Treat your body like you treat your car.
(or should treat your car)
You just purchased a new car. No matter the make or model, I guarantee it comes with standard options like four wheels, a steering wheel, lights, etc. A manual and service schedule is also included. In order to keep the car in good condition, we need to provide regular maintenance to it. Maintenance includes changing the oil, rotating the tires, and replacing the brakes in order to drive a reliable vehicle that gets us from point A to point B safely. If these required services are not performed, we risk failure and break down, limiting our mobility.
Just like automobiles, our bodies are biomechanics machines with many moving parts: engines, levers, pulleys, and they are at risk for breakdown. With the constant movement and stress we put on our bodies, there is bound to be malfunction. And ultimately, our parts have a life expectancy as well. Luckily though, the human body has the ability to adapt to stress and heal when given the correct environment. Proper treatment means adequate nutrients, rest, and sufficient blood flow. Performing routine body work such as massage, range of motion, stretching, and upholding strength allows the body to maintain an optimal condition for function.
Like I’ve said before, cars come with manuals and service schedules. Unfortunately, we do not come with a list of instructions or warning lights that indicate when we need to come in for a tune up. That being said intermittent pain may be used as a warning sign before it becomes a bigger problem or a chronic condition. The more miles and stress we put on our bodies, the more frequently we need maintenance. This does not mean that we need to take it to the dealership all the time but maybe make a note to perform some regular DIY service.
The more active we are and the older we become, the need to value body maintenance becomes greater if trying to avoid injury. Keep on running, jumping, biking and whatever else you want to do but make time for proper recovery and healing.
Attempt to do as much as you can but when you hit a plateau and stop seeing change or feel that you are missing something, consider seeing a movement specialist such a physical therapist. As Doctors of Physical Therapy, we are trained in biomechanics, movement analysis, injury diagnosis, manual therapies, and comprehensive treatment approaches to individual needs.
Good luck and when you need some help, feel free to reach out @mglifestylesolutions on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out my YouTube channel for foam roller exercise and so much more!