Sure, you may have heard to take a little stretch before a run, but oftentimes stretching is put on the back burner of daily activities. I mean after all, the exercise is the main focus, and the main benefit… Right?
Not so fast! Improving your flexibility will allow you to improve your athletic performances and the range of motion in your joints! Not only will this help you enjoy a better work out by increasing the blood flow to your muscles, it will enable your muscles to move more effectively and decrease the risk of injury from daily wear and tear on your body.
It is very important to use the right techniques to avoid straining your muscles and harming your spinal health. When you aren’t careful, stretching can do more harm than good.
Here are some tips on how to stretch properly:
-Don’t stretch cold muscles, warm them up with some light jogging or a warm up exercise to loosen the muscle fibers.
-Stretch both sides of your body equally! If you are less flexible on one side, that is totally normal, just keep on treating both sides equally, and it will even out over time.
-Stretch in one smooth movement; don’t bounce the stretch, or you could get injured.
-One of the most important: MAKE SURE TO BREATHE! Inhale and Exhale at an average pace, don’t use hurried breathes. Breathing is so important because it is what allows the muscles to expand and contract, allowing your muscles to loosen up!
-Wear comfortable, flexible clothing
-Stretch on flat/comfortable surfaces.
Pared with Chiropractic Care, stretching regularly will relieve pressure on your neck and back. For example, the hamstring muscles in the back of our legs (muscles that we put a lot of our weight on every day) are connected to your back and neck. If you have inflexible hamstrings, it doesn’t just cause headaches and soreness in your back and neck, but it can also increase the chance of injury to your spinal muscles!
For some basic stretches that can help you achieve optimal flexibility, and help you maintain your spinal alignment, check out the stretching and flexibility tab at http://www.alphaspinecenter.com/performance.html and check out the Exercise Video link at www.alphaspinecenter.com/exercise-videos.html , or ask Dr. Salminen about good stretches that work for your body and to the activities you love to do!
Finally! All that cold weather is gone, and the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and its time for some SPRING VACATION! It is all very exciting, but for many of you, Spring means weeks of sneezing, runny nose, and coughing! Sure, your relief can be a drugstore counter away! However, an increasing number of allergy sufferers say the road to relief is through a variety of all-natural treatments However an increasing number of studies show that the road to relief can help, without the side effects of drugs. One of these natural treatments is using herbal and nutrient supplements! One such herb is the European butterbur. The extract from the root of the butterbur shrub has been used since the Middle Ages to treat fevers, and more recently for coughs, asthma, headaches, and hay fever. It is safe and most people tolerate it well! In fact, in a study performed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a group of British researches put their “stamp of approval” on butterbur’s effectiveness at reducing symptoms for grass allergies! Some other nutrients that help fight allergy symptoms are also found in grape seed extract, and a compound called quercetin. Both of these are especially abundant in red wine, but can also be taken as a supplement, and are “most effective when in conjunction with Vitamin C.” Some other helpful herbal supplements are dried nettles and goldenseal.
Another method to battle allergies is looking to the kitchen to cook up some relief in the form of spicy foods! “Experts say the spicier the dish, the more likely it is to clear nasal passages” Use spices such as cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, or just onion and garlic to help clear up those sinuses! In a German study published in an allergy journal, they found that those who ate foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms. Omega-3s help fight inflammation and are found in cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed, grass-fed meat, and eggs! Finally, try cutting out foods that provoke mild sensitivities or upset stomach. Being aware of and reducing food your are intolerant to will lighten the burden on your immune system, which in turn may help reduce the impact of seasonal allergic reactions.