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.

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 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 Important Benefits Of Massage Therapy

5 important benefits of massage therapy Massage therapy is more than just a visit to the spa. It is a science that uses advanced knowledge of the body that treats a whole number of ailments. Massage therapy often works best as a series of treatments. While there may be come initial progress after one session, the body needs time to heal itself, which is why it’s recommended to come back on a regular basis. Here are five important benefits of massage therapy. If you feel like this refers to yourself, be sure to book your next appointment.

Eases muscle pain

Muscle pain is one of the most widely used reasons to seek massage therapy. Whether it is chronic back pain or the result of a sports injury, massage therapy can do wonders to aid your muscles. The muscles in your body can sometimes be deep below the surface and it takes a trained professional to know the muscular system and how to help them. With massage therapy, your muscles can find the relief necessary to begin to heal themselves so that you can continue unencumbered in your life.

Improves sleep

It’s impossible to sleep if you are restless. The stressful moments of the day keep replaying in your mind, and your brain just won’t fall asleep. Massage therapy helps to relax both the body and the mind, allowing you a better night sleep.

Relieves headaches

Headaches may manifest in your head, but they are often the results of pressures on other parts of your body. Massage therapy selects these trigger points and helps to eliminate the tension in your body. Chronic tension headaches can easily be alleviated through massage therapy. If you find yourself reaching for the bottle of ibuprofen too often, book a massage instead to reap the rewards.

Reduces stress

Massage therapy is meant to relax as much as to heal you. A calming atmosphere, soothing music, and essential oils help to wipe away the stresses of the day. It is a chance for you to be one with your body. There are no distractions. Instead, massage therapy helps with mindfulness. You are compelled to focus on your body and your thoughts and not your actions.

Improves posture

After sitting all day at the office, our spine can become compressed. Furthermore, the typing on a computer usually entails hunched shoulders, no matter how much we try to remain sitting upright. Massage therapy helps to remove the pressure from the spine and realign the muscles that have been affected all day long. Massage will loosen muscles and help relieve pressure points so that the body can retain its natural positioning.

Understanding The Different Types of Massage

understanding the different types of massageGetting a massage can be one of life’s little pleasures. Not only are you taking care of your body, which is important, but as a bonus, you can leave feeling relaxed. There are many types of massage to choose from, and it can be a little overwhelming to know what is right for you. Here are three types of massage and what then entail. If you’re still unsure, be sure to talk to a doctor or massage therapist to help select the best treatment for your ailment.

Swedish Massage

If you’re looking for classic, all-encompassing types of massage, then be sure to try Swedish massage. Most massage clinics will offer this technique and a lot of gyms and wellness centers will as well. Swedish massage involves oil or lotion paired with broad strokes that lead into more specific strokes and areas.

If you are looking for all-over relaxation, Swedish massage will help. It can target specific areas of the body, such as the back or arms, but can also be useful for an all-body session. Swedish massage uses a variety of types of strokes including rolling, kneading, and rocking. It also uses circular movements and long strokes.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is an intense, focused way of providing pain relief. It targets knots in muscles, which are also know as adhesions. These muscle knots are in deep layers of connective tissue and muscles, which is why targeting them is called deep tissue massage.

While some types of massage have a reputation for being painful, deep tissue massage aims to be forceful rather than painful. Slow strokes are used across the muscle, but if you’re finding it too hard, be sure to let the massage therapist know.

Deep tissue massage is especially good for treating repetitive strain, painful muscles, injuries and problems with posture. If you have osteoarthritis, this is definitely a type of massage to consider. Likewise, if you suffer from tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, it is one of the better types of massage.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point and deep tissue are similar types of massage, but while one focuses on a large area, the other focuses on a specific point. This type of massage is useful if you have pain that radiates from a very specific area in the body. This is often deep with muscle and connective tissue, so a lot of pressure if used to undo any muscle knots.

Trigger point massage can be one of the more painful types of massage, although it shouldn’t hurt to the point of never wanting to engage in it enough. Be sure to keep an open dialogue with your massage therapist so that if there are any issues, you can address them.

If you suffer from rotator cuff issues, stiff joints, sciatica nerves, or plantar fasciitis, then trigger point massage may work for you.

How Massage Therapy Can Help Alleviate Anxiety

Massage therapy in Thornhill People who suffer from anxiety are often faced with a stark choice: take medications that may or may not work and which may carry with them the risk of physical or psychological addiction or try to find relief by talking to a Psychologist or Psychiatrist over an extended period of time. While there have no doubt been patients who have found a measure of relief in those ways there is in fact another path to potential relief that is not widely known but has been shown to be produce results: massage therapy.

Alleviate Anxiety with Massage Therapy in Thornhill

Massage therapy is an alternative form of therapy for dealing with anxiety but one which has shown great long term potential. If you have only experienced unsatisfactory or mixed results using more traditional treatments for anxiety therapeutic massage may be for you. This type of massage effectively relieves some of the most vexing symptoms of anxiety including muscle tension that results from constant stress and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

For Insomnia

Getting enough sleep is vital to obtaining real relief from anxiety. Adequate sleep facilitates an even emotional keel, allows us to think straight and helps us face the day in a relaxed yet alert manner. If we’re constantly tired we suffer mentally, emotionally and physically and any anxiety we were feeling is magnified. Massage therapy has a proven track record of being able to improve sleep and as a result alleviate some of the worst symptoms of anxiety. When you get enough sleep as a result of having regular massage therapy in Thornhill you’ll experience greater concentration, less fatigue and an improved overall outlook on life.

To Reduce Pain

Whether you have deep tissue massage or more traditional Swedish massage you’ll experience a reduction in muscle tension and a corresponding reduction in muscular pain. The massage therapist works this particular miracle by increasing blood circulation which allows muscles to loosen up. Deep tissue massage also has the ability to flush lactic acid from the system and improve the circulation of oxygen.

A Safe Way to Alleviate Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety you should tell your massage therapist. It’s likely they’ll be able to tweak their approach in a way that’s more effective in dealing with the conditions that make your anxiety worse. There is no reason to be shy when discussing anxiety with your massage therapist. In fact doing so may lead to a happier, healthier you in no time.

The Bottom Line

Living with anxiety has a way of making every day seem like a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you allow yourself to partake of the many benefits of massage you’ll begin to experience relief in short order. And before you’ll know it you’ll be sleeping better, feeling better and looking better. Massage therapy in Thornhill at Active Care Health will help you achieve a low stress life and put your anxiety on the defensive for a change.

Conditions Massage Therapy Has Been Proven to Help Improve

Massage Therapy in ThornhillGetting a massage is commonly seen as only a way to relax and unwind, while the medical benefits of massage therapy are often overlooked. This type of therapy has been proven to improve many medical conditions; allowing you to cope with the pain and stress of the condition you are fighting, and to live a better lifestyle. We’ve compiled a list of some conditions we often see at our massage therapy in Thornhill practice and how they improve after a few sessions.

  1. Massage for Headaches

Whether your headache is caused by stress, an old injury or muscle spasms, massage therapy will help ease the pain. It is a proven method of helping to reduce anxiety and stress which then allows muscles to also relax.

  1. Muscle Injuries

This is another common problem that can be treated by massage therapy. Loosening spasms caused by injuries work as a pain reliever, but instead of just treating the pain like painkillers would, it treats the cause of the pain.

  1. Depression and Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is known not only to relax your muscles and body but to also calm your mind and improve your mental health. Hormones are released into your body during a massage which scientists believe allow you to form an emotional connection and leave your mind more at ease.

  1. Massage Therapy for Diabetes

Two of the main ways in which diabetics benefit from massage therapy are improved circulation and relaxation. The former because increased circulation improves the uptake and use of insulin, and the latter because diabetes is a very stressful disease and a relaxed body can more easily stay strong during the fight.

  1. Improve Sleep

Being sleep deprived can cause a lot of other health problems; including stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, and headaches, all of which can affect your quality of life. Through massage therapy, the body relaxes and bottled up emotions are released. Many of our massage therapy, Thornhill patients discovered that once this happens, they are able to have a more restful night.

  1. Massage Therapy for Asthma

Asthma causes our airways to narrow and thus makes breathing difficult. Gently massaging the muscles around the lungs can help to lengthen it and to release tension. After a few sessions, you may find that asthma attacks are less and also less intense.

  1. Arthritis and Massage Therapy

Massage therapy as a form of pain relief has been proven over and over for this common illness. An arthritis patient endures constant pain and stiffness in their joints. Massages therapy can help to reduce the pain by relaxing and loosening the muscles causing the irritation.

Massage Therapy in Thornhill

It is clear now that massage therapy has far more benefits than just helping you to unwind and relax. Having a relaxed body can help you fight many other health problems and medical conditions. We recommend patients to always visit their MD before starting massage therapy. Although massage therapy has been proven successful in the improvement of many medical conditions, it shouldn’t replace treatment prescribed by a medical doctor. For massage therapy in Thornhill contact us to discuss what the benefits could be for you.


4 Lesser Known Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy in TorontoMassage therapy offers a plethora of commonly understood benefits including improved circulation, reduced stress, improved flexibility, recovery after a strenuous activity, general relaxation and more. But the benefits of massage therapy in Toronto don’t stop there. Below we’re going to investigate some of the less well known benefits of massage therapy. Benefits that may not get all the press but are just as real and just as valuable in their own right as their more well-known counterparts.

4 Great but Little Known Reasons you Should Consider Massage Therapy in Toronto

If the benefits of massage therapy extended no further than those listed above it would still be a valuable way to rejuvenate, recover and relax. As it is however, there are other hidden benefits that come with first class massage therapy and here are 4.

  • It acts as a counterbalance to inactivity – “The higher the tech the longer we sit” pretty much sums up life in the 21st century. When the economy shifted from manufacturing to service it meant less time on our feet, less moving about and far more time sitting in one place; more often than not staring at a computer screen. All that sitting puts subtle but significant stress on the neck, shoulders, lower back, glutes, hammies and even the feet which can begin to swell up as fluid collects in the lower legs. Those side effects of inactivity can be effectively addressed by massage therapy.
  • It can boost the immune system – Recent studies in the US and elsewhere that focused on the immune system produced some surprising results when it became apparent there is indeed a direct correlation between massage therapy and the effectiveness of the immune system. And the beneficial connection is not insignificant. Researchers have concluded that just a single massage therapy session can produce a quantifiable benefit for the immune system of the average healthy adult.
  • It can help you sleep better – If you’ve been having a hard time getting to sleep, tossing and turning as the hours tick by, massage therapy can help. While you may go to the massage therapists to help recover from an intense workout or increase your overall flexibility you are likely to experience much deeper, more satisfying sleep as well as a result. And proper sleep has a wealth of benefits that affect every aspect of your life.
  • It can aid in weight lossMassage therapy in Toronto may seem an unlikely ally in your weight loss efforts but you shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. That’s because first class massage therapy has been well proven to improve your circulation. Improved circulation then aids in boosting your metabolism which in turn allows you to burn fat and calories more effectively. So go for massage therapy and lose weight.

Call Active Care Today

To learn more about the benefits of massage therapy in Toronto or to schedule an appointment to see one of our highly trained, licensed massage therapists call Active Care Health Services today on 905-762-0225.