Staying Healthy as a Weekend Warrior
Millions of people participate in sports each weekend as a way to stay active and stay connected to their friends. Inevitably as we age, the likelihood of an unexpected injury creeps up; so how can you stay healthy as a weekend warrior? You may be surprised to learn that the proactive steps you take during the week to stay well will directly impact your ability to keep enjoying your weekend sports.
Why it Matters:
Weekend sports such as a softball game may last a few hours. If you enjoy hiking or mountain biking, you may be looking at 4-6 hours of sports activities each weekend. Either way, it’s a short amount of time compared to the number of hours you spend working each week. That is why taking daily, proactive steps with your health are so important. Stretching to improve your mobility, strengthening to improve your support, and moving through your entire range of motion can help you feel more energized each day and potentially reduce your risk of injury on the weekends.
- Weekend warriors have a 40% lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.
- At least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is recommended each week.
- Regular exercise during the week may help reduce your risk of injury on the weekends.
Building a new health habit takes time. Using your smartwatch or a health app is a great way to receive reminders to get up and stretch and move your body. The small steps you take to maintain a balance of strength and flexibility will help you continue to enjoy your weekends. Getting older doesn’t mean you need to stop playing sports, but it does mean that you should be smart about your approach.
Why Pro Athletes Choose Chiropractic
For over 100 years, professional athletes of all kinds have used chiropractic care to recover, reduce their likelihood of injury, and even get an edge in performance. But what used to be a secret is now well-known, and chiropractic care is used by sports teams from high school right up through the pros. Historically, the medical staff of pro sports teams have been focused on helping athletes recover from injuries rather than finding ways to improve their performance (that was left to the coaches). Chiropractors provide a unique bridge between the player, coach, and medical team by focusing on injury prevention, mobility, and performance.
Why it Matters:
Pro sports are big businesses, and athletes, coaches, and owners always maximize their talent. What began as a way to reduce injuries has advanced into a way to improve performance. New research shows how spinal adjustments can influence the brain, spinal cord, and even muscle strength. Here are three exciting findings from the research.
- Motor control and movement patterns can be influenced by receiving a spinal adjustment.
- Spinal adjustments can alter how you process pain.
- Increases in muscle strength have been found after a spinal adjustment.
Pro athletes choose chiropractic for many different reasons. For some, it’s the focus on mobility, while others are looking for a performance edge. No matter what drives an athlete to seek out a chiropractor’s expertise, one thing is for sure- the use of chiropractic care in competitive athletics is here to stay.
Can an Adjustment Help My Athletic Performance?
You may have heard that chiropractic care can help improve your athletic performance. Is it true? The truth is that many athletes work with chiropractors to improve their performance. Chiropractors unique outlook on health and well-being is a perfect match for athletes and people looking to stay active. To perform at your highest level, you need to optimize your body’s structure and function.
Why it Matters:
Sports keep getting more competitive. Even a slight edge can make the difference between success and failure. Athletes of all ages are always looking for a natural advantage that can help improve their perfor- mance. Exciting new research has shown that spinal adjustments can influence muscle strength, balance, and endurance. Here are the three key takeaways:
- Pain can reduce your strength, balance, and endurance.
- Spinal adjustments can improve joint and tissue motion.
- Chiropractic patients have been found to have improved strength and endurance .
Proactively working with a chiropractor, whether you are in pain or not, is a smart idea for athletes of all ability levels. Assessing your movement patterns, making adjustments when necessary, and helping you craft an at-home exercise plan are just a few of the ways chiropractors help athletes improve their performance.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Sports Injuries
As an athlete, there is nothing worse than being sidelined with an injury. Many athletes report that recovery’s mental aspects are just as hard, if not harder, than the physical recovery. With the proper plan of action, many sports injuries can be prevented. Improper training, incorrect stretching routines, and a lack of a good warm-up can lead to an increased likelihood of sprains, strains, and muscle injuries.
Why it Matters:
Developing a fitness plan that includes dynamic stretching, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise can help decrease your chance of injury. Each aspect of your plan requires movement or biomechanics. Biomechanics is the science of how your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement. Ensuring that you have optimal biomechanics is critical if you hope to reduce your chance of injury. Altered biomechanics in one body joint can lead to compensations in others resulting in pain, increased risk of injury, or potentially advanced degeneration.
- Take time to move through your bodies full range of motion each day.
- Alternative training different muscles groups every other day.
- Schedule periodic movement assessments to improve your biomechanics.
Movement assessments are an essential part of every chiropractic evaluation. Chiropractors are trained to carefully examine your biomechanics and provide both passive and active ways to improve them. No two people move the same, which is why having a qualified healthcare professional analyze your movement is so important. By identifying altered biomechanics before you have pain and discomfort, you may not only be able to reduce your risk of injury but maybe even improve your performance.
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Neurophysiological Effects of Spinal Manipulation. Spine Journal. 2002.
Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2020.
Preventing Sports Injuries. University of Rochester Medical Center. 2023.
Does Maintained Spinal Manipulation Therapy Result in Better Long-Term Outcome? Spine. 2011.