Outdoor winter activities
Winter Recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose bodyu is not in condition. Winter sports like skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you’re not in shape. Even shoveling snow the wrong way, climbing awkwardly over snow banks, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kind of clothing can all pose the potential for spasms, strains and sprains.
The ACA (American Chiropractic Association) suggests that you start with some light aerobic activity (jogging, biking, fast walking) for about 7-10 minutes. then follow these tips to help you fight back the winter weather:
- Skiing– do 10-15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, knees aligned over your feet. slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees over your feet. Stand up straight again.
- Skating- do several lunges. Take a moderately advanced step with one foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat process with your other foot.
- Sledding/tobogganing– do knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries cause by repetitive bouncing over the snow. While either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.
Shoveling snow can also wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. The ACA Suggests the following tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety.
- if you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.
- Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
- Shoveling can strain “de-conditioned” muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. Do some warm-up stretching before you grab the shovel.
- When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don’t try to throw the snow. walk it to the snow bank. avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
- bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
- Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigues body can cause injury.
- Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath.
After any of these activities, if you feel sore, apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple times each day over the period of the next two days. If you continue to feel soreness, pain, or strain after following these tips, it may be time for you to visit your chiropractor.
Consider visiting a chiropractor next time winter activities leave you with aches and pains.