fitness

RAKING LEAVES SAFELY IN YOUR YARD

BY Sarah Kelly, DC
 

What a GORGEOUS Fall we are having…a nice reward after a somewhat blistering summer! Autumn months of course means falling leaves and seasonal...

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RAKING LEAVES SAFELY IN YOUR YARD

BY Sarah Kelly, DC
 

What a GORGEOUS Fall we are having…a nice reward after a somewhat blistering summer! Autumn months of course means falling leaves and seasonal yard clean-up. Yardwork can lead to lots of injuries if not done properly, preventing you from doing things you enjoy. I see everything from low back pain and disc ruptures, to neck strains, knee and shoulder tendonitis all from improper mechanics doing yardwork. So here are a few tips to keep your body happy while you keep your yard healthy:

Raking Leaves Safely

* Use the right rake: Make sure it’s not too heavy, light or wrongly shaped. Take frequent breaks, and switch sides often.
* Keep raking strokes short :This prevents over-reaching and excessive forward bending.
* Wear slip-resistant shoes: Leaves and grass are slippery when wet and cause a painful fall.
* Warm-up first: It’s like going out to exercise; take a brisk walk for 10 minutes first to get blood pumping.
* Wear gardening gloves: It’ll protect your hands and allow for a good grip.
raking leaves safely* Afterwards, do some back-bending stretches: Stand with your feet hip width, hands over your back pockets and lean backwards 10 times.

If things do hurt after working in the yard, generally, icing for 20 minutes helps. But if pain does persist beyond 24 hours, it’s best to have a chiropractor, physical therapist or other physician who specializes in the musculoskeletal system take a look. Enjoy the season!!

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DON’T JUST SIT THERE! STAND! DON’T JUST STAND THERE, MOVE IT!

BY Sarah Kelly, DC
 

Most of us at this point are aware on some cognitive level of the dangers of too much sitting. Reports of the...

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DON’T JUST SIT THERE! STAND! DON’T JUST STAND THERE, MOVE IT!

BY Sarah Kelly, DC
 

Most of us at this point are aware on some cognitive level of the dangers of too much sitting. Reports of the adverse health effects and statistics about shortened life spans have been hitting the media lately.

A recent Australian study followed approximately 200,000 adults 45 years and older, and found that those who sat more than 11 hours/day were 40% more likely to die than those who sat less than 4 hours/day. Exercising didn’t help the 11-hour seat-huggers unfortunately.

In response to this ergonomic error, I’ve been hearing stories of patients creating standing desks at work. For those who are chained to a chair, glued to a computer, or shackled to a desk, this is a good option to start with.

Don't sit down

At home, it can be a little tougher to get out of the recliner or comfy couch, especially once we settle in for the night watching our favorite shows, reading a chapter or two, or surfing the web on our tablets, sometimes all three at the same time!

And it may not be enough to just stand up. As evolutionary luck would have it, we are built for MOVEMENT.

Our beginnings are fraught with running from the saber-toothed tiger, hunting what we could catch, and gathering edible plants for survival. NOT sitting to furiously type on a small keyboard attached to an artificially lit screen, or watching the weather report on the 10 o’clock news.

And evolution has really has gone through A LOT of trouble to make us efficient two-legged movers. In fact, of the 4000 species of mammals currently in existence, we are the ONLY ONE who is upright when walking. And, one of if not THE most efficient long-distance traveler by foot.

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Safe Gardening Tips for Your Body

BY Sarah Kelly, DC

With Spring arriving so prematurely this year, gardeners are out playing in the soil earlier than ever. Although digging in the dirt can be...

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Safe Gardening Tips for Your Body

BY Sarah Kelly, DC

With Spring arriving so prematurely this year, gardeners are out playing in the soil earlier than ever. Although digging in the dirt can be therapeutic for the mind, it is definitely a workout for the body, and if not properly introduced can be problematic.

Lifting heavy bags of mulch and dirt after a winter of hibernation, sustained postures while pulling weeds, and excessive sun exposure can all wreak havoc on a deconditioned body. So while you are working to get your lawn and garden to be the envy of the neighborhood, here a few tips to prevent your body from being sidelined by the weeds!

Safe Gardening Tips

1) Gardening IS exercise! Most people don’t think of gardening as exercise. But anything that requires your body to perform tasks outside of the norm is exercise. Warm up your muscles and joints with a 5-10 min walk and some stretching.

2) Change positions and tasks every 15-30 minutes. Sustained positions are very hard on your joints and muscles. Changing positions frequently helps prevent fatigue, overuse and injury. Avoid awkward positions, particularly when pulling weeds or getting into hard to reach places.

3) Take frequent breaks. This is a great time to stretch, walk, and get a drink of water. Even high endurance athletes take frequent breaks.

safe gardening tips
AVOID THIS POSTURE!

4) Use Proper Body Mechanics: This is likely the #1 reason people get hurt. It is critical to safe gardening.

Avoid repetitive bending, especially at your lower back or neck, this is avoids muscle and disc injuries
Get close to the task. If you need to put some force into a task, be sure to do it close to your center of gravity (your navel).
Avoid bending and twisting. This puts excessive strain on your muscles and joints and will cause an injury
Bend and lift with the knees and hips. Try to keep your back straight when lifting an object. Use your legs lower you to the ground to reach something. Leg muscles are much larger than back muscles and are designed for squatting.
Switch hands frequently when pulling weeds, pruning, cutting, etc.: this avoids fatigue and overuse injury.
Use long-handled tools to prevent bending and reaching
5) Drink water continuously. Dehydration can effect your electrolyte balance leading to fatigue, dizziness and other more serious cardiac issues.

6) Wear sunscreen during peak hours. Even if you are looking to boost your Vitamin D. You only need 15 minutes of sun exposure. Don’t overdo it and cover up your skin.

7) Wear loose, comfortable clothing, hat, and proper fitting shoes. Proper clothing and footwear will allow you the freedom to move with proper body mechanics. Flip flops are not helpful when hauling flower trays or bags of mulch.

8) Use bug spray on clothing. Even though moist soil from rain is the easiest to plant and weed in, it is also that moisture that attracts bugs and mosquitos. Avoid the bugs with a spray on your clothing. Burts Bees makes a great natural bug repellant.

9) Use organic pesticides/herbicides

10) APPLY ICE TO INJURIES IMMEDIATELY. SEEK TREATMENT IF THEY DON’T RESOLVE IN 24 HOURS.

 

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Springtime Running Tips

BY Sarah Kelly, DC

It’s that time of the year again…time to lace up the running shoes and get those legs moving. For those of us who run, there’s nothing quite like the call...

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Springtime Running Tips

BY Sarah Kelly, DC

It’s that time of the year again…time to lace up the running shoes and get those legs moving. For those of us who run, there’s nothing quite like the call of the trail, the lure of another race shirt, and the inescapable desire to be just a little bit faster. Runners are a breed unto their own. Once committed, there isn’t much (including an injury) that will keep us away. We are in love with (addicted to?) our sport. And our numbers are growing.

It’s relatively easy to start running. You just tie up some thickly-soled shoes made up of some superduper, space-age foamy material (make sure you get fitted by a professional) and either head out the door or press “START” on the treadmill. But then what? How far? How fast? How often? What if it HURTS????
Seasoned runners have their own set of guidelines that they’ve developed over the miles. Hundreds of thousands of steps pounded out on unforgiving ground are the ultimate teacher. But for newer runners, or runners looking to take it up a notch, a few tips to consider.

Follow These Running Tips

WEAR PROPERLY FITTING SHOES!!! Seek a local specialty running store where experienced people (usually runners themselves) will look at your gait, analyze your feet, and put you into a properly fitted shoe. The wrong shoe is the root of a lot of running injuries and evils.
START SLOW AND SHORT. No more than a 10% increase in intensity/distance per week. When transitioning to outdoor running from a treadmill, be mindful there is a 30% training lag. Running too far too fast keeps doctors who treat runners busy.
GET ADVICE. Hire a coach or join a running club. As with anything new, There’s a lot to learn, and enlisting someone who knows better can save you much pain and frustration.
SLEEP AND EAT WELL. Give your body proper fuel to run on, and good raw materials to rebuild and repair the inevitable damage that occurs to the tissues with running. And sleep enough to allow yourself time to recover.
TAKE REST DAYS. DO NOT run everyday. You will mentally and physically burnout if you do. Some experts argue rest days are MORE important than run days.
SIGN UP FOR A RACE. Pick a goal. It gives you focus, and keeps you on track. Plus you get some cool swag in your race packet!
DRINK LOTS OF WATER DURING THE DAY. Just during a run is not enough.
COVER UP. Skin cancer can be deadly. You can’t run away from the sun.
RUN WITH ID. Be aware of your surroundings. Run with a buddy. Be careful day or night.
LIVE TO RUN ANOTHER DAY!!!! Repect pain. If it hurts, slow down. If it still hurts, STOP. See a doctor who specializes in treating runners. An injury can quickly escalate if unattended, and can easily end a season or a career.
So strap on those shoes and enjoy some good healthy miles. With a little mindfulness and body awareness, you can expect a long, prosperous running career, and dressers full of dryfit race shirts!

“The race does not go to the swiftest, but to those who keep on running.” –Anonymous

 

 

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