By: Dr. Ryan Lee
The cooler weather will soon be upon us, and there’s plenty of things to do when it’s time to head outside. This Autumn season, you can still enjoy the fun of fall without feeling stiff or sore. We’ve put together these tips to help you stay active and pain free during all the fall activities. From playing in leaves to apple picking and fall sports, it’s important to keep your body aligned and moving so you can enjoy the season without any pain.
We all love cuddling up with a blanket and a good book or watching a movie in the fall, but it’s also important to stay active. Exercise and physical activity is not just for maintaining a good physical health. It is important for mental health as well. Thankfully, there are so many ways to stay active during the fall season. From hiking to pumpkin picking, to playing in the leaves with the kids, there are plenty of ways to get a good workout in.
The fall is a great time for outdoor activities and yardwork. From cleaning up your yard to raking leaves, you’ll be spending a long time doing outside activities. This can lead to stiff, sore muscles and joints. To avoid getting an injury it’s important to warm up before working outdoors. Before spending too much time lifting and bending, be sure to take the time to stretch and get your body warmed up. Warming up before any kind of physical activity will help to improve muscle elasticity and allow for efficient cooling, meaning there’s less of a chance that you’ll accidentally hurt yourself. To start warming up, try taking two minutes to stretch both sides of the upper body. Then take two minutes for the lower back and hips. After that, you’re ready to go and accomplish all of your outdoor fall chores!
Keep Proper Form
Back, neck, and shoulder pain can occur due to poor posture and injuries can be caused by both light and strenuous activity. Whether you’re pulling boxes of holiday decorations out of the attic, doing yard work, or washing windows, maintaining correct form is important to staying safe. To keep good form while you’re doing chores and activities follow these tips:
- keep your spine straight
- lift heavy objects with your legs (don’t bend at the waist and round your back when picking up heavy items)
- don’t twist when lifting
- don’t sit, stand, or lay in positions that strain your neck.
- Wear appropriate shoes
Wear comfortable shoes
You should wear comfortable shoes at all times. However, in the fall, it is especially important because people are often spending more time outside to enjoy the cooler weather. You’ll also be walking on many different surfaces when you go out– hard pavement, slick grass or freshly fallen leaves–so be sure to wear a shoe that is comfortable and has a good grip. It’s also vital to wear shoes that are already broken in and comfy. Making certain your feet are comfortable can prevent strain on the back from an unnatural stride.
Water is essential for all bodily functions, like digestion and circulation. As the weather changes and the air gets cooler, many people forget to hydrate. This is especially important if you’re out doing your Fall activities like hiking, apple picking, pumpkin picking or raking leaves. Not adequately hydrating can lead to muscle cramps, dizzy spells, and inadequate sleep. Water, herbal teas, and electrolyte drinks are perfect to help offset dehydration. Drink before, during and after a strenuous activity (or just when you feel thirsty). Drinking fluids after an activity helps replace what was lost during exercise. Everyone needs to keep drinking water in the fall and throughout the rest of the year. Being well hydrated not only helps to keep your joints flexible, which can prevent injury, but it also works to improve health and keep sickness at bay.
If you have a lot of outdoor yardwork to get done, don’t try to cram it all into all into one 12-hour yard work session. This puts your body under a lot of strain and can lead to injury. If you can, break up the work into shorter sessions. Instead of putting your body through the ringer all day, it’s perfectly okay to take a break to recharge or even spread tasks out over several days. Be sure to stop and rest if you start feeling sharp pain while working. Continuing to exercise or put pressure on pain can make it worse.
Visit the chiropractor
Regular chiropractic visits during the fall should be on your to-do-list to help you stay active and pain free as the weather gets cooler. Visit Reach Health and Wellness for an adjustment to keep your body functioning efficiently.
Maintain health this autumn by following these tips. Taking these things into consideration will help to improve health conditions and keep sickness at bay as much as possible this fall.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.