With this sporadic spring/winter weather here in San Diego, it may be a very good idea to prep your body a bit before jumping into spring cleaning, gardening, hitting the bike trails or lacing on your running shoes.
Backaches and other muscle strains are commonplace at this time of the year as individuals place stress and strain on their bodies after a winter of inactivity. Many of the injuries occurring at this time are due to individuals trying to do too much too soon.
The Association of NJ Chiropractors offers these Conditioning Tips to prepare for spring fun.
10 Tips for Spring Conditioning:
1. Don’t over-do things in the beginning; warm-up with jumping jacks or a slow jog for sports activities.
2. Stretch after the light-jog/jumping jacks; stretch all the muscles used in an activity (not just the legs).
3. If you are working in the garden, bend with your knees and not your back, and use your arms and legs while working. The back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.
4. A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity. Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.
5. Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful.
6. Consider using more ergonomically designed tools.
7. Always incorporate breaks while you do your task. To avoid injuries, stop the activity when fatigue starts to set-in.
8. Whether or not you feel pain, apply ice to any joint that typically is sore after activity.
9. Have a plan of action if an injury is experienced.
10. Know your limits and have fun whatever the activity.
If you continue to feel soreness, pain or strain after following these tips, it may be time to visit a chiropractor.
The San Diego Entertainer thanks the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors for this article contribution and their helpful tips.