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. 

The Benefits of Integrative Medicine

The Mayo Clinic recently released a study about the health benefits of adding massage and acupuncture to your healing plan. The study found that not only is massage beneficial for pain relief, but with the therapist's hands on approach, they may be able to feel areas of pain not otherwise recognized. It also found that acupuncture can have similar benefits. When the acupuncturist is palpating to find sensitive areas, they may be able to find additional areas of soreness or other abnormalities and discuss them with the patient's physician. 

Read the full article here.

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Holiday Travel

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Traveling can be rough on your body; especially around the holidays. Here are some quick tips to try and an article by the ACA. 

1.) Warm up and cool down. Sitting for prolonged periods can be hard on your body so just like exercise, stretch before and after. 

2.) Adjust the lumbar support in your car or, if on a plane, roll up pillows to create a lumbar support that follows the natural "S" curve of your spine

3.) Walk up and down the aisles of the plane and stretch. If traveling in a car, take frequent rest stops and stretch. 

Read the full article here.

Add Movement to Your Winter

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This time of year can be rough for those of us that like to get our movement in outdoors. Here are some good ways to add movement into your day when it’s cold and wet outside:

1. Make your meetings walking or standing meetings. Take a stroll with your colleagues around the office while you talk or just stand around the conference table while you meet.

2. Take stretch breaks. Spend 5-10 minutes twice a day stretching out your back, neck, hips, and shoulders. You can bend forward to touch your toes then grab the opposite elbow and gently sway side to side.

3. Foam Roll in the evenings while watching your favorite shows. Even just a few minutes on the foam roller every day will help loosen up tight, stiff muscles.

4. Add incidental movement to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car at the far end of the parking lot.

5. Stand at a counter while you eat your lunch instead of sitting.

6. Walk around while you take your phone calls.