Eight summer fit tips to keep your back healthy as you exercise and enjoy the outdoors:
In the summer, we turn our attention to the great outdoors with activities, such as golfing, gardening or running. Recreational activities can help you maintain good mobility, sustain strong bones, and relieve stress — while having fun. Whether you pick up a garden rake, a golf club or pound the pavement in running shoes, the important thing is to get moving.
1 – Warm-up
Before hitting the links or even the back garden, consider a small activity to warm up first, like going for a short walk. And do gentle stretches to limber up your muscles and joints before lifting, digging, or swinging that golf club.
2 – Learn the Proper Technique
Learn the correct technique for your activity, right from the beginning. Poor technique can injure your joints and muscles. For example, be sure to kneel, not bend, when planting your outdoor garden. For golfers, take professional lessons to rid yourself of bad habits in your swing that can hurt your back.
3 – Maximize Mobility and Range of Motion
Maintaining good mobility for muscles and joints will contribute to your athletic ability and help prevent injury. Limited muscle and joint function can hamper your technique and lead to strains and sprains. If you’re a runner, take the time to stretch out your calf and thigh muscles before hitting the road.
4 – Drink Fluids
Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after physical activity. Remember that once you’re thirsty, you’re already starting to dehydrate. Dehydration affects your energy level and your physical function.
5 – Don’t Overdo It
If you have a big day of yard work planned, break your activities into smaller chunks to avoid overloading your body. As you return to summer sports, consider starting with a short training session rather than a longer one. For example, take a trip to the driving range before that first round of golf.
6 – Cool Down
Cooling down after any physical fitness activity is just as important as warming up. Take 20 minutes for a brisk walk or a slow jog after your activity. Take the time to stretch out your muscles and joints before heading to the shower.
7 – Treat Injuries Promptly
If you suffer an injury or experience pain from your recreational activities, ice the area to reduce swelling and inflammation.
8 – If Pain Persists, Seek Professional Help
If you have significant spine, muscle or joint pain or discomfort that lingers, you may have an injury. Your chiropractor can help you identify what’s going on, provide treatment and help you stay active. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a medical doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional.
In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a medical doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional.
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