegetable garden, wash the car, take a walk to catch up with a friend instead of calling them, take your coffee on a walk during your break, and walk the dog as a whole family. 

Get out there and get active! 

Holiday Travel

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Traveling can be rough on your body; especially around the holidays. Here are some quick tips to try and an article by the ACA. 

1.) Warm up and cool down. Sitting for prolonged periods can be hard on your body so just like exercise, stretch before and after. 

2.) Adjust the lumbar support in your car or, if on a plane, roll up pillows to create a lumbar support that follows the natural "S" curve of your spine

3.) Walk up and down the aisles of the plane and stretch. If traveling in a car, take frequent rest stops and stretch. 

Read the full article here.

Add Movement to Your Winter

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This time of year can be rough for those of us that like to get our movement in outdoors. Here are some good ways to add movement into your day when it’s cold and wet outside:

1. Make your meetings walking or standing meetings. Take a stroll with your colleagues around the office while you talk or just stand around the conference table while you meet.

2. Take stretch breaks. Spend 5-10 minutes twice a day stretching out your back, neck, hips, and shoulders. You can bend forward to touch your toes then grab the opposite elbow and gently sway side to side.

3. Foam Roll in the evenings while watching your favorite shows. Even just a few minutes on the foam roller every day will help loosen up tight, stiff muscles.

4. Add incidental movement to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car at the far end of the parking lot.

5. Stand at a counter while you eat your lunch instead of sitting.

6. Walk around while you take your phone calls.