5 Ways to Enjoy Spring Cleaning
It is time to purge, open the windows and get into those hard-to-reach corners. What’s spring cleaning without moving furniture and getting right in there?
We’ve been waiting many long months to reopen our homes to the fresh air, the sounds of nature, and the ability to clear out that built-up clutter. But injuries, particularly back injuries, are prevalent during this time of year. The injuries brought on by lifting, twisting, and tripping are the ones that can have long recovery times, so how can you prevent them?
Create a To-Do List
Patients that the desire to do it all at once can leave them scrambling to complete the many tasks they have started. Sticking to a list and completing one task at a time will allow you to remain organized and sure of your surroundings. Working in one area of the home at a time will allow you comfortably declutter and clean to completion. This makes it less likely to be tripping over cords or losing track of time.
You may be thinking, “warm-up to clean the house?”.
Yes, the bending, moving, lifting, and scrubbing can have you – at the very least – feeling sore the next day. But injuries are more likely to occur if you have stiff muscles. Take a walk around the house, do a few simple stretches, and get your muscles warm and blood circulating to your extremities.
Keep Your Abs Tight
Simply keeping your abs tight throughout the cleaning process will give you a great ab workout and help support your back while moving and lifting items. Many back injuries occur due to poor form when moving, lifting, or getting up out of awkward positions. However, having a solid core will help prevent these injuries by keeping your musculoskeletal system firmly in place.
Use Your Legs, Not Your Back
Instead of bending at the waist, use your legs and squat or lunge! Squat while cleaning the bottoms of windows and mirrors. When cleaning the tub or picking items up off the floor, squat and bend at the knees when reaching for objects, lunge while vacuuming or weeding the garden – both of which are great for your shoulders and arms.
Clean More Than Your Home
Spring cleaning isn’t just about the physical aspect of cleaning and purging either. Cleaning up your eating habits and routine is a great way to get back on track after the long winter months. Getting into a better sleeping routine is a sure way to have you feeling and looking better. And making movement a crucial part of your daily routine will help you keep your body agile and in shape – so you can proactively prevent injuries.
Your home is an excellent place to start, but don’t forget to include the rest of your life. Make sure you have your Chiropractic appointments scheduled into your routine and be sure to make fitness a part of this equation.
Enjoy yourself by putting on your favorite music or podcast. Make sure you enlist family members to help out with these tasks, so you don’t become overburdened with house/yard work. Tasks can be easily divided up and categorized per age group when involving children, especially if you can turn it into a game!
Life is better when it is decluttered, the fresh air flows, and we feel like we have accomplished something!
Get the Most From Your Walks: A Chiropractic Approach
More people are choosing to walk as a primary source of movement. Spending time outdoors has become a standard form of self-care, and smart devices with built-in pedometers have made tracking walking distance an easy way to chart progress.
Walking is a great way to maintain mobility, improve your mood and get some much-needed cardiovascular work that many of us are missing.
The Walking/Chiropractic Connection
A common misconception about walking is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The truth is, even with walking, form and footwear matter. Yes, walking is something we take for granted; it is something many of us do mindlessly to get around. As a chiropractor, I will share that walking for many people requires some thought about posture, core stability, gait, and footwear.
Walking is a perfect way to regulate and improve your sleep, mood, how you feel about your body, and stress levels; it supports a healthy immune system and can help develop a relationship with nature!
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractic care has many benefits, but our primary focus is ensuring you are preventing pain, stiffness, and injuries. Pain relief is a close second.
Improving your mobility and flexibility will help to loosen up tight muscles because flexible muscles are less likely to result in pain or injuries. This is done when you and your chiropractor discuss your walking goals, examine your gait, and develop a plan that includes stretching and exercise to ensure your walks are as beneficial as possible. The rest is up to you. Following this plan will ensure you remain pain-free while maximizing the benefits of your walks.
Pain relief is another focus of this work, particularly if you experience poor posture or a weak core. Unfortunately, walking can affect your back and hips if your spine is out of alignment, so regular adjustments are necessary.
Walking has many benefits that affect your circulatory system and organs and releases endorphins. Setting and achieving goals also releases endorphins. Tracking steps or distance and achieving daily and weekly goals will add to the feelings of happiness and accomplishment that come with moving your body.
How Much Walking is Recommended?
This depends entirely on your level of fitness and ability. Some people walk a scheduled 30 minutes before or after work, others walk during a time-limited lunch break, while others enjoy walking in the neighborhood with the family. The general rule of thumb is that at least 30 minutes a day of walking can help reduce the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If mobility is an issue, I would suggest starting at less than 30 minutes but working your way towards that goal if possible.
Otherwise, getting in a solid 60-minute walk a day can help you feel stronger and could help to melt some extra weight off. You’ll be pleased with your results if you are mindful of your posture and have well-fitted sneakers to ensure you get the most out of your walk.
Either way, any amount of movement is better than no movement. Don’t restrict yourself!
If you have any questions about your walking routine, contact us and find out what we can do to help you maximize your results!