Stretch into spring: back health tips for the outdoor enthusiast
Those eagerly awaited spring days are beckoning outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Whether you are a green thumb or an outdoor sports or recreation enthusiast, it is important to remember some basics of back care prior to exerting your muscles and joints.
News for green thumbs
Spring gardening does not have to be a pain in the back. Alberta’s chiropractors offer these tips to help you enjoy the fruits of your labors during this gardening season:
- Stretch before you head out. Take the time to prepare your body for activity and always warm up and cool down your muscles.
- Bend your knees to lift with ease.Keep heavy loads such as potting soil close to your body, your back straight and bend your knees while picking up and putting down loads.
- Use the right moves and the right tools. Alternate your tasks, kneel to plant and weed, change positions frequently, pace yourself and always make sure that gardening tools are a comfortable weight and size for you.
- Take a break before it aches. Get up, move around, alternate tasks, repeat your stretch routine or sit back, relax and have a cool drink.
Outdoor sports tips
You may also want to get your body geared up for outdoor activities such as soccer, tennis or golf. If you are a parent of a young sports enthusiast, it is equally important to help them prepare for outdoor activities.
These training tips will help to prepare for spring sports:
- Warm up your muscles before exercise. Proper warm up and stretching will help prevent injuries and strains on muscles and joints.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after physical activity to ensure proper hydration.
- Proper nutrition is essential. A good, balanced breakfast and eating a healthy meal before and after practice or a game provides proper nutrient replenishment and refuels the body.
- Safety and injury prevention are important when young athletes take to the field. Ensure your child wears suitable clothing and proper equipment that fits correctly.
- Ensure your budding star gets plenty of rest. Eight to ten hours of sleep is essential for a growing and energetic young athlete. Lack of proper rest can catch up with your child and decrease performance—not to mention increase the chances of injury.
If you or your child experiences a sports-related injury, seek professional health care attention. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to treat strains and sprains in all age groups and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention for young athletes.
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