Getting Ready for Winter Activities
By Debra Rodzinak
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), winter sports, activities, and chores can injure those whose bodies are not in peak condition. Painful injuries like muscle strains, spasms, or tears can occur if a person is out of shape. Lifting, shoveling, or twisting can cause the back and surrounding muscles to become hurt.
The freezing temperatures can affect the joints and cause tremendous pain. When the temperature drops, the body reacts by restricting the flow of blood to the appendages to conserve body heat. This lowers the ability of the muscles to fully function and is one of the main reasons for injury.
It is essential to warm up the body before exercise and even more important when the weather is cold. If time is limited, it is more important to cut the workout time rather than shorten the warm-up. Spend at least 15 minutes warming up and the muscles will function properly for a safer workout.
The ACA suggests beginning with light aerobic activity such as walking fast, jogging, or biking for 10 minutes. Then, for certain activities, do the following warm-up exercises:
- Skiing – Do 10 to 15 squats
- Skating – Do 5 or more lunges on each leg
- Sledding/Tobogganing – Do knee-to-chest stretches for 30 seconds per knee
After a workout, don’t forget the cool-down stretches.
If, during any of the winter activities, you feel overworked, tired, or strained do the following:
- Take breaks as needed to help the muscles avoid becoming overstrained. Listen to the body.
- If any chest pain or shortness of breath is felt, stop immediately and seek professional assistance.
- After any activity, if sore, use ice on the area for 20 minutes. Repeat a few times a day for a couple of days.
- If muscles or joints are hurting, seek chiropractic help.
Seeking Care for Injuries
If you have become injured during any winter activities or have had a slip or fall on an icy path, come to The Joint for a complete evaluation by one of our highly qualified doctors of chiropractic. With an entire team dedicated to helping you find a path to wellness without the use of drugs or surgery, your whole body will thank you after a gentle spinal adjustment. With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, finding relief for any joint or muscle pain from winter activities is easy and stress-free at The Joint.