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.

5 Tips for Staying Hydrated This Winter

It’s easier to remember that you need to drink water when you’re sweating outside during the heat of the summer. But, just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean your body doesn’t still need water.

As the weather cools off, your body might not send the same obvious cues that remind you to take a swig from your water bottle. In fact, we experience a 40 percent drop in thirst response in cool weather compared to hot weather.

So, if you’re not feeling as thirsty as you did a few months ago, it’s not your imagination. That doesn’t mean you get a free pass to skip out on drinking water, though.

Why Hydration Matters

Your body is made up of 60 percent water. We need water for every single function, from breathing and circulation to bone and joint mobility. So if you want to stay flexible, stay hydrated!

When you’re dehydrated, your cells don’t get the water they need to do their function. As a result, you might experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, insomnia, trouble concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin, and a lack of energy. If you’re an athlete, you can become more prone to injuries.

In short, hydration is what keeps your body functioning as it should. When you don’t get enough water, your body just can’t perform at optimal levels.

In general, men are recommended to have 15.5 cups of water per day, and women should have 11.5 cups of water. If you are active, you should have more to compensate for the loss of fluids you experience when you exercise.

How to Stay Hydrated in the Winter

If you can go a whole workday without taking a sip of water, you probably need some help remembering to hydrate. Here are some tips that can keep your body hydrated this winter

1. Carry water with you

Some people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality with water. However, carrying a water bottle with you can remind you to drink water throughout the day. Eventually, you’ll find yourself reaching for it mindlessly as you write an email or sit through a boring meeting.

2. Make it taste better

Water isn’t known for its great taste. If that’s why you never choose to drink it, it’s time to get creative. Add some flavor with fruit, like lemon or oranges, or a refreshing cucumber slice. These flavors will make it seem more like you’re drinking a fun, flavorful beverage.

3. Make some soup

Broth-based soups, like vegetable soup or minestrone, are excellent for helping you stay hydrated and warm. Make a big batch over the weekend that you can divide up for lunches all week long to give yourself a midday hydration break that’s also loaded with veggies.

4. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine

During the winter, people tend to rely more on coffee to wake up in the dark, early morning, and alcohol to wind down during the dark, early evening. However, these are both diuretics that can dehydrate you quickly. If you can’t avoid them altogether, at least add some balance by having a glass of water in between caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.

5. Enjoy winter fruits

Fruits are an excellent source of water. Get seasonal by indulging in winter fruits like clementines, grapefruit, and pears.

Stay Flexible with StretchSPOT

If your muscles are feeling tighter than usual, it could be due to dehydration. We can help you regain mobility and improve your flexibility, whether you’re an avid athlete, a weekend warrior, or an active person who wants to improve your mobility.

Book an appointment with StretchSPOT to get started.

Your Overeating Survival Guide

Overeating can happen to anyone, especially as we get closer to the holiday season. Going to family dinner parties, enjoying a company potluck, or just sitting on the couch watching holiday movies can all lead to overindulgence.

It might seem like a good idea at the time to have “just one more” helping of mashed potatoes and stuffing, but your body will soon start to remind you that overeating is not in your best interest. You might get physical symptoms like bloating, fatigue, nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, and indigestion.

Not to worry. We’re here with a helpful survival guide that will get you feeling like yourself again after you’ve gone a little overboard.

7 Tips to Help Feel Better After Overeating

In many ways, getting through the symptoms of overeating is simply a matter of time. Eventually, the food will digest, and you’ll start to feel more like yourself.

There are a few things you can do in the meantime, though, to feel better. Here are our seven favorite tips.

Don’t engage in negative self-talk

First things first. Don’t use this time to criticize yourself for overeating. It happens to everyone! It’s just a mistake, and you’re going to do better next time. So instead of stressing about the past, focus on what you can do now to feel better in the near future.

Resist the urge to nap

Taking a nice, long nap might sound good immediately after a heavy meal, but that can lead to even more issues like heartburn and indigestion. That’s because your body is still going to digest your food as you sleep. It’s better to wait an hour or two for your food to settle before you lie down for a nap.

Sit up straight

If you can’t nap, you might as well flop on the couch, right? Not so fast. It’s better to keep your body upright to encourage digestion. Stand up, walk around, or just sit straight in your chair as you chat with your friends.

Go for a walk

Taking a short stroll around the neighborhood is an excellent way to encourage digestion and help yourself feel better. Don’t focus on speed or calorie burn here. Simply enjoy the feeling of moving your body.

Do some gentle stretching

Twist stretches are excellent for moving food through the digestive system. Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your left leg and bring it over your right thigh, placing your foot flat on the floor.

Keep your back straight, and place your left arm behind you for support. Now, take a deep inhale and raise your right arm. As you exhale, gently twist to the left, trying to look over your left shoulder as your right arm comes to rest on the outside of your left leg. Stay here for three breaths before gently releasing and doing it on the other side.

If you’re at a work dinner party or some other function where you can’t easily spread out on the floor, you can do this move from your chair. Keep your legs flat on the floor. Then gently twist your body to the left. Hold for a few breaths, then do the same thing on the right side.

Sip some tea

Stick with herbal teas, especially mint and ginger, as these are good for helping with digestion. The natural sweetness can also serve as a healthy form of dessert.

Stay hydrated

Even though you feel full, you still need to hydrate, especially if your meal was full of sodium. Sip on water the rest of the day and evening. Add some lemon to further aid digestion.

Improve Your Health and Mobility with StretchSPOT

If you’re looking for ways to get healthy this season, try stretching! At StretchSPOT, we’re here to help you gain mobility and flexibility through stretching. Our flexibility technicians can help you improve your overall flexibility and target specific problem areas.

Book your appointment to get started!

Woman in a beanie blowing her nose and screwing up her face

10 Natural Ways to Get Over Your Cold

When you have a cold, you might feel any combination of symptoms—headache, fatigue, dry cough, congestion, muscle aches.

Most colds peak at around 2–3 days, but it could take as long as 14 days for your symptoms to disappear completely.

There isn’t a cure for a cold; however, there are several things you can do to ease your symptoms, so you start to feel more like yourself.

1. Take it seriously

It’s important to treat a cold instead of trying to push through it. In some cases, an untreated cold can lead to more severe problems, like pneumonia or a lung infection. Call your doctor if you feel chest pain, start vomiting, develop a fever, or have other symptoms that don’t feel like a cold.

2. Rest

Don’t try to power through your cold. Taking a break so your body can rest is the best way to fight your symptoms. Even a few hours of extra rest can make you feel better.

3. Do gentle movements

If you have some energy and want to exercise, stick with something gentle, like stretching. Avoid heavy lifting or intense cardio workouts. Stretching during the day will circulate blood and oxygen through your body. Doing some gentle stretches before bed can help you sleep better.

4. Stay hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is always essential. When you have a cold, getting enough liquids can help loosen congestion so you can breathe easier. Stick to water, herbal teas, and broths. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can both interfere with sleep and make you dehydrated.

5. Get a humidifier or vaporizer

Adding some moisture to the air can help break up congestion. Use a humidifier or a cold air vaporizer. Make sure to change the water daily to avoid mold buildup.

6. Have some chicken soup

This magical meal can ease inflammation throughout your body, helping you feel better. Plus, it’s easy on your stomach and can get nutrients to you in a soothing cup.

7. Have some vitamin C

Overall, researchers seem to agree that, while vitamin C can’t prevent a cold, it can ease symptoms quickly. You can take a supplement or eat citrus fruits, broccoli, or bell peppers as soon as you feel a cold coming on.

8. Gargle with warm salt water

If you have a sore throat, make a saltwater mixture by dissolving a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle with it for around 30 seconds at a time. This can help your sore throat feel better and reduce swelling.

9. Elevate your head when you sleep

You know you need extra sleep when you have a cold, but it can be difficult when you’re congested. Elevating your head with an extra pillow can relieve your nasal passages.

10. Take a bath

A nice warm bath with Epsom salt can help ease your aches and pains. Also, taking a bath at night can relax your body and help you sleep better.

At StretchSPOT, we care about your total body wellness. Whether you are an avid athlete or just want to improve your flexibility and balance, our pros are here to help you feel better with customized treatment plans. Book an appointment to get started.

basketball player on a doctor's table looking at a female doctor

3 Fast Ways to Heal from a Sports Injury

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in the middle, getting a sports injury isn’t fun.

A sports injury can mean cutting your season abruptly short or missing out on precious training time for competitive athletes. For recreational athletes, getting injured can interfere with your health goals and cause problems in your personal life, especially if your injury makes it difficult to do routine tasks.

No matter the injury or your athletic status, you want to heal from it fast. We have some ideas that can help you get there.

1. Follow the RICE method

Use the RICE method for soft tissue injuries, which include pulling a muscle or spraining a ligament.

Rest: Resist the urge to “muscle through” an injury. Give your body the break it needs.

Ice: Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this process 4 – 8 times a day. Don’t forget to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid burning your skin.

Compression: Within 48 hours of getting injured, apply compression to limit swelling.

Elevation: Keep the injured limb elevated to reduce swelling. For lower limb injuries, your ankle should be above your hip. For upper limb injuries, you can elevate the area using a sling or pillow.

2. Get a professional opinion

It’s always a good idea to see your doctor when you get injured. Your doctor can tell you what, exactly, you injured and provide a treatment plan for your recovery, which might include physical therapy. Make sure to follow it carefully to ensure that you don’t re-injure yourself or become active too soon.

While a muscle strain will heal itself with time, other injuries are not so easy to manage on your own. If you think you could have broken a bone or suffered another serious injury, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care or the emergency room.

3. Eat a healthy diet

You can’t work out, so now’s the time to order takeout and binge on cookies, right? Wrong. (Unfortunately.)

When your body is injured, it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. Many sports injuries are caused by inflammation, so you want to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Make sure you get plenty of lean protein, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Fueling with fiber-rich foods can keep you feeling full and promote good digestion, which is critical if your injury limits your mobility.

Prevent Future Injuries at StretchSPOT

Once you’re back in the game, it’s important to take steps to avoid future injuries. Stretching before and after workouts can be an excellent way to stay healthy and avoid injuring your muscles.

At StretchSpot, we work with anyone in the South Bay who wants to live an active lifestyle. Our specialists can develop a customized stretching program to keep you limber and healthy while preventing future injuries. Schedule an appointment today to feel the difference quality stretching can make in your overall health.