Monday, February 11, 2013
With the winter season in full effect and our first major snowstorm out of the way, it is time to get out your winter sports gear and prepare for the slopes.
Although winter sports are a great way to keep fit during the winter it is important to remember that they can be hard on your back especially if you have not exercised as regularly over the last few months, which can be a challenge with the dropping temperatures and shorter days. That is why it is really important to take care of your body and especially your back before starting any new winter sport or heading out for the first time.
Whether you are a snowboarder, skier, cross-country skier, snow-shoer, snowmobiler or skater, you need to prepare your body for all the sudden bumps, twists, turns and possible wipe-outs that can lead to painful muscle strains and tears.
Visit your neighbourhood Chiropractor to have your back assessed and analyzed for its stability, endurance, and strength.
Here are a few simple recommendations to help keep your back safe and injury-free this winter:
Warm-up – It is essential to warm up your body before jumping into anything. Try doing a few squats, jumping jacks, or lunges to activate your muscles.
Stretching – After a few simple warm-up exercises, stretch for 10-15 minutes. Stretch your quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Always end your work-out with some good stretches as well!
Simple Low Back Core Stability Exercises
* Bracing – Start by teaching the muscles around your core to activate. Think about tightening up your abdominal muscles, while still breathing freely.
* Curl-up – Lying on your back with one knee bent. Maintain the slight curve in your low back and then lift your shoulders and head up a few inches from the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. (3-5x/week)
* Bird-dog – On your hands and knees, brace your abdominal area and then lift one leg back with the opposite arm out in front without twisting your low back. Imagine you have a glass of water on your back that you don’t want to spill. Hold for 7-8 seconds, repeat 10 times. (3-5x/week)
* Side-bridge – Lie on your side and lift your body up with your hand. Imagine your body is straight and stiff as a board. Hold 5 seconds and repeat 10 times per side (3-5x/week)
Don’t forget to rest if you feel tired and stay hydrated!
So get out there and have fun this winter while playing safe and don’t forget to wear your helmets and other safety gear!
1. Ontario Chiropractic – www.chiropractic.on.ca
2. McGill, Stuart. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance 4th Ed. 2009.
Visit my online schedule here for both Chiropractic and Acupuncture services!