Tag: injuries

Healthy Swellness: Don’t let pursuing your fitness goals give you back pain

davWith the warmer spring weather on its way, a lot of us are scrambling to get started on getting our beach bods back in time for summer. And while we may be considering how toned we want our arms to get, or of that six-pack of abs, the health of our back is not something we typically consider, but really should not be overlooked.

Ironically, as I write this, it was almost a year to the date that I discovered how important back health is in the most painful way. It’s hard to say for certain what caused me to throw out my back, but long flights and running both possibly contributed to the issue. What I can say for sure is that it is the most physical pain I have experienced ever. I couldn’t sit down, lie down, pull open a door, or move in any way without incredible pain. My pride kept me from crying actual tears, but there was much whimpering and crying on the inside. And the only way I found relief and got my back to health? Regular appointments with a chiropractor.

If you’ve never seen a chiro, I think they’re a health pro we could all use in our lives. For example, if you’ve thrown yourself into a new workout regimen this spring, remember how important proper form is. Improper form can cause injury to your spine, knees, and shoulders, says the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Three popular exercises, when done with bad form, that can and often do lead to back injuries are squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings.

First off, for these exercises, remember to maintain a neutral spine (to discover your neutral spine, stand backed up to a wall, with your head, upper back and tailbone touching the wall, with enough space for your fingers between the wall and your lower back). Next, keep these pointers in mind for each exercise:

Squats

Keep your chest up, and as you bend your knees, engage those glutes by lowering your body as though you were taking a seat. This form will help you maintain a neutral spine.

Deadlifts

As you hinge at the hip to perform your deadlift, envision a wall two feet behind you and imagine you are touching your glutes to this wall. This little tactic helps ensure you hinge at the hips instead of overusing your knees,

Kettlebell swings

Maintain that neutral spine as you swing so that you hinge at the hip and avoid straining the back. Swing the kettlebell only up to shoulder level (if you swing higher, you may compromise your neutral spine form.

Whether you’re just getting back into fitness or are a regular at working out, make sure you can continue your exercise routine by caring for your back, bones, muscles, joints and central  nervous system. You can find more essential info on keeping your back health in check at www.chiropractic.on.ca. And while you’re at it, on the site, you can find a local chiropractor who can help you learn about and maintain your back health.

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Leave a Comment May 1, 2017

Running tip of the week

Late post, yet again–too much running, I tell ya! I missed last week’s clinic (again) due to work. The scheduled guest speaker was Christine Felstead; I don’t have any notes from the night as my running buddy had to skip the clinic as well.

Although I missed the clinic, I do have Christine’s DVD, Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners. I’ve never done the DVD, so I figured this was a good time to finally try it (plus, my left calf muscle feel twinge-y during yesterday’s run, which kinda freaked me out big time).

It’s broken down into four sections: Foundation, Lower Back, Hamstrings and Hips. Today, I decided to try Foundation. This 10-minute section featured conscious breathing, equal standing, cross-legged sitting, hero pose and legs up the wall–and I found myself feeling nice and zen from it, and wanted to do a little more so I decided to try the Hamstrings section as well.

BTW, you need a yoga strap for the Hamstrings section so I grabbed my pink Jogi strap and seven minutes later, my hamstrings and calves feel less tight already.

Since I never stretch (bad, bad, bad, I know!), I’m going to try to complete at least one section of the DVD after my runs. I’d be crushed to not run in my upcoming half-marathons (I’ve now got two races in May!) so it’s time to get more serious with it all and do what I can to remain injury-free.

Leave a Comment April 11, 2011


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