With the onset of the beautiful spring weather, more people are finding themselves outside for longer hours.  Among these groups of nature enthusiasts, gardeners and weekend warriors spend all day in their yards and on local Marin trails, using muscles that are slowly waking up from winter.  Here are some tips for easing the pain of celebrating the on-set of spring:

  1. Warm up the body by stretching – simple stretches can loosen muscles and ligaments before the activity begins
  2. Take Breaks – rest and take frequent breaks, especially if you’re bending over a garden plot or doing a day-long hike or bike ride
  3. Listen to your body – pain is a sure sign of injury, so be aware of the first twinges or cramping and get into another position and stretch immediately

If an injury does occur such as a strain or a pull, follow the RICE steps:
Rest – as soon as an injury occurs
Ice – the injured area to stop swelling
Compression – prevents swelling and gives the injured area support
Elevation – reduces blood flow to the injured area, which also prevents swelling