Warm Up & Cool Down

No, that's not a clever way to discuss the current weather patterns in Portland. Warming up prior to you work out or exercise routine and cooling down after are just as important as your activity. 

Warming up increases the temperature of your muscles for increased flexibility and mobility. It also dilates your blood vessels to increase oxygen flow throughout the body. A warm up slowly raises your heart rate and reduces stress on your heart. When you include a stretch in your warm up you increase range of motion and mobility in your joints preventing injury. Warm up for at least 5-10 minutes doing a similar activity to the one you have planned (walk before a run). 

Cooling down allows your heart rate to come down gradually and your blood vessels to contract so you don't pass out or feel sick. Including a stretch in your cool down will help the build up of lactic acid (known for soreness and stiffness) in your muscles. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and don't bounce. 

Including these in your summer activities will help improve your overall health. 

Gardening Can Be Hard on Your Body

Spring is a great time to get outside and garden. But the bending and lifting can be hard on your body. Make sure that you stretch and warm up prior to getting in the garden! Here are some great stretches for the garden:

- Stand and balance yourself on one foot. Grab your ankle from behind and pull your heel towards your buttocks. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. Release and switch legs. 

- Weave your fingers together and press your palms towards the sky. Lean to one side and then slowly to the other. Hold for at least 15 seconds on each side. 

- Put your arms around yourself and "hug" yourself. Rotate back and forth to each side slowly. 

- Finally, chiropractic care can help! 

Read more about gardening tips and tricks for your body.

Get Out and Do Something Active!

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month so get out there and get active! Regular physical activity can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Exercising regularly strengthens muscles, reduces fat, controls your weight, and improves your sleep (among other things). 

There are lots of way for adults to get the recommended 30 minutes per day of physical activity. It doesn't have to mean going to gym or a spin class. Look for ways to incorporate into your every day life like taking the stairs or parking your car farther away from your intended destination. 

You can also add balancing exercises into your routine in order to improve muscle control and function. Stretching during TV time is also an easy activity to improve flexibility to reduce the risk of injury. 

A few other fun ways to stay active (especially as the weather improves): plant and care for a vegetable garden, wash the car, take a walk to catch up with a friend instead of calling them, take your coffee on a walk during your break, and walk the dog as a whole family. 

Get out there and get active! 

Essential Oils for Pain Relief

Rosehip oil isn't just for your face. It's been shown to have anti inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint pain. It can be a good alternative for those who can't take NSAIDs. 

In addition to lavender oil being calming and something that can help relieve anxiety, a 2012 study found that inhaling lavender oil helped relieve migraine pain. It's also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Eucalyptus oil also has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2013 study found that it can lower blood pressure when inhaled. 

Suffering from IBS including abdominal pain? Peppermint oil can help with that (but consult your doctor first). It's also been shown to help relieve tension headaches when used topically. 

This article has 5 additional oils that have been shown to have pain relieving properties. 

 

Massage and Your Health

Massage isn't just for relaxation. Sure, it can improve stress levels and calm those jittery nerves but it also has the ability to help heal injuries. Some of the different massage techniques are listed on our site. The Mayo Clinic published an article discussing the benefits of massage for relieving a wide variety of issues including digestive disorders, headaches, and sports injuries. 

Some of the questions we get about massage include:

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit? 

Where will my massage session take place and what should I wear? 

What do I do during a massage therapy treatment? 

How should I expect to feel after my massage? 

These questions, their answers and more can be read on our massage FAQ page.