EXERCISE - "But it's getting cold outside"!
Golf season is winding down - but let's face it - it is a bit difficult to find those errant balls underneath the leaves. As they say 'been there, done that'. Frustrating, isn't it?
If you are a jogger or a runner, the cool weather is certainly more comfortable but with the cooler air remember to breathe properly - breathe in through your nose in order to warm the air a little bit before it enters your lungs.
Notice how I have been 'talking' about activities that involve walking (assuming you do not ride a golf cart) and running. These are good activities which provide excellent exercise for our leg and hip muscles, and most importantly our heart and lungs. But as the season changes from Fall to Winter, many people prefer to change their activity to a warmer venue. While wintering in Florida or the Caribbean would be a nice option (sun, beaches, warm air), it is not possible for everyone. So - what to do?
What options do I have?
Good question - and there are a lot of things to choose from. Obviously it goes without saying that if you have been inactive or sedentary for quite some time, check with your health care professional as to what you should consider for a fitness program or exercise activity. Depending upon your situation, an EKG to check your heart function, and blood work, might not be a bad idea - as they say 'better to be safe rather than sorry'!
Hint: If you are having problems with your feet, ankles, knees or hips, check with your health care professional as to whether orthotics (which are customized arch supports) may be helpful.
Aqua exercise is becoming very popular as this helps to reduce the strain on your hips, knees and lower back. There are usually a couple of options available at pools. One would be in shallow water (and sometimes these pools are heated) or deep water (wearing a water belt). If you don't swim, talk to the instructor about the deep water classes. I have some patients who could not 'swim a stroke' but enjoy the deep water classes and feel quite safe with the water belt. The water belts make it easy to stay afloat and there is no impact on your leg joints (especially if you have had hip or knee replacements). There are a lot of arm movements with water aerobics so if you have a shoulder problem be cautious - talk to your health care professional or the aquatic instructor for alternative exercises.
Hint: If you sprain a ligament or strain a muscle, use ice - not heat. Applying ice every couple of hours for 15-20 minutes is best. Gel packs (like we use in this clinic) are great - they are soft enough to conform to your body or wrap around a joint. You can also use a bag of frozen peas or corn, or crushed ice. You can also make an ice pack using a hot water bottle with a screw cap. Mix a 50/50 mixture of water and anti-freeze (or windshield washer fluid). Putting the hot water bottle in the freezer will keep it cold but also 'mushy'.
Generally buckwheat packs or Magic Bags do not get cold enough, or stay cold long enough to be of any significant benefit (at least based on my clinical experience over the years).
If you have an injury that does not ease with ice and rest over a 24-48 hour period, you should consult with your chiropractor. Chiropractors deal with strains and sprains every day.
November is National Osteoporosis Month. Learn more about osteoporosis by checking the articles section of the clinic website (www.halifaxchiropractic.ca) or by visiting the website of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada (www.osteoporosis.ca).
So there are a lot of options -
Perhaps a few more than you may have thought of. So start checking things out now so you are ready when the snow flies. You can look at it in a different way - starting now gives you a 'jump' on your New Year's resolutions. So it's time to get active - do it for your health and well being - not to mention that you want to say active for many years to come. Remember golf season is only a few months away (unless you are opting for 'down South').
Reprinted with permission of