5 Cool Down Stretches For After A Workout

5 cool down stretches for after a workoutYou’ve finished your workout. You’re sweaty, tired, and proud of what you’ve just accomplished. It’s time to have a shower and move on. Or is it? The reality is that while many people engage in stretches before a workout, cool down stretches after a workout are often forgotten. But this is when stretches are needed the most. These five cool down stretches will help keep your muscles limber and prevent injuries in the future.

Chest stretch

Standing up, place your arms behind your back. Interlace them and slowly arch your back forward. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax and repeat again for 15 seconds.

This cool down stretch will help with pectoral muscles and help you realign your back muscles.

Hips and glutes stretch

Laying on your back, place one leg over so that your calf is resting on the thigh of your other leg. Slowly stretch out your leg so that your hip opens more and your glutes get a good stretch. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Loosen the hold on the leg and then stretch for another 30 seconds.

Our hips can become quite tight after a workout and this cool down stretch allows for better flexibility.

Hamstring stretch

Still lying on your back, take one leg and fold it so that your knee is touching your chest. Gently pull on the leg and bring it as close into your body as possible. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax and then bring your leg back into your body for another 15 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Your hamstrings are used a lot on a daily basis, let alone in a workout. Keep stretching them so that they aren’t strained in the future.

Back stretch

Place your hands and knees on the floor so that your back is flat. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and your knees should be above your ankles. This is often referred to as the cow position. Then, slowly arch your back upwards so that it turns into a cat position. As you move into the cat position, exhale your breath. When you move into the cow position, inhale your breath. Continue for 30 to 45 seconds.

This cool down stretch not only helps lengthen your spine, but it also helps recover your natural breathing rhythm. The big breaths bring more oxygen into the body which is needed in the recovery process.

Child’s Pose

One of the most relaxing cool down stretches is the child’s pose. Place your knees and legs on the floor and gently stretch your arms out in front of you. You can rest your forehead on the ground, but your face and chest should be off the ground. Stretch your arms out and keep your core tight. Hold for 30 seconds.

Why It’s Important To Stick To A Rehab Schedule

why it's important to stick to your rehab scheduleYou’ve been injured, seen a doctor, and now have a rehab schedule. But then life gets in the way. You miss one day of your homework, then another, then another. You have a schedule coming up, but then suddenly have to cancel it, and then forget to book another one. While you were once on the road to recovery after your injury, you’re now struggling with pain and mobility issues. While you can still get back on track, it’s far better to stick to a rehab schedule and prevent any unnecessary hardships in the future.

Professionals know best

It may be your body, but professional sports rehab practitioners know rehab. Your rehab schedule was created after a variety of tests and observations. It was made with clear goals in mind and as an answer to your current problem. More importantly, your rehab schedule only works if you adhere to it.

Focus on your goal

What is your goal on your road to recovery? Instead of just thinking that you want to get back to your previous mobility, think about what that actually means. Do you want to be able to dunk a basketball? Swim across the lake? Compete in a marathon? The more specific goals that you have, the better you are able to work towards reaching them. Having goals can help keep you motivated, even when you want to skip your stretching homework.

You can’t fake practice

We’ve all been there. Whether it was your piano teacher or baseball coach, you would show up for your class or game, and your instructor or coach would ask if you had practiced that week. Sheepishly you would say yes, hoping by some miracle that you had improved on your own and that it wasn’t obvious that you had forgotten to practice.

While you might have thought that you were simply disappointing your coach, the reality is that you were just losing out on your potential. The same goes with your rehab schedule. While the exercises you do with your physiotherapist might be great and beneficial, they would work so much better if they were in conjunction with your practicing. Remember: the only one you are disappointing is yourself.

Keep those appointments

Yes, it can be hard to take time off work for a rehab appointment, or to find a babysitter again, but it’s vital to keep your appointments. Your medical team needs to check in with you to monitor your progress. For example, your rehab schedule may need to be amended, or new factors put in place. Your body is going through a lot and what was prescribed earlier might not work later.

If you need to miss an appointment, schedule a new one immediately. You can’t help others if you haven’t helped yourself.

3 Activities To Keep Seniors Active

3 activities to keep seniors activeOnce people get a certain age, there can be this perception of fatigue and helplessness. However, when you keep seniors active, you encourage them to continue living life to the best of their abilities. Being active is essential, not just for the body but for the mind as well. These are three simple ways to keep seniors active and to enjoy their time.


If you’ve ever spent time in your garden, you’ll realize that it can actually be a lot of work. Gardening is perfect for seniors because it is an enjoyable, low-pressure activity. There is a real satisfaction of ridding your garden of weeds and being able to see flowers bloom. Gardening can be as slow of an activity as needed, so there’s no pressure to finish in a certain time. Seniors can take their time, stop for breaks, and return as needed.

There are a few precautions that seniors should take while gardening. A foam pad is recommended to kneel on instead of bending over which can place a lot of strain on the back. Water is also important, especially in the hot summer months. If possible, it’s best to garden in the early hours of the day, before the sun becomes too strong. However, as long as these basic precautions are taken, gardening is a great way to keep seniors active.


Walking is the perfect exercise for people of all ages. Not only do you get to move outside, but the slower pace allows for socialization. There are often walking clubs in local communities that seniors can sign up for. Alternately, call up some friends and make a point of getting together regularly. Seniors can plan their own route or make a coffee shop their final destination. And, if the weather isn’t cooperating, most malls will open their main doors to provide a safe space for walking groups to enjoy. Alternately, if any seniors have knee issues, they may want to check out the local track ring as the surface is a bit more cushiony.

As with gardening, it’s recommended to walk in the earlier hours of summer months. And if going on longer walks, be sure to keep hydrated. Finally, investing in a decent pair of walking shoes will help keep the entire body supported.


Watching children is a lot of fun, but a lot of work as well. For those that are interested and able, babysitting is a great way to keep seniors active. Now, babysitting shouldn’t be for a long time, depending on the person, but even short bursts of interactions with small children should be encouraged. Whether it’s playing blocks or even a fun game of hide and seek, there is a lot that seniors can do with children. The natural energy of children is infectious and without even knowing it, a lot of movement happens.


3 Types Of Therapies To Treat Sports Injuries

3 types of therapies used to treat sport injuriesSports injuries happen all the time. But instead of shrugging them off, or trying to play through the pain, it’s important to treat them so that your body can perform at 100%. Repetitive strains won’t help you in the future. If you suffer from a sports injury, your physician will perform a thorough exam and then work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan. Here are three common types of therapies that are used to treat sports injuries.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy gets right in and works to stimulate the muscles. Blood flow is incredibly important and massage therapy, especially deep tissue massage, works to bring the muscle back to top performance. All of your body is connected and if a specific muscle is under strain then the rest of the body will overcompensate for it. This can actually lead to more injuries.

Massage therapy for sports injuries is different than the type of massage you will receive at a spa. While a spa will be a bit lighter and works to relax you, massage therapy for sports injuries is a form of physical treatment. It will get a little bit deeper and a course of treatments will most often be prescribed.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a great, innovative treatment option. It requires no cutting and is virtually painless. Infrared light is used to target the affected muscles. This light is then able to stimulate blood flow to the area. Laser therapy has really come into its own in the last few years and is becoming an increasingly used form of therapy.

Laser therapy may seem invasive, but it is quite the opposite. It is painless and effective and definitely a worthy option. This technology works to stimulate the mitochondria in cells and in turn heal them. Laser therapy works on a molecular level and it can be hard to see what is really happening. But even after just a few sessions, you will start to see an improvement.


As for physiotherapy, this form of treatment can really help sports injuries. Often, rehabilitation from sports injuries requires a series of exercises. Your physiotherapist will help you with these exercises during a treatment session, but then you will have to perform them on your own to really re-build your muscles.

Other parts of physiotherapy can include massage and hot and cold treatments. Instead of invasive surgeries that have very long recovery times, physiotherapy can create improvements and have you quickly back on your feet. The number of sessions needed will be entirely based on your sports injury. Often sessions will start out weekly and then will become less frequent as your body starts to heal itself.

3 Ways Acupuncture Can Help With Rehab

3 ways acupuncture can help with rehabThose in need of rehabilitation after an accident will want to understand all of their options. The first part of any sort of treatment is a full body assessment which will then result in a treatment plan. It’s important to work with various methods to treat an injury. Your body is a complex organism and so complex treatment plans are needed. One aspect of rehab can be acupuncture. You’ve probably seen images of people being poked with needles, but maybe aren’t too familiar with the practice. Here are some interesting ways that acupuncture can help with rehab.

Heal yourself

Your body is capable of immense power, and this extends to healing itself. If you’ve ever cut yourself you’ll know that with a bit of time, your body will naturally heal this wound. This belief is central to the practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture hails from Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, but has been adapted by many western doctors. It works to reduce natural hormones, such as endorphins and serotonin, which help the body to not only feel relief from pain, but to better relax itself. Once the body can focus on healing, that is what it will do.

Minor injuries

If you’ve played a sport, most likely you’ve suffered a sprain or a strain. The go-to response is to rest your body, maybe ice the injured spot, keep any affected limbs elevated, and compress the area. While this will all work in time, another treatment prong can involve acupuncture. When you undergo an acupuncture treatment, you can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the area. Furthermore, white blood cells are actually attracted to the injured area, and these cells help to speed of the rate of healing.

If you are using acupuncture to help with minor injuries, expect to book a few sessions within a matter of weeks. You will most likely not need too many sessions, but your specialist will help decide a treatment plan.

Major injuries

While acupuncture can most definitely treat minor injuries, what about major issues? Thankfully, this traditional form of medicine can be effective. While major incidents, such as car crash can do a lot of damage on your body, the good news is that your body can heal itself. Acupuncture should not be the only course of treatment, but it can be effective when used in conjunction with other services.

Again, because acupuncture can increase hormone levels of dopamine and serotonin, your body will begin to feel better faster. This will allow for physical therapy to take place, and for your body to heal itself faster.

If you have been involved in a serious accident and are prescribed acupuncture, you can expect a longer period of sessions. The road to recovery can be a long one, so it’s important to keep working hard and thinking positively.

What Conditions Can Laser Therapy Treat?

what conditions can laser therapy treatOne of the greatest modern medical advances has been in the field of laser therapy. While so many injuries happen below the surface of your skin, it can be hard to actively treat them without surgery. And with surgery comes a whole host of issues, including long recovery time and possible infection. Thankfully, laser therapy is non-invasive, completely topical, and most importantly effective. Here are a few common conditions that laser therapy can treat. If you suffer from one of them, be sure to contact a professional for advice on the matter.

Soft tissue injuries

The soft tissues in your body include muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is very common to have a soft tissue injury, especially if you play a sport. Rolled ankles, sprained wrists, bruises, happen quite frequently. However, just because they are common does not mean that you can’t actively treat them.

Thankfully, a few treatments of laser therapy will greatly help in healing soft tissue injuries. The laser light that is used increases the amount of oxygen and glucose to the offended tissues. Both are needed for healing to happen. There’s no need to suffer in silence from a soft tissue injury anymore.

Headaches and migraines

If you find yourself frequently reaching for the acetaminophen, or are triggered by a migraine by a random bright light, it’s time to look for an alternative to suffering. Often, restrictive blood vessels cause headaches. Essentially, not enough oxygen-rich blood is getting to where it needs to be. Laser therapy increases blood flow and allows oxygen to move more freely.

Laser therapy can also help promote the release of the hormone serotonin. The more serotonin you have in your body, the happier you will naturally feel. Increased serotonin can negate anxiety and stress, relieving you of headache symptoms.

Acute and chronic pain

One other benefit of laser therapy is that it can increase the release of endogenous opioids. These are the body’s natural way of lessening pain. The less pain that you have, the much better your life will be. There is now an increasing awareness of the detriment of painkillers. As a result, more patients and doctors are looking to alternative methods of pain relief. If you suffer from either acute or chronic pain, laser therapy can help to block the pain symptoms so that you can attempt rehab exercises to heal your body.

Ask for a consultation

The most important aspect to remember about laser therapy is that it works. If you suffer from one of the conditions on this list, or from another illness, be sure to as your medical care provider about laser therapy. Chances are, it may be what you need.

5 Leg Stretches You Don’t Want To Miss

5 leg stretches you don't want to missWhether you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to stay limber, stretching is a great way to keep your body moving. It’s also key as a preventative measure, should an accident occur. The more flexible your body is, the more it is able to withstand the day to day impacts that are thrown its way. If you’re not sure what the best leg stretches are to do, we can help.

Hamstring Stretch

The muscles above your knee, at the back of your leg, are your hamstrings. These are the powerhouse of your body. Without strong, flexible hamstrings, it can be hard to walk or carry items. To perform a hamstring stretch, begin by placing your knees on the floor. Then, stretch one leg out in front and place it between your hands. Your arms should be shoulder-length apart. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Hip Opener Stretch

Our hips get used a lot, but they are often overlooked when it comes to stretching. But, for better balance and core strength, it’s important to open up the hips. Start in a lunge position where one leg is at a right angle and the other leg is stretched out. Then, lift your leg up so only your toes are touching the floor. Gently twist your body so that it is open in the opposite direction. Keep one hand on the ground and lift the other hand towards the ceiling Hold for 30 seconds and make sure your core is engaged.

Butterfly Stretch

This is one of the best leg stretches because it engages your leg muscles, core, and back, all at the same time. Start by sitting on the ground and bring your feet together. Gently lean forward so that your chest comes down to touch your feet, or as close as you can. Your back should be straight, and you should be able to feel your ab muscles tighten. Take a breath and shake out your legs before completing the stretch for a second time.

Forward Fold

Place your legs shoulder-width apart and stand up straight. Then, bend over at the waist and lower your head to the ground. Your shoulders and neck should be relaxed but continue to bend over as far as possible. Pause and hang for 30 seconds, allowing gravity to work with you. Slowly bend your knees and gently return to a standing position. At the end, you should feel not only stretched out, but also a bit more energized thanks to the increase in blood flow.

Reclining Position

Taking its name from a yoga pose, this is a great leg stretch that helps to loosen hip joints. Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Then, take one leg, still bent, and bring it over to rest on the other knee. Hold on to this leg and gently pull your leg into your chest until you can feel the muscles tighten. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

3 Secrets To Running Longer And Faster

3 secrets to running faster and longerRunning is a great workout to engage in. Not only does it get your body moving and burn a lot of calories, but it is a relatively simple workout that is very low cost. There are very few barriers to running. No matter what your physical fitness level is, you can start running at any speed for any distance. As you get into the sport, you’ll want to start running faster and longer. Enjoy these simple tips to help you reach your goal of running longer and faster.

Interval Training

When most people think of running, they imagine a long stretch of a path and tiredly running along it at the same pace. While this is the goal, to reach it, you need to vary your training. Speed interval training involves alternating between a very fast run and a recovery run. For example, run as fast as you can for 20 to 50 meters. Then, slow down to a lighter jog. After you have recovered your breath, sprint for another 20 to 50 meters. Repeat for your workout.

When you start interval training, you might not be able to run very fast or for very long during your sprinting times. However, if you keep going, you will start to notice both an increase in your speed and in your stamina. By training your muscles to learn how to spring, it will strengthen them so that they can withstand much longer distances.

Keep Running Longer

The key to running longer and faster is practice, practice, practice. This is where having an end goal comes in handy as it provides you with a schedule to keep. If your goal is to run a 10 kilometer race, you can start backwards. Each week you should be adding on 1 kilometer to your longest run. So, if you are an absolute beginner, start 10 weeks before your race day with just a 1 kilometer run. Then, each week tack on an extra kilometer.

If you find running quite difficult, you might want to look at it in terms of time. Start by trying to run for 1 or 2 minute stretches, followed by walking to recover. Then, the next session, try to increase your run time to 2 or 3 minute stretches, and so on. This is a bit like interval training, although not as intense.

Train Your Muscles

To really get into the groove of running longer and faster, you need to develop your leg muscles. Pick at least one day a week where you work on strength training. This can involve leg muscle machines at the gym, or similar exercises at home. Easy stretches such as lunges and squats can even be done for short sessions in your free time. The point is to build up your leg muscles so that they can withstand the wear and tear of running faster and longer. And afterwards, go for a soothing massage to work out the tension in your muscles.

5 Ways Swimming Can Help With Rehab

5 ways swimming can help with rehabGetting back to where you used to be after an injury can be hard work. Physically, you just don’t have the strength or endurance. And mentally, it can be frustrating to know that so much hard work will be involved. Thankfully there are many tools that can get you back to where you want to be. Swimming can help with rehab and should be used when possible.


You’ve probably familiar with the adage that swimming is a low-impact activity. But what does this really mean? Basically, swimming allows you to be active and get your body moving, without putting additional stain on your muscles and joints. After an injury, it’s important to get your body moving so that your muscles are able to stretch and heal themselves. But even simple exercises such as walking can still put too much strain on your body.

Swimming can help with rehab because you can keep your whole body active. You don’t have to worry about strains on your joints or muscles and you can have a better range of motions.

Not Weight-Bearing

If you have a foot or leg injury, it can be hard to exercise it. But, it’s important to keep it stretched and flexible so that your muscles can move and heal. Once you’re in the water, the weight is taken off of a foot. You can then move it without worrying about additional pain. The same goes for back injuries. Once you are in the water you are weightless. Pressure is instantly relieved from your injured spot. As a result, you can move better and help to strengthen your body. Just be careful as too much movement can be felt at a later date through strains.

Keep Moving

If you don’t use your muscles, you will start to lose them. After an injury it’s important to rest. But if you rest too long, the road to recovery can be longer than necessary. This is why swimming can help with rehab. Once you enter the pool, you give your body a much needed opportunity to move. You can slowly stretch your muscles and allow them the opportunity to work again. Start with gentle stretches to keep muscles loose and flexible. You can them work up to a more vigorous routine.

Keep In Shape

After an injury you will want to take things slow. However, once your doctor has signed off on more activity, swimming is a great way to stay in shape. There are many water aerobic exercise classes that can help you stay active and keep fit. Even if you have an injury, swimming can allow you to moderate your movements and still get a good workout in.

Stay Positive

Recovering after an injury is as much about physical shape as it is mental fitness. The more your move, the more energy you will have. Your mood will lift, and you will become more motivated to reach your rehab goals. Swimming can help with rehab because it can give you a sense of purpose. It can allow you to feel like yourself again.

4 Best Stretches You Don’t Want To Forget

4 best stretches you don't want to forgetWe’ve all been there. Stretching dutifully before a workout. Wondering if this is actually going to help or not. But, not knowing an alternative, we keep doing them. Well, as research into athletics becomes more in-depth, the science behind stretches has evolved. Stretches fall into two main categories: static and dynamic. Static stretches are what we’re primarily used to. Staying still while stretching individual parts of our body and holding for a few seconds. Dynamic stretches help move joints so that they can go through their full range of motions. Both types of stretching have their place, but if you want to focus on getting ready for a workout, be sure to incorporate dynamic stretching into your routine.

Walking Lunge

Lunges help to target your legs, glutes, and your core. Start by standing tall and place your feet shoulder-length apart. Lift your chest and put your shoulders back. Then, step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Both knees should be bent at 90 degree angles. After holding for a few seconds, bring your left food forward into a standing position. Repeat with the opposite leg. You can keep doing a row of lunges.

Hip Circles

Opening up your hip flexers is a great way to increase flexibility. This is a nice and simple dynamic stretch. Stand up with your legs shoulder-length apart. Place your hands on your hips. Then, move your hips making a clockwise circle. You can start with small circles and increase to larger circles. Move in one direction for 30 seconds and then repeat in the opposite direction.

Leg Swings

To help get your legs warmed up, this is a great, flexible stretch. It targets your hamstrings and glutes, while also working your hip muscles and joints. Stand up and extend your arms out from your side to keep your balance. If you struggle with balance, you can also hold on to a wall or chair with one arm. Raise your right leg to your side and then swing it back and forth in front of your body. Be sure to lift your chest and engage your core. Your back should also be straight. Swing your leg for 30 seconds before alternating to the other leg.

You can swing each leg from side to side and then switch to back to front for a whole range of motions.

Shoulder Roll

Shoulders are often forgotten about in stretching. But not only is important to warm them up for any arm movements, by relaxing our shoulders we can also eliminate tension caused by daily stresses. Start with your feet apart and your shoulders relaxed with your arms by your side. Then, slowly move your shoulders in a circle. Continue for 30 seconds before switching directions. This is actually a great stretch to do any time of the day.