Laurie Ward On Easing Into The Spring

laurie-wardContributed byShaghayegh Tajvidi . Laurie is a Toronto-based Shiatsu Therapist offering treatments downtown, and house calls in Cabbagetown. Get more info and connect at The deep freeze has finally been lifted from Toronto, and many of us have collected a lot of tightness from months of hunching in the cold. In this Q and A, Laurie speaks to warming up muscles for all the spring-summer activities ahead.

What’s your recommended routine for easing muscles back into a spring stride?

It’s important to take things slowly, and to ease into your regular spring and summer activities. Start by taking brisk walks to warm up your muscles. And stretch your body before doing any physical activity. This will increase flexibility and help to avoid strains and sprains.

Springtime means gardening season for many folks. How does one prevent strain or injury if they’ve been cooped up all winter without movement?

After you’ve taken your brisk walk and stretched your muscles, make sure you are using good posture while you garden. When planting or weeding, kneel on a garden mat or use a low stool so you’re not bending down to the ground. It’s also important to position yourself in front of your work to avoid twisting to the side and straining your back muscles.

And when you feel the gardening — or any physical activity — start to take a toll, what’s the best way to mitigate it?

When you start to feel aches or pangs in your back, it’s time to call it a day! As tempting as it might be to head to the couch with a cold drink, it’s important to cool down your muscles. Take 5-10 minutes to walk and stretch. If your back still feels sore apply some heat or take a warm bath with Epsom salts.

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