It’s inevitable that we work out less during the holiday season.
Our schedule is simply too full with social engagements, marathon cooking and baking sessions, and last-minute gift shopping to even think about exercise. With such a happy maelstrom, it can be easy to drop your exercise routine completely; unfortunately, few of us can afford to put our fitness on hold for a month as we stuff ourselves full of the excesses of Christmas dinners and New Years Eve parties. Here are some ideas for indulging in holiday cheer without sacrificing your 2017 health gains.
The holiday season is a time of renewal for your muscles
Many of us will be sitting at home around Christmas time, watching our kids running around the tree and wondering, “how did I become so stiff?” The answer to that question is complex, and it takes into account every action (and inaction) that you’ve taken up to this point in your life. But the important thing to remember is that no matter how stiff you are, it’s never too late to start making improvements. Your muscles have been working hard all year long- the holiday season is a time to thank them and take stock of how you can help them out.
How mobile are you?
You are made of joints and your joints were made to move! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that being sedentary isn’t good for humans. It takes us out of our natural element- movement helps all of our major systems function better. In this respect, range of motion is the measure of the movement a particular joint can perform. As we grow older, we become less flexible; this is the first step toward losing range of motion. Unless we take steps to maintain our flexibility through stretching and strengthening, we are setting a course for stiffness and disability in old age. So how does chiropractic help us maintain range of motion?
Non-specific chronic back pain: what gives?
Your pain has been nearly constant for three months and you keep telling yourself it will go away soon. You have been doing everything the doctor told you: eating well, stretching and exercising; you haven’t been sitting too much. But still the pain lingers, and at the six-month mark you start to wonder if it will ever go away. Such is the plight of many people affected by chronic pain, a condition little understood but certainly on the rise in our society. Traditional treatments such as surgery and medication often fall short because they fail to address the root cause of the pain. But what is this root, and how can we go about treating it?
Are you a 21st century sitter?
For traditional office workers, tech-industry and start-up employees, freelancers and all other shades of worker that rely on their computer to make money, sitting is part and parcel of the job. But sitting is hardly a natural state for our spine; it puts our spines under more pressure than standing or laying supine. When you pile poor posture on top of this, you have a recipe for spinal degeneration that is affecting more of the population than ever. The demographic of people who spend most of their time sitting is getting younger every year, as both our jobs and entertainment options become more digitized. Overwhelming scientific opinion agrees that sedentary lifestyles are among the greatest new threats to our collective health. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we believe that reducing the amount of time spent sitting should be a primary health objective for any office worker.
A healthier back begins with awareness
This is step one in any plan for improving your spinal health: simply being aware of your biomechanics and how every action directly contributes to the condition of your spine. Just as the spine is a depreciating asset, our awareness of healthy spinal habits seems to deteriorate over time. Here are some of the greatest risk factors that are within our control:
- Poor posture
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Sitting too much
- Lifting poorly
Each of these factors interact with and influence each other; for example, lack of exercise reduces the efficacy of the postural muscles that support good posture. Helping you recognize risk factors and the way they influence your spinal health is one of primary goals at Espinosa Family Chiropractic.