Benefits of Stretching
The beginning of the new year is the most common time of year for people to begin new health and exercise routines. The second most common time is in the Spring.
Yes, there’s something about warmer weather and birds chirping that makes us want to be more active. We feel reenergized, motivated even. Like any start to a new physical routine or even restarting an old one (like gardening), it’s important that you plan.
The benefits of stretching are the most talked about and the most ignored when it comes to what are thought to be ‘regular activities’ like walking, gardening, or even grocery shopping. Since we’re in the beginning of a brand new season, let’s revisit these benefits:
Stretching Will Promote Flexibility and Will Improve Range of Motion
It’s not a secret that stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, and we have to consider that without both you are running the risk of injuries while completing daily tasks. The last thing you want to do is have to spend time indoors because of an easily preventable injury caused by lifting bags or bending in the garden.
Stretching improves this by loosening up all the muscle groups, improving flexibility and your range of motion. Check in with your chiropractor for the best stretches for you.
Stretching Promotes Proper Spinal Alignment
The muscles in your shoulders, chest, hips, and lower back all impact the alignment of your spine. If your muscles in these areas are tight, this often does not happen symmetrically. Meaning one side can be tight, and the other side can attempt to compensate which is what can often lead to back injuries and joint pain.
Stretching is a perfect way to ensure your muscles remain aligned. When combined with regular Chiropractic adjustments, you will be promoting a great foundation for a healthy spine.
Stretching is a Great Way to Relieve Stress!
Have you ever had a great stretch in the morning or after a strenuous day? A good stretch not only loosens up tension in your body, but it allows for proper circulation which means your blood will be getting more oxygen. Add some deep breathing during your stretches and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
More oxygen = more energy!
It really is this simple. The great thing about stretching is that it doesn’t generally require any special equipment and it can be done anywhere.
Talk to us about which stretches are best for you and the condition of your body. We will discuss proper form, how hard to stretch, along with duration and the best time of day to stretch. Although stretching is great, you also want to ensure you are doing it properly. Sometimes it’s easy to get a little overzealous and even cause injury.
Here’s the bottom line: The weather is getting warmer and we are all going to want to spend a little (or a lot) of extra time outdoors. With this, we will be moving more and in different ways than we may have been over the winter months. There are only benefits to a good, deep breathing stretch before leaving your home.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us for tips on how to stay safe, healthy and injury free this Spring and Summer!
How Damaging is Dehydration?
“Drink more water” is one of the most common solutions to what ails us. Headaches, dry lips, dry skin, uti’s, skin issues, kidney stones, hair dryness, brittle nails, and organ damage are common on the spectrum of dehydration symptoms.
Drinking more water seems easy enough, until you begin measuring your water intake. If you have lived with a habit of drinking too little water, consuming more (or adequate amounts) can feel like an entire job in itself.
There are some other common effects that could be a result of not drinking enough water, here are a few:
Dehydration can silently impact your entire digestive system. From chewing, to swallowing, to digestion, to bowel movements – not having enough water in your system can cause serious issues along the way. Even the lining of your stomach and intestines are composed of water, not having enough can cause indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and dark urine. Any or all of these symptoms additionally cause your body to not be able to absorb nutrients front he food you consume.
Your body is made up of nearly 90% water. If your body is dehydrated your heart has to work twice as hard to send enough oxygen to all of the cells in your body. This extra work can cause you to feel more tired or weaker than usual. You may be surprised how drinking more water throughout the day can make you feel like you’ve got enough energy to make it through all of your tasks.
Joint and Back Pain
The cartilage that protects and cushions your joints is made up largely of water. Dehydration can cause this cartilage, along with the discs that support and cushion your spinal cord to deteriorate. The result is joint and back pain that can lead to conditions like arthritis if left untreated over long periods of time.
What’s the Solution?
The solution really comes down to what works for you. Something that is sustainable like keeping fresh water in your car, at your desk, or in your fridge. Keeping a jug of water in the fridge with lemon, lime, or berries can seem more appetizing for someone who feels like drinking water is boring. Some people will commit to drinking a full glass of water before each meal, or before each hot beverage of the day.
Whatever works for you is the solution. As long as you’re getting in 8-12 full glasses of water on a regular day (more on hot days or workout days to offset how much you sweat), you’re on the right track.
Once you are getting enough water regularly and you notice changes to your skin, mood, the way your body feels, and even a reduction in headaches – you may be more inclined to drink adequate amounts of water each day to maintain this.
With the warmer weather approaching, there is no better time than the present to begin a new routine! I know you’ll be getting out more, let’s enjoy the weather and treat our bodies like they matter.