Summertime is in full swing in Greater Vancouver and that means it’s time to get outside and play. Those of you who are now injury free and dedicated to maintaining a fitness regime that accounts for all you have learned in physiotherapy have a bounty of opportunity at your disposal. Today, our clinic encourages you to enjoy the outdoors with a slate of activities to keep your body strong and functioning at optimal capacity through the season. Let’s get to it!
Complement Your Physiotherapy Regime with One or More of These Fun Summertime Outdoor Activities
Kayaking (and canoeing) is a relatively low impact activity that can improve your aerobic fitness, core fitness, strength, mobility, and flexibility. The primary areas worked includes your back, arms, shoulders and chest, although the entire core is accessed as you paddle and glide across the water.
While a tremendous form of outdoor exercise, you must make sure that you complement your kayaking with attention to other parts of the body this summer. Potential for injury from kayaking comes from the risk of overdeveloped muscles (especially in the shoulders) which can put a strain on your stabilizers. Be sure to incorporate light resistance exercises for your rotator cuff and stabilizing muscles. View our complete 4-step guide to keeping injury free while kayaking.
Surfing is growing in popularity with the Greater Vancouver population, with reasonable access to fun summertime waves that run from Tofino (Vancouver Island) to Westport Beach (Washington State) and beyond. This water sport taps into many physical elements, challenging your agility, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility while tasking your shoulders and back muscles as you paddle, and your leg and core strength as you pop up and ride. Even paddling out and waiting for waves (which can take awhile) is a great core workout in itself as you arch your lower back and straddle the board with a keen eye on the horizon. View our 5-step guide to preventing injuries while surfing, so that you can enjoy the season while improving your physical fitness.
This is another very popular summertime outdoor activity that is embraced by Burnaby and Lower Mainland residents alike. The benefits are numerous, and include improved core fitness, increased muscle mass, enhanced cardiovascular fitness, and a notable improvement in bone density given the fact that hiking is a weight-bearing exercise. Make sure you take the path to physical therapy success by following our four-step map to better hiking through physio.
Standup paddleboarding (aka SUP) is all the rage, with Greater Vancouver waterways peppered with SUPers on sunny summer days. One of the reasons that this low impact (low risk of acute injury) cardio activity has become so popular, is the fact that it’s ripe with fitness benefits. These include improved balance, increased strength, enhanced endurance, attention to overall fitness, and provision of a mind-body-nature connection that few other exercises can accomplish.
Another reason SUP is so cherished by the physiotherapy community is the fact that it is useful in the rehabilitation of injuries. Because it is a low impact activity that is easy on the muscles and joints, it’s an effective tool for people in rehab to gently and gradually increase strength without doing any harm to the impacted area. Of course, the latter is contingent upon paddling on days with little to no wind, so perhaps opt out of open ocean SUPing and stick to lakes and marinas if concerned about your ability to navigate over small waves and strong currents. View our tips to improving your balance through physiotherapy before you head for the water.
5. Barefoot Beach Running
Whether taking advantage of the numerous beaches found around the Lower Mainland, or hitting the sands fronting your vacation resort, barefoot jogs along the beach are a dreamy activity with very clear physical therapy benefits.
Not only do studies show that you burn up to 30 percent more calories (versus typical road/path running), barefoot beach running forces the smaller stabilizing muscles in the knees, ankles, and feet to work harder than they do when running on roads. This can strengthen those all-important stabilizing muscles and serve to prevent common running injuries that may otherwise come as you return to the track in the autumn, winter, and spring. In addition, beach jogs offer great resistance training that can strengthen your legs, feet and especially the calf muscles which can ultimately reduce the risk of future shin splints and achilles tears.
Before you head for the great outdoors of Greater Vancouver to take on any of the above activities, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our clinic to make sure your mind and body is prepped to optimize your physical fitness. Contact Absolute PhysiCare today.