Warm up: the benefits
- Raises the heart rate so body is prepared for physical exertion
- Speeds up nerve impulses so that reflexes are enhanced
- Reduces muscle tension
- Sends oxygenated blood to the muscle groups
- Reduces the risk of injury, particularly to connective tissue like tendons
- Increases flexibility and joint mobility
- Kayaking perform arm circles (clock ways and counter clock ways for 5 minutes). Stand, hips forward and rotate upper body to right and left, looking over alternate shoulders. When you get in the water, start at a slow and easy pace.
- Cycling begin by cycling at a slow pace, leisurely pace and gradually increase speed for 10minutes
- Running begin by walking a brisk pace. As your heart rate and breathing increase, pick up the speed – for about 10minutes.
While these warm ups may not be possible the day of the event they are a vital part of training.
- After your warm-up stretch your muscles
- Only stretch muscle to the point of mild discomfort, never into pain
- Never bounce into a stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds, 3 times.
- Stretch opposing muscle groups one after the other (ie quadriceps stretch followed by a hamstring stretch)
- Remember to keep breathing normally as you stretch.
- Follow Motivate on Facebook for video clips of correct stretching methods
Cool-down: the benefits
- Helps to gently return the heart rate and blood pressure to normal
- Improves flexibility
- Removes waste products from muscles (such as lactic acid) and helps to reduce the risk of soreness.
Your cool down should last several minutes Taper off your activity, i.e:- if you have been running, cool down by slowing down to a jog then a brisk walk for a few minutes. Finish your cool down routine with 10 minutes of gentle stretching
- Ice-baths are an excellent way to prevent post training soreness (watch Motivate on Facebook to find out more re ice baths)
- Use tape to brace vulnerable vulnerable joints (Motivate on Facebook for more)
- Ensure you have enough rest and recovery days
- Appropriate footwear / equipment
- Dealing with all injury concerns ie. Twinges / niggles while training
Initial Injury Management:
- Rest Once an injury has occurred, you should not try to exercise through it.
- Ice The sooner you get ice to the area the better. Ice the affected area frequently (hourly) for 10minutes each time. Do not put ice directly onto the skin, use a wet towel if possible or put ice in a plastic bag when icing over tape/bandages etc.
- Compression In order to prevent swelling compress the injury as soon as possible with bandages or tape. You can ice over this once you put the icepack in a plastic bag.
- Elevation If it is an injury to a lower limb, keep your leg elevated, again to reduce swelling