Global Roots Edition 7 - Page 20

Wellbeing MAKING TIME FOR OUR MUSCLES D o you like to walk or run? Do you get pain or niggles in your knees, feet, ankles or hips? improving the recovery of soft tissue injuries. Massage even helps to improve skin tone too, what are we waiting for? If so, the issue is most likely caused by a problem elsewhere! With many of us making full use of our allotted time of exercise in lockdown, taking up new forms of exercise and or generally putting more effort into moving our bodies, we find that we may be experiencing some new forms of muscular tension too. There’s nothing more annoying than something like a niggling knee pain that stops you from giving your full performance. It can mentally hold you back too, due to fear of pushing harder and causing an injury or further pain. Tight muscles in and around your hips can also cause pain when exercising in any part of your leg or foot. Keeping your muscles and tendons loose, flexible and strong will help keep that pain at bay. Top tips for self-massage: Firstly and most importantly, go slowly and breathe! Self-massage should never be excruciating. You should try to hold stretches for around 20 seconds and breathe into them. Use your hands or try a hard, smooth ball like a tennis ball. Foam rollers are helpful for accessing the deeper muscles too and you can use smooth or knobbly ones, the choice is yours. Take a look at Amy’s short demonstration videos to make sure your self-massage techniques are right on point. So what’s the best thing to do to help our aches and pains? We must invest time in looking after the muscles we’re using with regular massage and always note the importance of stretching both before and after training. Believe it or not, plenty of rest is required too! Apt for our recent pandemic lifestyles, studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress as well as helping to eradicate pain and muscle tension. The benefits don’t just stop there though; it promotes relaxation, improves circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system, increases joint mobility and flexibility alongside 19 JULY 2020