The winter season is fast approaching and with it comes holiday activities, snow shoveling, heavy clothing, and decorating. Here are some tips and tricks to help you decrease your risk of injury this winter!
Stretch BEFORE Shoveling – Take the time to stretch the muscles you are about to use to shovel the drivewayor sidewalk before you go out, as though you are about to compete in an athletic event. This will decrease your risk of injury. The key muscles to stretch are: upper trapezius, triceps, biceps, forearms, latissimus dorsi, and pectoralis muscles. For a description of each of these stretches ask your chiropractor today.
Break-In Your Winter Boots – Our winter boots tend to be heavy and worn only occasionally. Therefore, pull them out now and walk around your house for 15 minutes to get your feet used to wearing them again. Don’t forget to stretch the calf muscles out really well before and after wearing them, so your feet do not get sore.
An Active Body is a Healthy Body – When the cold weather comes rolling in, we tend to go into hibernation mode. Stay active this season and get outside for some fresh air! Try going for a walk in the winter wonderland, take your kids outside and build a snow man, go skiing or snowboarding, try snowshoeing, or just walk around the dog park while your dog plays. Just remember to listen to your body and not to go beyond your limits.
Lift with your legs – Improper lifting is a common way that people can get hurt this time of year. The filled to the brim holiday decorating boxes in the furthest back corner of the basement or your grandchild is coming to town…Squat down using your legs and pick up the box/child then stand straight up. This technique utilizes the large muscles of the legs rather than the smaller muscles of your low back. Also make sure not to twist with a heavy box in your hands.
Sleep Is Critical – Good quality sleep is critical for your health and well-being. This is a time for your body to heal, renew and re-energize. Plan your days so you do not have to stay up really late or wake up extra early to get things done. Utilize your weekends effectively so you can get the sleep your body truly needs during this season.
Hold Your Core Tight – Our core muscles support our spines and protect our low back from injury. When you are cooking, carrying something heavy, lifting a box, standing on a ladder to put up lights, or reaching for something off the top shelf at the store make sure your core is tight! This is a feeling of 360 degrees of contraction in the core bringing the belly button toward the spine. Many times tucking the pelvis back under the spine helps create this contraction.
Strengthen Your Immune System – You are being exposed to all sorts of things this time of year: excessive people at the stores, family coming into town for a visit, or excess sugar in your diet. If your immune system is not up to par, you may not be able to enjoy this time of year as much as you had hoped. Make sure you have enough vitamin D3, omegas, zinc, vitamin C, and probiotics in your diet. All of these help strengthen the immune system so you can fight whatever may come your way. If you have questions about recommended foods or optimal amounts, ask your chiropractor today.
Get Adjusted! – Get yourself and your children checked for subluxation by your chiropractor! Your nervous system is involved in every system of your body and without a proper signal you cannot function at an optimal level. EVERYONE deserves to have their nervous system working at 100%!! Make your appointment today!
Use these tricks and tips to help you and your family enjoy every minute of this wonderful winter season! May yours be filled with joy and excitement!!
November 2nd, 2013