You know the importance of warming up before a workout—it prepares your body for cardiovascular activity by raising your heart rate to increase blood flow to your muscles—but do you take the time to cool down after exercise? Here’s why cooling down is important, and how to add this to the end of your workout routine.
Why Cool Down after Exercise?
Immediately after being physically active, your heart is elevated, your body temperature is higher than usual, and your blood vessels are dilated. If you go from a full sprint to lying down on the ground, you could feel sick or even pass out. This is because venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities after an intense workout causes your blood pressure to drop too rapidly, leaving insufficient blood flow to the brain. The risk of fainting or dizziness is higher for serious athletes whose heart rates slow down faster and whose veins circulate more blood at once.
A cool-down allows for a gradual recovery of your pre-workout heart rate and blood pressure so your body can ease out of your exercise session. It also helps your muscles return to their optimal length-tension relationships as you transition back to a steady state of rest.
How to Cool Down after Exercise
Do your body a favor, and cool down after every workout with these tips:
- Continue your workout, but at a slower pace and with decreased intensity.
- Walk around for a few minutes, aiming to keep moving until your heart rate drops below 120 beats per minute.
- Once you aren’t breathing so heavily anymore, stretch every major muscle group in your body, giving extra attention to the muscles you just finished working out. This helps improve your flexibility and may make you less prone to injury during future workouts.
- As you stretch, hold each position for 10 to 30 seconds while taking deep breaths. As you start to loosen up, sink a little deeper into the stretch. This shouldn’t be painful, but you should feel tension in the muscles you’re stretching. Avoid bouncing to prevent injury.
Personal Training & Sports Medicine at Manhattan Total Health
While one of the primary goals of cooling down after exercise is to prevent injury, you may still experience a strain, sprain, or pulled muscle from working out. If you think you have a sports injury, don’t ignore it—you might make things worse by powering through the pain!
Instead, seek the care you need at Manhattan Total Health. We offer sports medicine services in New York to help you recover rapidly without pharmaceuticals or surgery. Our alternative approaches to whole-body healing will have you back on track as quickly as possible.
We also have personal trainers on staff to help make your workouts better. We’ll instruct you on proper exercise techniques to reduce instances of injury.
To learn more about our health and fitness services, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.
Summer is a popular time to focus on health and fitness. After all, the weather is warm, so you can exercise outside. However, the heat is both a blessing and a curse. Follow these fitness tips to stay safe and healthy while working up a sweat this summer.
- Pace yourself: You might want to achieve your beach body as quickly as possible, but going from sedentary to fully active could be a mistake. Pushing yourself too hard too fast is likely to cause burnout, bringing your fitness journey to a grinding halt. Start slow and listen to your body. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy, faint, or nauseated.
- Drink more water: Feeling thirsty? Then you’ve waited too long to grab your water bottle. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration, so to keep feelings of fatigue and lightheadedness at bay, drink a glass or two before your workout begins, and then take frequent sips while training outdoors, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Wear sunscreen: Maybe it’s partly cloudy, or you argue that you want to work on your tan. Regardless, you should always wear a 30 SPF sunscreen or higher when spending time in the sun. Remember to reapply every two hours or any time you towel off.
- Come inside when it gets too hot: The best times to exercise outdoors are before 10 am and after 3 pm when the sun is less intense. If you find yourself outside during the peak sunny hours, stick to shady trails to decrease the chance of heat exhaustion.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes: Skintight polyester might seem like the right choice at first, but this isn’t well suited for outdoor exercise. Instead, opt for cotton-blend fabrics with a loose fit. These are breezier than polyester but less absorbent than 100 percent cotton.
- Leave Fido at home: It’s fun to have your canine companion along for a run, but hot weather and high humidity can easily make dogs overheat, especially if they don’t have access to water. Go jogging with your dog when it’s relatively cool out, but when it really starts to heat up, leave your furry friend at home.
- Restore your electrolytes: Sweating causes you to lose vital electrolytes, which you can replenish by eating and drinking the right foods after a workout. Save yourself the artificial ingredients and added sugar of sports drinks, and instead turn to coconut water, organic chocolate milk, chia seeds, and fruits and vegetables.
- Expect a performance dip: If you usually run an eight-minute mile on the treadmill, expect that number to be nine or 10 minutes when running outdoors in the heat. You aren’t regressing—your body simply has to work harder when it’s hot.
The personal trainers at Manhattan Total Health can help you reach your summer fitness goals! We also offer sports medicine services in New York to help our patients recover from injuries using full-service physical medicine. Contact us today to set an appointment.
When most people envision physical therapy, they picture someone stretching their muscles or making them walk on a treadmill. Although these things are part of physical therapy, there is much more to it than patients may realize. Physical therapists use a wide range of modalities to help people recover from surgery and injuries. If you are referred to a physical therapist, here are some of the treatments that may be part of your program.
Ultrasound technology is not just for imaging. The sound waves used to generate images also generate heat deep inside the muscles. If you have tendonitis, a muscle strain, or a sprain, then ultrasound therapy can be an important part of the healing process. It can also provide relief from painful symptoms. Many physical therapists incorporate ultrasounds into their treatment sessions for patients with muscular injuries.
During joint mobilization, your physical therapist will use passive movement to extend and flex your joints. This movement can help to relieve pain and increase mobility, and it is especially helpful for people who have joint stiffness, muscle spasms, and tension in their joints. Although your physical therapist will perform the joint movements for you during your appointment, he or she may also teach you how to do your own mobilization at home between sessions, so that you can continue to get the benefits.
If you are suffering from back or neck pain, your physical therapist may use traction. During traction, you will be strapped to a mechanical device that gently pulls and twists your spine, which helps to separate the vertebrae, easing the pressure on compressed nerves and reducing the associated pain.
These are just a few of the treatment modalities used in physical therapy to help patients grow stronger and get pain relief. If you have been referred for physical therapy, choose Manhattan Total Health to get the treatment you need. To make an appointment with a physical therapist in New York, NY, call (917) 720-2689.
Despite its name, tennis elbow is not just caused by playing tennis. Tennis elbow results from an inflammation of the tendons in the forearm that is caused by overuse or repetitive stress. A medical professional can diagnose tennis elbow, and might recommend treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture, or sports massage to treat and manage your symptoms.
The most common cause of tennis elbow is repetitive stress due to overuse. This can occur if you have a job or hobby for which you continually use the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow. Over time, these muscles and tendons become strained and fatigued, leading to inflammation, joint pain, and tenderness. Age is another cause, as muscles and tendons might experience wear and tear over time, ultimately resulting in a repetitive stress injury.
If you’re in need of physical therapy near New York, NY , to treat symptoms of tennis elbow, come see us at Manhattan Total Health. Our physical therapists can provide you with effective treatment options for your tennis elbow. Call us today at (917) 720-2689 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient New York locations.
Amateur and professional runners alike are no strangers to running-related injuries. There are quite a few of them, ranging from shin splints to Achilles tendon injuries. One way you can prevent injuries is by visiting a sports medicine specialist. He or she can analyze your running technique and demonstrate any needed corrections to your form.
You could also watch this video for some quick tips on preventing injuries. This certified coach recommends increasing your training intensity gradually, replacing worn running shoes promptly, and taking some time off from your workout when you feel discomfort.
At Manhattan Total Health, you’ll find a full suite of sports medicine services to help you recover from running injuries . For a sports massage, chiropractic care, or physical therapy in New York, NY, call (917) 720-2689.
The proper treatment and prevention of sports injuries should ideally involve a multidisciplinary approach. A patient may turn to a medical doctor after sustaining a sprained ankle or ruptured Achilles tendon, but it is through the efforts of the whole sports medicine team that the patient can work toward a full recovery. The team members at a multidisciplinary sports medicine practice may include athletic trainers, physical therapists, and exercise physiologists, in addition to medical doctors who are well versed in common sports injuries such as an ankle sprain and hamstring injuries.
After receiving acute care for an injury, patients at a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic work through a personalized, comprehensive rehabilitation program. Then, they can focus on ways of adapting their technique to prevent future injuries from occurring.
Here at Manhattan Total Health, we’re proud to specialize in a multidisciplinary approach to sports medicine near New York, NY. Our sports medicine specialists, including our physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors, provide extensive patient education services to prevent recurrent sports injuries. Call us at (917) 720-2689 for more information.
Muscle cramps are commonly known as charley horses. They occur when a muscle suddenly and involuntarily contracts. Charley horses often occur during sleep and can wake up an individual by causing excruciating, yet temporary pain. Anyone can develop muscle cramps, although athletes and people with certain medical conditions may be more likely to suffer from them. If you’ve been experiencing muscle cramps, you might consider seeing a sports medicine specialist to determine the underlying cause. You could also have massage therapy to ease the tension in your muscles.
Overuse of Muscles
Amateur and professional athletes may be apt to develop muscle cramps because of overtraining. The overuse of one or more muscles can lead to charley horses by itself. However, overtraining may also increase the likelihood of muscle injuries, which further increases the risk of muscle cramps.
Loss of Body Water
Many health problems occur because of dehydration, ranging from temporarily debilitating muscle cramps to life-threatening heatstroke. A sports medicine doctor may advise you to increase your water intake, particularly if you’re exercising rigorously in hot weather.
Low Levels of Minerals
Mineral depletion is another possible cause of painful muscle cramps. Your sports medicine doctor may recommend a blood test to determine whether you’re deficient in certain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, or calcium. If so, consider working with a nutritionist to improve your diet. Bananas and oranges are both excellent sources of minerals.
Compression of Spinal Nerves
For some patients, muscle cramps occur because of lower spinal stenosis, which is narrowing of the spinal canal. When the spinal canal is narrower than usual, the nerves can become compressed. This can lead to chronic lower back pain, along with cramping in the legs. If nerve compression is causing muscle cramps, the cramps usually become worse with increased activity.
The team at Manhattan Total Health provides solutions for all of your aches and pains. Our sports medicine specialists treat patients with muscle cramps, ankle injuries, hamstring injuries, and chronic lower back pain near New York, NY, to name just a few. Give us a call at (917) 720-2689 to set up an appointment at one of our NYC locations.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joint of the shoulder. The symptoms of the condition set on gradually, and then worsen over time. It is treatable and curable by regular sessions with a physical therapist. If you are concerned that you may suffer from frozen shoulder, keep reading to learn about the causes, risk factors, and treatment options available to you.
Your shoulder is made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons that all work together to allow the shoulder joint to have a full range of motion. These parts of the shoulder are protected by connective tissue. When this connective tissue thickens and tightens, the movement of the shoulder joint is constricted. This condition is known as frozen shoulder. There is no one single cause that results in the thickening and tightening of this connective tissue, but there are some risk factors that make the condition more likely to occur.
Frozen shoulder occurs most often in women over the age of 40. It is also more common among people who have recently experienced a prolonged period of reduced mobility or immobility in the shoulder due to a rotator cuff tear , broken arm, surgery, or a stroke. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, tuberculosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiac disease, also increase your risk of developing frozen shoulder.
The primary treatment options for frozen shoulder include pain management and physical therapy. A physical therapist may utilize massage therapy as part of your treatment plan. Chiropractors can also provide professional physical therapy treatment, such as acupuncture and holistic pain management treatments. Over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation.
If you’re looking for a physical therapist near New York, NY , for diagnosis or treatment of frozen shoulder, visit us at Manhattan Total Health. We provide comprehensive chiropractic care and physical therapy for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. For more information, or to set up an appointment, call us today at (917) 720-2689.
Chiropractic care isn’t just for the short-term relief of pain and muscle tension. With regular appointments with a chiropractor in New York, NY, you’ll likely notice long-term benefits as well. Many people receive chiropractic care on a regular basis to reduce the risk of suffering a recurrent injury. In particular, chiropractors help amateur and professional athletes resolve alignment issues, which are common culprits of sports injuries.
As you’ll discover when you watch this video, some of the other long-term benefits of regular chiropractic care include enhanced energy levels and overall vitality. You might also start to notice that chiropractic care can improve sleep and digestive issues.
Schedule your visit with a chiropractor today by contacting Manhattan Total Health at (917) 720-2689. We offer a comprehensive range of wellness services , including physical therapy and massage therapy.
If you have ever dealt with back pain, you already know how debilitating it can be. It can interfere with your ability to perform work duties, meet family obligations, and even sleep comfortably through the night. Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options available to you, including physical therapy. Physical therapy provides a safe and effective way to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. Every physical therapy session is customized to meet each patient’s needs.
Some patients might hesitate to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist because their back pain is so intense that the idea of exercising seems futile. However, physical therapy involves much more than stretches and specialized exercises. To help patients control pain and reduce inflammation , physical therapists can use passive modalities such as heat and cold therapy. Heat and cold therapy is particularly helpful for patients who were recently injured. Your physical therapist might also recommend ultrasound, which supports tissue healing in addition to relieving pain. Another option is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrodes are precisely placed to transmit electrotherapy to the back, which prevents pain signals from reaching the brain.
When your pain is under control, you can begin working with the physical therapist to rehabilitate your back. Stretching is a critical component of your active treatment. Your physical therapist may recommend hamstring stretches, flexion stretches, and lateral flexion stretches. Your physical therapist can also help you learn strengthening exercises that will stabilize your core. Some examples include dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises and McKenzie back exercises. To improve your long-term wellness and manage chronic pain, your physical therapist is likely to recommend low-impact aerobic exercises, such as swimming, water aerobics, walking, and bicycling.
There’s no need to suffer with back pain any longer. At Manhattan Total Health , you’ll have access to physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture—all under one roof. Call us today at (917) 720-2689 to schedule an appointment with our sports medicine specialists or our chiropractor in New York, NY.