As the weather finally turns more agreeable and the city comes alive with activity once again, I tend to see a bit of an influx of people seeking my care.
Many of these clients have injured themselves in one way or another while making the most of the good weather. Often their story sounds something like:
“It was the first decent day we’ve had in forever so I spent 6 hours in the garden pulling weeds…”
“It was the first weekend of softball and I threw my shoulder out in the second game…”
“I was late starting my training for the annual 10 K and I ran twice as far as I usually do..”
Sound familiar? Maybe you haven’t fallen victim to this sort of thing, but that’s probably because you do one or more of the following:
1. Exercise regularly BEFORE the good weather begins
– Keeping your muscles toned and strong year-round not only has countless health benefits, but also stabilizes the spine and joints of body. I have found that the stronger and more muscular an individual is, the less likely they are to get injured and the faster they recover from injury. Remember- movement and exercise are nutrients that the body needs to function at its best!
2. Work up gradually to the activity you hope to accomplish
– Instead of gardening for 6 hours in a row, or throwing as hard as you can in the first game you play in the season, or running a full 10 K on the first day of training, do only one hour in the garden the first day, start throwing lightly in the weeks leading up to softball, or only do 4 K on the first day of training, then 5 K, then 6 and so on. Doing this will condition your body to be able to handle the activity you hope will keep you busy outdoors.
3. Warm up before and cool down after activity
– Everyone knows they should warm up before physical activity but very few do it, and many do it wrong. Still or ‘static’ classic stretches are good for cooling down, but are a no-no for warming up. Instead, dynamic (moving) stretches that gently mimic your activity and stretch the muscles you will be using are what are ideal for warm up. Click here for a few examples.
4. Go to your chiropractor to keep your spine and extremity joints balanced, loose, and your nerve system healthy
– If your body were a house, your spine would be the foundation and framing supporting the entire structure. The electrical wiring in the house would be your nerve system.
– Making sure your spine (the foundation and framing of your ‘house’) is aligned is exactly what a chiropractor does, and this keeps the nerves (electrical wiring) running through the spine healthy, keeps you more flexible, helps prevent injury, and prevents uneven strain on your muscles and ligaments.
– People with unbalanced spines and joints due to misalignment are more susceptible to injuries such as sprains and strains due to these imbalances.
– You don’t have to be in pain or need a referral to see a chiropractor, just schedule a checkup to make sure that you’re in the best shape possible for an activity-filled summer so that you can make the most of it instead of ending up on the sidelines!