Lockdown 3 is definitely proving to be one of the harder lockdowns to deal with for a number of reasons. Many of you will still be working from home. Below are a number of things you can do to help your muscles and also a certain extent your mental health. Take time for yourself and get outside even if the weather is rubbish it will make you feel better.
During lockdown we are allowed to go out and exercise so grasp this opportunity especially if you have someone to exercise with. It doesn’t need to be a run. A walk will be just as beneficial to your muscles.
By getting out and exercising you are allowing an increase in blood flow which will help rejuvenate you muscles, allowing them to loosen up. I know the weather is not at its best but get those layers on and a waterproof and get some fresh air, it will be worth it. This will help clear your head. If however you don’t have enough time to get out then exercising at home is another good alternative even if it is just 20 min of activity such as yoga or pilates.
Those of you that have desk jobs probably suffer from a few aches and pains when you have been sat in countless zoom meetings. Try and get up and move regularly. Go get yourself a drink, take a walk around the room, stretch and change positions regularly. In the past posture has been drummed into people that it needs to be good, well the actual issue is staying in the same position for too long. So even if you have good posture at some point you will start to ache. Those that have the luxury of a desk that alters height can sit or stand which is a great way to change positions. Those that do not try different positions in your chair. Sit back in it, sit forward, stretch your arms up, hunk your back and then straighten it. All these movements will give relief to your muscles and keep them moving.
Hot and Cold
Having a hot shower or bath can go a long way to helping your muscles relax. Its also a great way for you mind to unwind and have some me time. If you are having a bath adding epsom salts will also help relieve any muscle aches and pains. Make sure you put some time aside so that you can relax while doing this. Hot water bottles are also good when sitting at your desk. They can help relieve tension and reduce pain.
Cold can also help relieve tension and any inflammation present. So if you have a particularly painful muscle or area of your body use a bag of peas wrapped in a cloth to help reduce any discomfort. Hot and cold can be used together. Do 5 min cycles of each and this will help draw blood into the affected areas as well as act as pain relief.
Spikey balls are the one thing I recommend to everyone. I prefer them to foam rollers because they are more versatile and actually get deeper into the problem areas. They are particularly good at getting into the muscles on the back and shoulders. You can either lean against one on the wall or do it lying down. A hockey ball or hard ball can also be used as an alternative. Below is a video on how to use spikey balls to release off various muscle groups.