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Posts Tagged ‘warming up’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Lately in Chicago, we’ve had record-breaking weather. Freezing cold temps with below zero wind chills. Snowstorms and black ice on the road. Driving is hazardous, but waiting outdoors for public transportation can seriously jeopardize one’s safety. In extreme survival situations, humans tend to huddle together for warmth. The human body produces its own heat and sharing heat with another person can be lifesaving in some circumstances and simply pleasant when the cold is not life threatening.

One way to warm up your muscles in this weather is to move around. (I’d use the word exercise but some people hate the idea of exercising.) Jumping jacks, jogging in place, any full body movement that is easy to do and spreads warmth through your body by increasing blood flow can help warm you up.

Working Well Massage Lincoln Park

Working Well Massage Lincoln Park

Another way to warm up your muscles is to receive a massage. The other day I stopped by our Working Well Massage booth inside While Foods Gold Coast and received a wonderful body warming massage by Najat, one of our WWM Massage therapists. The booth was cold, but Najat turned the heat on my legs and her hands warmed my back and arms. Despite the cold weather and wind whistling outside, for 20 minutes,  I was warm and dry.

Today, January 27, 2014, our WWM Gold Coast massage booth at 30 W. Huron is closed due to the extremely cold weather and our location the windows.

HOWEVER, our WWM Lincoln Park chair massage  booth is still open from Noon to 8pm today.

If you are daring to brace the cold, “Chigarctica” weather in Chicago today, and feel a need to have warm hands knead your cold muscles and bring warmth and comfort to your body, stop by and let Rania and Yuriy give you a relaxing, soothing massage. And grab some warm tasty food in the food court. Or you can do some jumping jacks and run in place instead. Which is also effective at warming you up, but not as relaxing!

What: Relaxing chair massage at WWM chair massage station inside Whole Foods Market Lincoln Park

Where: 1550 N Kingsbury (South of North Avenue and Old Navy, North of Division)

Hours: Daily, 12 Noon to 8p.m.

Cost: $6 for 5 minutes, $12 for 10 minutes, $18 for 15 min and $24 for 20 minutes, $35 for 30 minutes

For more info click here.

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Shovelling Snow
Image by gautamnguitar via Flickr

By Sue Shekut, L.M.T., ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Shopping more than normal? Traveling to see family and friends? Taking a ski vacation? Or just shoveling snow, putting up lights and surviving the extra traffic this time of year brings? All of these activities may be out of your normal routine and may put extra stress on you and your back.  Read the tips excerpted from a blogpost below from Josie and Chris at Ann Arbor Balance Massage Therapy to safeguard your back and muscles as much as possible to stay healthy this holiday season!

Holiday Back Pain–Find Balance and Stay Pain Free

Back pain around the holidays can be especially debilitating as we all try to do more for everyone but ourselves. Taking a moment ahead of time can really help you stay on your feet this holiday season. Here are some helpful tips to pay attention to your back, taken from Dr. Alanna Levine and Dr. Marcus – primary care physicians.

Move Your Body
Long trips through the airport or in a car involve sitting for a long period of time which is very hard on muscles. “muscles were made to move” says Dr. Marcus. Take the time to get a holiday tune up massage. A great self care trick is to bring along a tennis ball and sit on it. Direct pressure helps relieve muscle tension, keeps muscles from getting tight through movement and keeps blood flowing through the legs reducing risk for blood clots.

Travel With Your Body In Balance
When traveling take the time to pack light and use a roller bag or two. By dividing your belongings into two bags instead of one you can carry the weight in a more balanced way. Pack a tennis ball (see above tip), move during the flight and take regular breaks while driving.

Lift Smart–Carry Light-Move Trips Means More Movement
Many small bags are better than one big one even when shopping. As you approach holiday shopping make frequent trips to the car to give your back a break. When carrying, balance the weight load. Lift smart -Bend your knees and hips, not your back, and try to prevent bending and twisting at the same time and keep the weight close to your body.

Warm Up When You Wake Up
For many of us sleeping in a foreign bed can wreak havoc on the back – Take the time to warm up in the morning before standing up. Gentle movement (yes, you should wiggle around!) while still laying down gives a chance for hard working muscles to be ready to hold you up when you stand.

Buddy Up For Tall Tasks
Decorating involves a long time on a ladder and a a lot of reaching – use a buddy to hand up to you to save your back. Any type of reaching whether it be down to clean or across as you cook is a hard on your back making very few muscles work very hard. Which is always a recipe for disaster over time.

Most importantly – Take Good Care of Yourself!
Pay attention to your body and how it feels. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can make muscles ache.

Although massage can help to relieve severe back pain once you hurt yourself, it will also keep you out of pain when used on a regular basis. Muscle tension and imbalance do not happen overnight they build up slowly with overuse and poor posture. Taking care to work out trigger points, or knots in muscles stops this build up. Just like getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis has long lasting results so does regular massage help with muscle imbalance and strain.

Read entire blogpost from Josie and Chris at Ann Arbor Balance Massage Therapy here.

Link to Interview on CBS News Early Show Interview with Dr. Alanna Levine here.

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