It's Never Too Late to Get Fit!
Being over 50 doesn't mean being “over the hill”, even for people who have never exercised regularly. Despite years of sedentary living, it is still possible to become physically fit, according to Dr. Fred W. Kasch, director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at San Diego State University. In a study of three groups of men between the ages of 45 and 55, Dr. Kasch found that men who had rarely exercised before could achieve levels of fitness almost equal to those of their counterparts who had exercised regularly for 10 years.
Six Painless Ways to Eat Less Without Feeling Hungry
Going Back To School Can Be “Back-Breaking”
Summer vacation is over, and kids are going back to school. Each morning, millions of elementary, high school and college students across the nation are racing to the school bus or scurrying to their classes with an overstuffed back pack slung over one shoulder. While carrying a backpack might seem harmless enough, it can cause some painful back and neck problems for students who don’t pack or carry their backpacks properly. Back pain is pervasive in our society. Eighty percent of us will suffer from it at some point in our lives, and 50 percent of us will suffer from low back pain this year alone. Low back pain is the most common health complaint experienced by working Americans today, a condition which cost the economy at least $50 billion a year in lost wages and productivity. Much of this suffering is brought on by bad habits initiated during our younger years, such as carrying backpacks to school. The improper use of backpacks can lead to muscle imbalance that may turn into chronic back and neck problems later in life.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The American Chiropractic Association’s council on Occupational Health and the doctors of Bradley Chiropractic offer the following tips to help prevent the needless pain an overstuffed backpack can cause the student of your household. (And, now that backpacks have begun to replace briefcases in the work places, you. too, might want to follow this advice):
Make sure your child’s back pack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. Beyond that weight, the backpack will cause your child to begin bending forward in an attempt to support the weight on the back rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
CHIROPRACTIC AND SPORT
Athletic activities involve body mechanics. An athlete relies on proper dynamics of body movement for optimal performance. Chiropractic helps restore and maintain proper dynamics of motion.
Chiropractic care can improve athletic performance by enhancing joint function. An athlete's body is like a finely tuned machine: the more optimally its parts are moving together, the more efficient will be its performance. In athletic competition, where the difference between victory and defeat is measured in inches or split seconds, relative body mechanics can make the difference.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can further help the athlete by aiding in the prevention of injury. Strains, sprains, and other common athletic injuries are often caused by faculty joint mobility. A joint in which there is restricted movement will not only be more easily sprained, but it will also place increased demands on other joints by forcing them to compensate, rendering them more susceptible to injury as well. A regular program of chiropractic treatments can reduce the likelihood of injury by keeping the joints mobile.
The U.S. Olympic team has been including chiropractors on the medical staff since 1980. Numerous athletic careers have been helped by chiropractic care. More often, however, promising careers are impaired or cut short by disabling back ailments for which chiropractic care is never sought. Every serious athlete, whether a sufferer of such problems or not, should seek the benefits of chiropractic treatment for the relief and/or prevention of such debilitating problems as well as for maximizing performance.
Preventing Sports Injuries
There are three main areas in which sports injuries may be prevented. First, and foremost, is the strength of the skeletal muscles. The majority of sports injuries occur through a deficiency in strength, stamina, flexibility, or skill-deficiencies that directly relate to some aspect of the skeletal muscles. For example, the majority of injuries during team sports occur in the closing stages of the game, when fatigue causes movements to become uncoordinated and accidents more likely. The fitness demands of any activity need to be assessed and a training schedule needs to be devised that will prepare the competitor to cope with likely traumatic situations.
The second area is protective equipment, which tends to either support or shield parts of the body at risk. In general, sport is in itself a developmental activity, such development occurring through body parts being gradually and increasingly stressed and compensating for this extra load. This development will occur in almost all body tissue but can occur only if the tissue is exposed to overload. For instance, ligaments that are supported artificially will not develop in strength because they are not being subjected to gradually increasing stress. On the other hand, ligaments that are not supported artificially may suddenly become subjected to too much stress, resulting in severe injury. Artificial support (taping and wrapping) also tends to restrict movements and can handicap skillful performance. Even more important, artificial support that gives way suddenly under stress can throw an even greater burden on an ill-prepared jomt, resulting in even more serious injury.
The third aspect of injury prevention is the game, or contest rules themselves. Whatever athletes may think, most rules are framed by experienced competitors or ex-competitors in order to make the game more enjoyable, demanding, and safe. A willingness to adhere to the rules by all concerned would drastically reduce the incidence of sports injuries.
SPORTS SAFETY GUIDELINES
RULES FOR WEEKEND ATHLETES
Try to stay in condition year round. Establish an exercise routine for off season. Establish a schedule of maintenance exercises that can be used during the week as well. It need not be too time-consuming or aggressive but does need to be regular. Don't overdo your weekend participation. Learn to pace yourself and recognize when you are tired. Don't try to prove how strong you are or young you feel. Act your age, and engage only in activities in keeping with your age and physical condition. Be careful of fast starts and stops, twisting, unusual positions, and jarring body contact. If you should suffer an injury or a pulled muscle, don't put off treatment. See a doctor of chiropractic immediately to avoid serious complications.