Monday, January 17, 2022

Tips To Avoid Back Pain When Shovelling Snow

Apart from dressing properly for the weather and making sure you have a sturdy, lightweight shovel, there are a few practices you can follow to help make snow-shovelling safer.


 

·        Stand with stability: Stand with your feet at hip-width apart to maintain your balance. It’s also best to wear boots that are non-slip when you shovel. This will help protect you from sliding when shovelling.

 

·        Keep the weight close to your body: Hold the shovel close to your body to guard against straining or pulling a muscle. When the snow is deep, try to shovel smaller amounts (3–5 centimetres/1–2 inches) of snow at a time.

 

·        Grip strategically: Space your hands apart on the handle to increase your leverage when lifting the snow.

 

·        Lift with your legs: Bend from your knees, not your back, when lifting. Not only does it protect your back, but you can strengthen your legs as well!

 

·        Engage your core: Tighten your stomach muscles when lifting snow. This helps to protect your back as you lift.

 

·        Don’t twist: Avoid twisting your body when you lift. Move your feet instead to turn your body.

 

·        Don’t fling the snow: Make sure to walk to place the snow on the side of the path rather than throwing it. Turn your feet in the direction you’re dumping the snow—this better positions you to maintain good form. Your whole body will thank you.

 

Snow shovelling can be a very strenuous activity, and even more so without the correct, protective form. Ask one of our Chiropractor more tips on improving your strength and stability.

 

With the proper preparation, tools, and technique you can make shovelling safer for you, and your walkways safer for your family, friends, and neighbours.

 

Happy shovelling!

 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

9 Tips To Stay Active During The Winter Months

When it gets cold outside, we tend to spend more time indoors doing sedentary activities and it can be difficult to stay active. It’s helpful to plan ahead and set some time aside in your schedule a few days a week to make sure you’re getting the activity you need.

To have health benefits from exercise, adults need a total of 2.5 hours of activity spread across the week, in bouts of ten minutes or more. These activities need to be moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activities. Moderate-intensity physical activities include brisk walking or bike riding. Generally, you know your activity is moderate-intensity if you sweat a little and breathe harder than when you’re moving about day-to-day. Vigorous-intensity activities include jogging or cross-country skiing, and you’re likely to find yourself sweating and feeling out of breath.



Here are a few tips to help keep you motivated to stay active during the winter months: 

  • Plan activities ahead. When activities are in your calendar, you’re less likely to forget them. Preparedness also helps set good habits.
  • Find a fun local activity, like snow shoeing, skiing, skating, or cross-country skiing.
  • Dress in layers. Insulate your body. When you can keep your body warm, it’s easier to continue being active outside.
  • Use your daylight hours. It’s easier to stay outside while it’s still light out. It’s easy to miss out on activities when you start them too late in the day.
  • Find indoor activities at your local community centre. This could be aerobics classes, badminton, basketball, or yoga classes.
  • Climb stairs. Deliberately add more steps to your day. Consider going up and down a flight in your home, the mall, or an office building more than once over the course of your regular daily activities. As little as five minutes can make a huge difference for your health.
  • Visit a library to find more motivation. There are plenty of free exercise DVDs you can borrow, including dance, step, aerobics, or Pilates. You can use the return date as a deadline to pick up another one!
  • Sign up for a fun run. You can often find non-competitive “fun runs” in your community that are usually between 5 and 10 kilometers. You can invite friends and family to join in!
  • Find an activity buddy. Find someone willing to commit to being active as often as you are, and set a plan. That could be planning to meet for morning walks or afternoon workouts. Having a friend keeps you accountable.

For help on setting activity goals based on your specific musculoskeletal needs, you can always ask our Chiropractors about what activities are right for you.

Whatever your activity level is, remember to stay hydrated. It is easy to forget to drink water when it’s cold out, but your body needs just as much hydration in a snowstorm as it does in a heatwave.

Most importantly, stay motivated. Revisit your goals (or look for tips to set new ones) to make sure you’re still on track. Plan ahead and make sure you can envision your goal as you look ahead towards the finish line.

Here’s to staying active in the new year!