Getting back into Shape #Springtime #wellbeingwednesday By Kailee Kline

A Young mother jogging with a baby buggy

Soon everything will be blooming, even us. Better weather inspires us to get out and be active. Being overzealous with our workouts or outdoor chores may only reward us with stiff, aching muscles. That uncomfortable feeling, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is actually a normal side effect of the muscle rebuilding process. It turns out we have to push ourselves in order to grow and strengthen our muscles. But, too much and we reach a point where the benefits are lost and we may do more harm than good.

Re-entry into exercise or introducing new tasks requires patience and consistency in order to build and condition muscles and joints healthily. Doing too much too fast only exhausts our body and causes pain with minimal change to muscular strength.

After age 30 our bodies start changing. We start losing muscle mass and after age 40 our bone mass declines. Tendons (connect muscles to bone) and ligaments (hold joints together) become less elastic, making it easier for them to tear.

These changes, about which most of us are in denial, can impact on our ability to enjoy physical activity unless we learn to pace ourselves. While the body is very resourceful at repairing itself, prevention of injury to muscles and joints will guard against weakened areas that could cause problems as we age.

The “more is better” theory dispelled

Think of your body as a project such as creating a garden. There is a lot to do before you can even put the plants in the ground. Once the plants are in the ground they require water, sunlight and nourishment to survive.

Our bodies require the same process. By pacing ourselves and building up at a rate that our bodies can assimilate the change we, like our garden will flourish and grow.

Exercise should energize us, not send us to bed or leave us unable to bend. By listening to our body, we can develop an awareness of our capacity during activity. When we do that our body has the resources needed to grow healthily.Fit and sporty woman in sportswear

If you are already active, mix it up and lessen the repetitive impact of exercise on specific joints by altering activities. For example, if running is your chosen sport, spend time cycling or swimming and give the body time to repair.

Stretch, when your muscles are warm to improve flexibility at joints. Resistance exercises with stretch bands will also increase muscular strength. Conditioned, stronger muscles are better equipped to absorb repetitive impacts.

Eat a balanced diet to give the body the nutrition it needs to repair and build.

Excessive tension in muscles leads to muscular weakness which increases the risk of injury and poor posture. Massage Therapy treatments are a good partner in helping to condition and sustain healthy, flexible muscles. These treatments provide all the cardiovascular benefits of improved nutrition and removal of waste materials as well as reducing the restrictive scar tissue that can slow down your progress.

This spring take the time to get back into shape the healthful way.

Kailee Kline is the founder and president of Healthwinds, a health and wellness spa in midtown Toronto. Kline got her big break when she started working for the King Ranch Health Spa and Fitness Resort, located in King City, ON. Her time at King Ranch, travels to Europe, and firsthand experience with Europe’s unique spa quality and treatments inspired her to bring the philosophies of combining health, spa, and fitness home to Ontario. Since then, she has become the founding president of Premier Spas of Ontario which has grown from 12 founding members to 39 spas over four years.

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