OVERHEAD VIEW OF A MAN LYING ON A MASSAGE TABLE RECEIVING THERAPY

Athletic Recovery and the Benefits of Stretch Therapy

Athletic recovery is an essential component of any fitness routine, whether you’re a weekend warrior, a young athlete, or a professional athlete. Recovery is the process by which your body repairs and adapts to the physical stresses of exercise, and it’s just as important as the workout itself. In this article, we’ll explore why athletic recovery is important, how pro athletes take care of themselves, and how stretch therapy from StretchSPOT can help improve performance.

The Importance of Recovery for Athletes

For weekend warriors and young athletes, recovery is essential for injury prevention and overall health. Overuse injuries, such as tendinitis and stress fractures, are common among young athletes and can be prevented by incorporating rest and recovery into their training routine. Recovery can also help to prevent burnout, improve sleep, and reduce stress levels. Some common recovery strategies for young athletes and weekend warriors include foam rolling, stretching, and light activity on rest days.

Professional athletes, on the other hand, take recovery to the next level. With the pressure of competition and the demands of a grueling training schedule, pro athletes must prioritize recovery in order to perform at their best. Pro athletes have access to a range of recovery tools and techniques, including massage therapy, cryotherapy, and infrared saunas. They also work closely with nutritionists and sports psychologists to optimize their recovery and mental health.

Stretch Therapy for Recovery

One recovery technique that is gaining popularity among pro athletes and weekend warriors alike is stretch therapy. Stretch therapy involves a series of assisted stretches that are designed to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and increase range of motion. Stretch therapy can be beneficial for athletes of all levels, as it helps to promote recovery, prevent injury, and improve overall performance.

StretchSPOT is a leading provider of stretch therapy and myofascial release, with 2 locations in South Bay LA, in Torrance and Hermosa Beach. Our experienced therapists work with clients to create customized stretch programs that target specific areas of the body and address individual needs. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, looking to improve your performance, or just want to feel better in your body, StretchSPOT can help.

How Does Stretch Therapy Work, and How Can it Benefit Athletes?

During a stretch therapy session, the therapist will guide you through a series of stretches that are tailored to your specific needs. The stretches are designed to target specific muscle groups and help release tension and improve flexibility. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a stretch for a period of time, stretch therapy involves a series of dynamic, flowing movements that help to increase blood flow and promote relaxation.

The benefits of stretch therapy are numerous. For one, it can help to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, which can be especially beneficial after a tough workout or competition. Stretch therapy can also improve flexibility and range of motion, which can lead to better overall performance and reduce the risk of injury. In addition, stretch therapy can help to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, athletic recovery is a crucial component of any fitness routine, whether you’re a weekend warrior, a young athlete, or a professional athlete. Recovery helps to prevent injury, improve performance, and promote overall health and wellness. Pro athletes take recovery to the next level, with access to a range of tools and techniques that help them perform at their best. For athletes of all levels, stretch therapy from StretchSPOT can be a valuable tool in promoting recovery and improving performance. So next time you’re feeling sore, stiff, or stressed, consider giving stretch therapy a try!

woman holding her foot in pain

Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis?

Try These Self-Help Tips and Stretch Therapy

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort in the heel and arch of the foot. It’s caused by inflammation or irritation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. This condition can be caused by factors such as overuse, foot structure, tightness, age, and weight. The good news is that plantar fasciitis can be treated with non-surgical methods. In addition to rest, ice, stretching, footwear, orthotics, physical therapy, and medications, there are other ways to self-help with healing from plantar fasciitis.

One of the most effective ways to deal with plantar fasciitis is by resting the foot and avoiding activities that cause pain or discomfort. Applying ice to the affected area can also help reduce pain and inflammation. Stretching the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can also help relieve tension on the plantar fascia. However, it can be challenging to stretch the foot and calf muscles on your own, especially if you’re dealing with pain and discomfort.

Here are some additional ways to self-help with healing from plantar fasciitis:

1. Massage

Massaging the foot and calf muscles can help reduce tension and improve blood flow to the affected area. You can use a tennis ball, foam roller, or massage ball to massage the foot and calf muscles.

2. Ice

Set a timer for 10 minutes and intermittently soak the foot for 30 seconds on and off. Do this 3 times per day.

3. Footwear

Wearing shoes that provide good arch support and cushioning can help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. Avoid wearing shoes with high heels or thin soles.

4. Night Splints

Wearing a night splint can help stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep, which can reduce pain and stiffness in the morning.

5. Taping

Taping the foot can provide support and reduce tension on the plantar fascia. You can use athletic tape or kinesiology tape to tape the foot.

6. Supplements

Taking supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and turmeric can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

7. Calf Stretching

Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap a towel or band around the ball of one foot and gently pull the foot toward you, keeping the knee straight. Hold for 1-2 seconds, release, and repeat 10-15 times on each side.

While these self-help methods can be effective, it’s important to note that plantar fasciitis can be a stubborn condition that may require professional treatment. StretchSPOT’s Stretch Therapists can help relieve tension and tightness in the foot and calf muscles, and alleviate plantar fasciitis pain with our unique method that combines Active Isolated Stretching and myofascial release. Our experienced therapists work with clients to create customized stretch programs that target specific areas of the body and address individual needs and they can advise you on specific self-stretching techniques to keep the Plantar Fasciitis at bay.

woman clutching neck in pain whilst sitting at a desk

Say Goodbye to Neck Pain! 5 Tips for Improving Neck Health

Neck pain is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world. Whether it’s caused by poor posture, stress, or injury, neck pain can be debilitating and affect your quality of life. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep neck pain at bay and improve your overall neck health.

 

1. Improve Your Posture

One of the main causes of neck pain is poor posture. When we spend long periods of time sitting or standing in a hunched position, it can put extra stress on our neck muscles and cause pain and discomfort. To keep neck pain at bay, it’s important to work on improving your posture.

When sitting, make sure your back is straight, your feet are flat on the ground, and your shoulders are relaxed. If you’re using a computer, position the screen so that it’s at eye level to avoid straining your neck. When standing, keep your shoulders back and down and try to distribute your weight evenly across both feet. Check out our blog post on setting up an ergonomic work station.

 

2. Stretch Regularly

Stretching is a great way to relieve tension in your neck muscles and keep them flexible. Try to stretch your neck regularly throughout the day, especially if you spend long periods of time sitting or standing in the same position.

Some simple neck stretches you can try include:

  • Tilt your head to the left, bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the right side.
  • Slowly turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the right side.
  • Tuck your chin towards your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Gently roll your head in a circular motion, first clockwise and then counterclockwise.

 

3. Use Good Ergonomics

Whether you’re working at a desk, using a computer, or driving a car, it’s important to use good ergonomics to avoid neck pain. This means making sure that your work environment is set up in a way that supports good posture and reduces the risk of strain and injury.

Some tips for good ergonomics include:

  • Use a chair with good lumbar support to avoid slouching.
  • Make sure your computer screen is at eye level and that you’re sitting at the correct distance from it.
  • Use a hands-free device when talking on the phone to avoid cradling it between your ear and shoulder.
  • Adjust your car seat so that you’re sitting in a comfortable and supportive position.

 

4. Stay Active

Regular exercise is a great way to keep your neck muscles strong and flexible. Try to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine, such as yoga, swimming, or walking.

Exercise can also help to reduce stress, which is a common cause of neck pain. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold tension in our neck and shoulders, which can lead to pain and discomfort. By staying active and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing, you can help to keep stress at bay and prevent neck pain. Check out our blog post on ways to sneak more fitness into your day.

 

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, including neck health. When we don’t get enough sleep, our muscles can become stiff and sore, which can lead to neck pain.

To keep your neck healthy, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable and supportive, and avoid using electronic devices before bed to promote better sleep hygiene.

Check out our blog post on 5 ways to sleep better when you’re in pain.

 

In addition to these tips, the StretchSPOT team can also help with keeping a stiff neck at bay. Our stretching professionals can provide personalized stretching sessions that help keep you limber and mobile so you can move through life like a fish through water!

Man lying on his side on a foam roller under his hip

5 Benefits of Foam Rolling

If you have spent time in a gym or physical therapy clinic, you have undoubtedly encountered a foam roller. You might have even used one without fully understanding its many benefits.

This article will outline the many benefits of foam rolling to help you ease muscle tension and soreness from home.

What is a Foam Roller?

Before diving into the benefits of foam rolling, let’s talk more about what a foam roller is and how it works.

A foam roller is, quite simply, a tool made out of foam that you can roll along your body to ease muscle tension along trigger points. This is often called myofascial release, referring to the release of muscles and their surrounding tissues.

It targets specific muscle groups to stimulate blood flow, loosen knots, and restore mobility. Best of all, a foam roller is completely portable. You can use it at home or take it to the office, the gym, or on vacation. This portability ensures you always have an easy way to soothe your muscles after a long day of travel, a challenging workout, or sitting at a desk.

5 Benefits of Using a Foam Roller

Here are five reasons to add foam rolling to your daily routine.

1. Reduce muscle soreness and aches

The primary reason people use a foam roller is to ease aching muscles. The foam roller acts as a type of massager by getting knots out of muscles and helping ease their pain.

Note that foam rolling may not feel great at the time – in fact, it can be somewhat painful, especially in tight muscle areas. However, after foam rolling, you should start feeling better.

2. Provide back pain relief

Note that people experiencing extreme back pain should not try foam rolling. If you have concerns about whether or not you should engage in physical activity, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider. Incorrect foam rolling could cause further damage or lead to additional injury.

However, some people find relief from back pain by using a foam roller. A foam roller can improve spinal alignment, release tension, and improve posture.

Healthline offers several examples of foam rolling exercises that can be used to ease minor back aches and pains.

3. Increase range of motion

Your mobility may be restricted because of muscle tightness. By using a foam roller to loosen muscles throughout your body, you may be able to increase your range of motion. This can make exercising and performing daily tasks easier and more manageable.

Research shows that incorporating foam rolling into a warmup can maximize its benefits and set you up for a great workout.

4. Reduce inflammation and maximize recovery

Foam rolling instantly increases circulation in the areas that are worked. This increase in blood flow can help you get more oxygen to areas of your body that need it most. In addition, the added oxygen can help bring fresh nutrients to sore spots to remove inflammatory waste products, thereby maximizing recovery.

5. Improve sleep quality

Sleeping with pain or muscle soreness can be a challenge. Foam rolling for a few minutes before bed can help loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow, making it easier to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Feeling Tight? StretchSPOT Can Help!

A foam roller is an excellent at-home tool for relieving muscle tension and tightness. But sometimes, you need a bit more support.

At StretchSPOT, we help everyone from elite athletes to those looking to improve their mobility around the house feel better through personalized stretching. Book your appointment today to get started.

Exercise class with focus on woman holding a kettlebell in a squat positionn

5 Ways to Maximize Muscle Recovery After A Tough Workout

The steps you take after a workout impact your body as the moves you do during a workout.

No matter your fitness goals, you need to focus on muscle recovery after every workout.

Why You Should Care About Muscle Recovery

Many people make the mistake of continually working out, thinking that resting is a sign of weakness or failure.

The truth is that rest and recovery are crucial for building stronger muscles. Your body needs time to recharge in between workouts.

If you push yourself too hard, you’ll end up moving backward. It will take longer to reach your goals, and you may even end up with a severe injury that impedes your ability to work out at all.

Fortunately, you don’t have to completely revamp your fitness routine to get the muscle recovery your body needs. Adding a few extra steps into your daily routine will go a long way to improving your overall fitness.

5 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Recovery

Incorporating these five things into your workout routine will help you recover faster and get stronger.

1. Stretch after your workout

It’s tempting to hit the showers immediately after you get done working out. However, just a few minutes of stretching will decrease the muscle tension built up during your workout. As a result, you will feel less sore the next day. You’ll also reduce your risk of injury.

Ideally, you’ll spend 10 minutes stretching post-workout. But even just spending a minute or two stretching the primary muscles you worked on will go a long way toward improving your recovery time.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

This cannot be emphasized enough. Your muscles need water to recover and perform. You’ll have cramps, fatigue, and lower physical performance without it. Because you lose water when you sweat, drinking water during and after your workout is essential. Your body also needs electrolytes, which you can replenish through sports drinks, chocolate milk, or fruit.

3. Fuel with protein

Protein helps rebuild your muscles. Follow a challenging workout with a protein-filled snack, such as a protein bar, protein shake, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, or chicken. Aim for at least 20 grams (the equivalent of three eggs) with each meal to aid muscle recovery.

4. Get enough sleep

Don’t skimp on sleep the night before or after a tough workout. Your body needs sleep to do the vital work of repairing muscles. Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol, which can negatively impact your sleep quality.

5. Embrace the art of active rest

Your body needs time in between workouts to repair. So, don’t try to do back-to-back strength training workouts. Instead, schedule active rest days in between your hard workouts. Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga, ride your bike, or get in the pool. These types of activities will help stimulate the muscle recovery process without adding more strain to your recovering muscles.

Do Your Muscles Need Some Extra TLC? StretchSPOT Can Help!

Following the advice listed above can improve your overall recovery and prevent a lot of soreness.

But sometimes, that’s not enough to cut it, especially when you have a chronic condition or are training at a higher level of intensity.

StretchSPOT can help you get the deep stretch you need to stay active and enjoy your daily life, whether you need extra support as you train or are just looking for ways to increase your overall mobility.

Give yourself the gift of more flexibility and mobility. Book an appointment at StretchSPOT today!

man and woman walking outside in nature

5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Taking a Daily Walk Outside

Walking has a lot of health benefits. It can help you lose weight, increase bone density, and improve your mood.

You can get these benefits from walking anywhere, including on a treadmill. But if you want some added gains, consider taking your daily walk outdoors instead of inside.

5 Reasons to Walk Outside Instead of Indoors

It might not seem like a big difference, but getting outside can reap a whole host of benefits for you mentally and physically.

Here are the top five reasons to get outside every day, even if you only walk a few minutes at a time.

1. Feel better (almost) instantly

Humans are naturally predisposed to thrive in nature and natural environments. Researchers have found that spending just 20 minutes a day outdoors is enough for the body to release stress-relieving hormones that can make you feel better almost instantly.

However, our modern lifestyle leaves most of us spending up to 90 percent of our time indoors. So, taking your walk outside can help you get reacquainted with nature. If 20 minutes is too long to walk, you can still get these benefits by stretching, meditating, reading, or simply sitting still without distractions.

2. Time will seem to go faster

If you’re walking to lose weight, staring at your treadmill screen can make 20 minutes feel like forever. Going outdoors gives you a change of scenery, which distracts your mind and can help your workout feel like it’s flying by.

3. Raise your vitamin D levels

Your body needs vitamin D to build strong bones and a robust immune system. Yet, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient.

One reason for such a staggering statistic is that people aren’t getting enough sun. Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when they are exposed to the sun. So, when we spend most of our time indoors, our bodies don’t have the opportunity to make this essential vitamin.

It’s possible to get vitamin D from a supplement, but just 20 minutes of sunshine a day is all it takes to get the amount of vitamin D most adults need.

4. Enjoy a creative boost

The next time you’re struggling to solve a problem that seems to have no solution, shut down your computer and go for an outdoor walk.

Research has shown that going for a walk outdoors, even a short one, can help get your creative juices flowing, making it easier for you to solve problems when you’re back at the office.

5. Feel the energy rush without the crash

Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee during the mid-afternoon slog, try going for a short outdoor walk instead. Studies have shown that a 20-minute walk outdoors is as effective as having a cup of coffee to increase your energy levels.

Tips for Walking Outdoors

Keep these safety tips in mind before going for your next walk.

Make sure you are visible

Ideally, you will walk during daylight hours. If you are walking when it is dark (or expected to get dark), wear reflective clothing so cars will see you.

Keep others in the loop

Keep your phone with you, and make sure someone else knows your walking plans. That way, if something unexpected happens (you fall, twist your ankle, etc.), someone will know to come looking for you.

Don’t go further than your limits

If you’re new to walking, take it slow and easy. Don’t try to walk 5 miles the first day. It’s perfectly fine to start in short increments. Even a five-minute walk can give you massive health benefits!

Don’t forget to stretch after your walk! If you need more support for your stretching, book an appointment with StretchSPOT.

older couple dancing in a kitchen

How to Boost Your Mental Health in 2022

Having good mental health affects every aspect of your life, from how you perform at work to the strength of your personal relationships.
 
Additionally, your mental health impacts your physical health in several ways. First, when you don’t feel well mentally, you’re more likely to do things that negatively impact your body. For example, you might reach for the pint of ice cream instead of an orange.
 
In addition to letting healthy habits fall by the wayside, people who suffer from poor mental health have an increased risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
 
Of course, it’s one thing to know about the importance of mental health. It’s an entirely different thing to achieve it.

5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health


We know that adding more stuff to your to-do list can feel exhausting. So, don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, start by incorporating one of these ideas into your life before moving on to the next.
 

  1. Get more sleep
    Adding more sleep to your life will improve just about every aspect of it. For example, you’ll be more alert throughout the day and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks to give you an energy boost. Plus, sleep helps with creativity and memory processing. So, you’ll be better able to solve problems and remember important things when you’re well-rested.
     
  2. Embrace the beauty of “NO”
    Do you feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle of being chronically overcommitted? If so, make this the year of “no.” Piling too much on your plate is detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Instead, only say “yes” to things you have time for that bring you happiness and “no” to everything else. Then, you’ll have more time to devote to the things that matter most in your life.
     
  3. Read more
    Researchers have found that reading just six minutes a day can lower your stress levels by 68 percent. Find something enjoyable to read that lets you zone out from the world and de-stress.
     
  4. Prioritize self-care
    Putting yourself first isn’t selfish–it’s essential! Self-care looks different for everyone. For some people, self-care means making time to exercise every day. For others, it’s taking a bath or going to the store without the kids. Figure out what activities rejuvenate you and find ways to work them into your daily schedule.
     
  5. Don’t forget to stretch!
    Of course, we believe in the power of stretching here at StretchSPOT. It’s a great way to improve circulation, which improves oxygen flow throughout your body. Additionally, stretching releases endorphins, which make you feel good all over. Best of all, you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it. So whenever you start to feel stressed, take a few minutes to stretch.
    Treat Yourself to Stretches at StretchSPOT
    The last few years have been rough for everyone. So, this year, it’s more important than ever to make your mental health a priority.
     
    At StretchSPOT, we offer stretch therapy for even the busiest people, with sessions ranging from 20 to 90 minutes.
     
    Whether you want to release tension, heal from an injury, improve mobility, or just learn more about the best ways to stretch your body, we’re here for you! Book an appointment today.
bowl of fruits and vegetables with exercise mat, sneakers, scale and weights

Get Pain Free Without Addicting Meds

Nothing tests people like constant pain for which there seems to be no effective treatment. And yet, as we age, more and more of us face pain on a daily basis.
 
Science has proven you do not have to become a slave to pain medications. Too many doctors will prescribe a potentially addictive drug instead of explaining the many lifestyle modifications you can adopt to relieve pain. Most people can manage pain without the drowsiness and confusion caused by many pain medications.
 
It behooves everyone with pain to advocate for their own well being, even if it means talking back to a doctor or two. StretchSPOT invites you to read on to learn how you can fight pain and lessen its impact on your life.
 

Eliminate Triggers at Home

If you are living with pain, make sure that you have removed triggers in the home. If you have allergies, for instance, ensure the home is dust and mold free. Make sure litter boxes are always fresh. Wash fabrics like bedspreads and curtains at least three times a year to remove dust mites.
 
If your pain comes from migraines, look critically at your lighting to make sure it’s neither too bright, nor too dim. If you suffer from sore joints and muscles, put heavy objects, like step ladders, in one central place so that you don’t have to move them around a lot.
 

Eat Right to Reduce Inflammation
 

Much chronic pain is related to inflammation of joints and cartilage. Scientists at Harvard University tell us that diet alone is an important factor in reducing inflammation. If you suffer from chronic swelling, avoid margarine, red meat, processed meat (such as sausages and hot dogs), anything made with white flour, sodas, and fried foods — especially fried carbohydrates, like french fries.
 
At the same time, there are foods that reduce inflammation. In general, people who adopt a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, tomatoes, and fatty fish, will live with less pain. Other foods that promote health and reduce inflammation are dark and leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, kale, and mustard greens; cherries, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries; and nuts.
 

Reduce Fat Tissue
 

A National Institutes of Health study suggests that loss of fat (also known as “adipose tissue”) can reduce the inflammation that frequently leads to pain, especially in people over fifty. That is why the best thing you can do to reduce pain might be to lose weight.
 
Even if your weight is within normal range, a loss of fat tissue could have benefits. Consult the Mayo Clinic’s BMI chart to see how much weight you can safely lose. A sixty-year old woman who is five feet and seven inches tall can weigh as little as 120 pounds without being too thin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
 

Find Ways to Battle Stress
 

Stress can make chronic pain much, much worse, which is why it’s important to find ways to decrease your stress and anxiety levels as much as possible. Some techniques to help you reduce stress include keeping your mind from jumping on stressful thought trains, identifying the things that can trigger extreme stress in your everyday life, and reducing contact with people who tend to stress you out.
 
Discover the many foods that can help you reduce stress. Options like herbal tea, dark chocolate, avocados, and whole grains can help you fight stress and manage those levels. Keep your home free of stress by adding some indoor plants and decluttering.
 

Do the Right Exercises
 

No one knows exactly why resistance exercises, combined with aerobics, reduce inflammation in some patients. However, at least two studies suggest that this specific regime has the potential to reduce inflammation in patients with ongoing pain. Patients of all ages with type 2 diabetes in particular seem to reap rewards.
 
Another good reason to do resistance training is that it builds up muscles. The stronger your muscles are, the more work they can do, taking pressure off sensitive joints. If your pain is located mostly in your neck and back, do exercises that strengthen those muscles. People with knee pain from osteoarthritis benefit from working out their quadriceps.
 
Of course, people with chronic pain need to approach exercise with caution. Exercise for pain is a long-term proposition, and you need to build up slowly. That’s because exercise can easily cause the inflammation that you are trying to escape.
 
When you are trying out a new exercise, do it for no more than five minutes the first time. Then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it. Building up to one hour of low-impact, targeted exercise a day should make you feel much better.
 
If you’re feeling sore after your workout, book an appointment with StretchSPOT. Our professional stretch therapy can help with relieving muscle pain and tightness, as well as help speed up your recovery from working out.
 
You are not powerless against your pain. Fight it the right way, and you will put it in the background of your life where it belongs.

man a nd woman doing yoga in a living room

The Connection Between Exercise and A Healthy Immune System

Your immune system’s primary objective is protecting your body from infections and viruses.

However, you can’t count on staying strong without putting in a little effort. Your immune system can weaken due to several factors, including chronic stress, inflammation, and malnourishment.

Fortunately, there are several ways to boost your immune system, including exercising.

How Exercise Impacts Your Immune System

We often think about exercise as it relates to weight loss. However, it’s also vital for your overall health because it impacts your immune system in the following ways.

1. Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation contributes to many chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. Exercising regularly can reduce inflammation, thereby helping the immune system perform as it should.

2. Improves immune cell circulation

Scientists have found that getting moderate activity for 60 minutes or less per day leads to improved circulation of immune cells, which may help people ward off illnesses like the common cold or flu.

3. Temporarily increases body temperature

Researchers have found that an elevated body temperature can help certain immune cells function better. After a good sweat sesh, your body temperature is temporarily elevated, similar to when you have a fever. So, your immune cells will get a boost every time you work out.

3 Best Immune-Boosting Exercises

So, what are the best exercises for improving your immune system? Of course, any activity will benefit your mind and body, so find something that you enjoy and can consistently stick to.

If you’re serious about getting some immune-boosting benefits from your workout, here are the three best immune-building exercises.

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Performed as quick bursts of high-intensity movements, HIIT training gets your heart racing in a short amount of time. However, only do HIIT a few times a week. Going too hard for too long can actually have adverse effects on your immune system.

2. Strength training

Weightlifting isn’t just for bodybuilders. Everyone can benefit from strength training to build muscle and improve bone health. In addition, pushing your body with weights increases blood circulation, which significantly impacts your immune system. For best results, give yourself at least a day in between sessions so your muscles can repair themselves.

3. Walking

Getting out for a short walk around the neighborhood can reduce your chances of getting the flu and other illnesses. Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. If you’re short on time, though, a quick walk is better than no walk.

Don’t Forget to Stretch!

Stretching is an essential part of every workout, no matter the intensity. In addition to cooling down your muscles, stretching can help boost your immune system by improving blood flow to increase oxygen production and circulation. Best of all, you can do it anywhere and at any time.

Book an appointment with StretchSPOT for some stretch therapy that targets your specific needs. Learn the best stretches for your body to improve blood flow, relieve tension, and feel better all over.

back view of woman in a forest balancing on a log with arms outstretched

Why You Should Improve Your Balance

When people talk about fitness, they often focus on cardio or weight training to shed fat and build muscle. While these are important parts of any exercise routine, don’t forget about another essential part of getting fit—balance.

Usually, people don’t worry about their balance until they get older or suffer from an injury that throws off their equilibrium. However, incorporating balance training into your regular fitness routine can help prevent injuries at any stage in life. It can also help you move your body more efficiently so you can stay active for longer.

3 Reasons to Improve Your Balance

Not sure if balance training is worth your time? Consider these three benefits of improving your balance for your physical and mental health.

  1. Prevent falls
    Falls can happen to anyone, anywhere. All it takes is one misstep, and suddenly you’re on the ground when you should be climbing the stairs. However, when you have good balance, your body can quickly adapt to unexpected changes in terrain, like loose rocks or a hidden patch of ice, to keep you upright when you encounter them.
  2. Prevent injuries
    When you have a lower risk of falling, you have a lower risk of getting injured from those falls. Additionally, balance training can prevent joint injuries by stabilizing your knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles. This can make all sorts of activities safer, from walking around your house to running a marathon.
  3. Improve your memory
    Practicing balance is an excellent way to prevent cognitive decline as you age. A recent study found that focusing on balance can lead to greater cognitive performance. It takes a tremendous amount of focus to stay balanced. Your mind will have to work just as hard as your body to remain upright. If you struggle, keep practicing!
    How to Improve Your Balance
    You can start improving your balance right now. First, stand up straight with equal weight distributed on both legs. Keep a table or chair nearby for support. Next, take a deep breath and look ahead. If you can stay here without wobbling, move your feet closer together. Then, close your eyes. If you start to wobble here, then this is your starting point. Stand here for 30 seconds at a time.

If you still feel stable standing on both legs, then move into standing on one leg for 30 seconds. Lower your leg, then repeat on the other side. Practicing this every day will go a long way toward improving your overall balance.

If you want to incorporate more balance work into your day, consider adding yoga or tai chi to your weekly fitness regimen to get additional balance training.

Stay Flexible as You Improve Your Balance

Flexibility and balance go hand-in-hand. Stretching is another effective way to improve your balance. When you work with a stretch therapy professional at StretchSpot, let them know you want to improve your balance. They can work with you to incorporate stretches that increase your flexibility and balance.

Schedule an appointment today to see how your daily activities and fitness routines improve when you add flexibility and balance to your day.