Submitted by Jill Williamson, DC
Getting adequate physical activity during this extraordinary time of social distancing and COVID-19 may have been challenging, especially over the winter. Thankfully we are coming into the perfect time of year to start moving our bodies more. Your body was made to move.
The risks of an inactive lifestyle are great and can have a significant negative impact on our health. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to weight gain, weaker bones, loss of muscle strength, and an increased risk of chronic diseases. The less you move, the higher the risk to your health and wellness. Another reason to move more is the relationship between movement and back pain. Moving less leads to a higher risk of back pain. Too much sitting can cause the muscles in your back to become stiffer and weaken. It can also put excess pressure on the spinal discs and nerves. Your back pain may be from not moving enough.
This spring and summer set a goal to move more. Set a reminder on your phone to get up at least once every hour to move your body for at least five minutes. Try to start a daily routine of simple stretches for your neck, back, arms and legs. Set a goal to start walking daily. If you have taken the winter off, let your movement activities start slowly and build up at a healthy pace. Start your spring training by walking for 10 minutes every day or every other day for one week. Then the next week, add 5 or 10 minutes. Work your way up by 5 or 10 minutes each week to a 30 to 45 minute walk. Aim for this amount of physical activity at least five days per week. Remember to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. Take inventory of what you are drinking. Soda, sugary drinks, and energy drinks cannot replace water and will also have negative effects on your health. Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Another bonus of the warmer months ahead is the increased availability of these foods. Check out your local farmers market this summer. And while you are thinking more about your diet, try cutting back on salty and fried foods. The accumulation of these healthy habits will have an overall benefit of better health.
Chiropractic can help you overcome a sedentary lifestyle. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your journey to get moving, consider seeing a chiropractor. Research studies show that the services provided by chiropractors are clinically effective and safe. A Chiropractor can evaluate you to identify subluxations or joint dysfunctions of your spine or extremities that are making it more difficult for your joints to move correctly in their full range of motion. A Chiropractic adjustment will restore or enhance joint function. An adjustment is a targeted movement that is adapted to meet the specific needs of each patient. A chiropractor will use a variety of techniques with their hands or an instrument to manipulate the joints of the body. With joint function improved or restored, there will be less pressure on the nerves and surrounding muscles. Range of motion can improve, helping you move better and feel better. Chiropractors can also give recommendations for stretching and strengthening.
We all know the saying that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest. Whether you are at rest or in motion, the lifestyle choices you make influence the health and function of your joints. So this spring and summer make a goal to move more. And wherever you are in your journey to health, NorthLakes is available to help you along the way.
Jill Williamson is a Chiropractor at NorthLakes Community Clinic – Hayward. NLCC currently offers chiropractic services in Ashland, Hayward, Hurley, Iron River, Lakewood, Park Falls and Turtle Lake. No referral is needed and we accept most insurance including Medicaid. We also offer a sliding fee scale for those who qualify.