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How to Breathe Better

You are doing it at this very moment. Oxygen is coming in, CO2 is going out. You are breathing.

The chances are, you don’t ever even think about the fact that you are breathing. You do not ponder how it actually happens – its import; its very nature. The only time you ever really give it much thought is when you are having difficulty breathing – when you are short of breath.

Although you may not necessarily be breathing wrong – and this is evident by the very fact that you are alive – there are still some benefits that come with having to focus on your breathing. Improving your breathing and employing a specific breathing technique can actually lower your blood pressure, decrease your stress, and optimize athletic performance.

Three Better Breathing Techniques

As a way to ensure that you improve your breathing techniques, Chiropractic Clinic Houston has developed a breathing protocol for all patients to follow. Whether you are at the office or at the gym, these principles were designed to help you become more productive throughout your day.

All you really need is a minute or two to do this exercise. Focusing on your breathing for just this short amount of time is enough to improve your health and stress levels.

The first thing you need to do is breathe deeply at work. Take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the moment while you are at work. Don’t concern yourself with the multiple tasks that you must complete by the end of the day – just focus on your breathing. Focus on inhaling all that oxygen – slowly and calmly – and then easily exhaling all the carbon dioxide. Many of the most disputatious individuals in the workplace could significantly benefit from this tactic – making them more relaxed and more of a pleasure to be around. Put one hand on your chest and another on your abdomen; breathe in slowly and feel your diaphragm push your abdomen out.

Focus during your workout warm up. Because breathing is so important when it comes to athletic performances, taking some time to focus on breathing prior to an athletic event can significantly improve your performance. It helps you focus and get in the zone. Many of the greatest athletes in the entire world take time throughout their athletic performances to take a deep breath. Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid is one example. Prior to his free kicks, he takes a deep breath. He looks so focused and in the zone during the entire process, and we posit that this technique is one of the reasons why he is so good at converting shots to goals from outside the box.

Breathing during your workout. How you breathe while you are working out has a big impact on your performance. if you want to be able to life as much as possible, then you are going to have to do the prior breathing work to get yourself in the zone. To employ this technique properly, take a deep breath before you life and hold that breath while you lift. Be certain to exhale on the release. This is very important.

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How to Stay Energized at Work

Getting through the workday can be quite a challenge. The degree to which we sit for long periods of time throughout the course of any given day is unprecedented. Nowhere in human biology or nature were we designed for this. But such is the nature of society as it stands today. The vicissitudes of life, coupled with the reality that, to eat and to ultimately live, man needs to work, leads to the challenge of having to live a life composed mostly of sitting and remaining inactive. In this article, Chiropractic Clinic Houston will first make the case that an inactive life is a great threat to one’s health and vitality; and follow that up with solutions – solutions to improving one’s health despite the daily demands at work.

To cope with this reality, many turn to coffee, or sugar, or some alternative form of caffeine. These people are looking for a way to stay energized – and to a certain extent, their formula works. The coffee, the sugar, the caffeine – they all help one remain more alert. But for those who don’t want to essentially drug themselves in order to stay awake, there are other methods for staying energized at work.

Go for a walk. While on your lunch break, do your body a favor and go for a walk. Don’t sit and eat at your desk. That is just an easy way to pack on the pounds. Go out, get some fresh air; and if it’s raining, don’t let that stop you – use an umbrella. Walking is an easy and simple way to re-energize yourself. Most of us know this, but sadly, very few actually commit to the daily walk.

Get sleep. Eight hours of sleep – that is the magic number. Anything less, and you are not giving your body the rest it needs to operate at its best. Any more, and you are basically signaling to your body to go into hibernation mode – a sluggish, undesirable state that we highly recommend you stay away from. To fix your sleeping pattern – if that is a problem for you – make sure to get up early. Within a day, you will reset your cycle.

Eat a healthy lunch. This is common sense – for the most part. Of course, we all know that a quarter pounder with cheese is not that great for us. But how many are aware that even the vast majority of sandwiches from sub shops are incredibly oily and unhealthy as well? We think we are fooling ourselves by getting a footlong sub – that we are eating healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chances are, that sandwich is stuffed with fatty animal products that will only clog your arteries.

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Incorporating Fitness Into Your Busy Schedule

We all know that in the 21st century, where more and more value is placed on man’s capacity to use his mind and intellect as opposed to his body, the majority of us spend most of our waking hours inactive, sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer. Although office jobs tend to bring in loads of cash, they tend not to be so profitable in the eyes of the body. At the Chiropractic Clinic Houston, our chiropractors have studied the effects of prolonged sitting on the body; the results have just come in, and are not so promising. According to Chiropractic Clinic studies, sitting for up to eight hours a day increases one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The reason: prolonged sitting causes muscles to burn less fat, and this leads to poorer blood flow in the body. Besides just type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, other studies, in aggregate, have now found that up to 24 diseases develop as a result of physical inertness. This is terrible news for most Americans – the nation that spends more waking hours in chairs than any other.

What can be done about this? How can the health conscious individuals optimize their health without giving up their high-paying, white-collared job? Our Chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have composed a list of what can be done.

  • Get up from your chair at least once every hour. Some studies have shown that getting up from one’s desk once every hour to move around for just a few minutes can increase overall blood flow and prevent the body from burning fat more sluggishly. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston beseech all of our patients to make sure they get up, stretch, and take a nice, slow, walk around the office once every forty-five minutes. Some think this is not possible, as the demands to perform well at work are too high, and two minutes walking is two minutes not working. However, if one thinks long-term, if one takes into account the value of staying healthy and vigorous, one can easily conclude that the two minute investment is well worth it.
  • Walk to work. This may be difficult for most individuals, particularly those living in Houston, where commutes are long and the streets and public infrastructure are egregious. Yet, if it is possible, our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston exhort folks to walk to work. If it means waking up thirty minutes earlier, it may appear like too pricy of an investment, but again, in the long-term it’s like giving up peanuts for the most important thing in your life, your physical well-being.
  • Take a walk in the local park during lunch hour. The majority of us do get one hour off to eat lunch. Use that time wisely. Take your food to go and eat it while walking in the park. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s smart. Our Chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston seem to take walks religiously – almost compulsively. We know that walking is healthy for us, and, being that we care so much about health, we try to get as much walking done in our lives as possible.
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How Texting Is Negatively Affecting Our Neck and Posture

Beep, beep beep! Our smart phones are constantly going off with text alerts. Our friends, relatives, and coworkers are communicating with us via text chat or email. Although reading and responding to a text doesn’t take that long, we are sending hundreds and thousands of texts per day, all while looking down. This all adds up. The average smart phone user spends anywhere from two to four hours looking at down at their smart phone. This makes close to 1400 hours of stress on the cervical spine per year. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston are committed to sharing the most cutting-edge research on how much damage we are doing to our necks by constantly looking down.

Stress on One’s Spine

One cannot continue to look down at his or her phone for two to four hours per day. A lot of wear and tear is occurring as a result; it is making people ill and affecting their posture.
The average head weight 11 pounds. That certainly is a ton of weight that must be handled by the neck. But if we add an angle as we look down, we are adding even more stress on our necks. At zero degrees, there’s only about 12 pounds of pressure; this is tolerable. But at a 15 degree downward slant, there is a whopping 27 lbs. That is an increase of over one hundred percent! This is no good and we must all be very vigilant as to how often we look down.

Over time, the neck is going to get weaker and weaker, and as it does, one will begin to slouch. This is going to lead to a very unbecoming posture – something we all want to avoid. But the problem is, do we give up our smart phones or do we live with bad posture? Fortunately, this is a false dichotomy. There is much that can be done to help one improve his or her posture. It takes great time, and great effort, but thankfully it can be done.

Treating Neck Problems

Contrary to popular belief, the neck can be strengthened. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have developed an incredibly useful and effective strengthening program specifically for the neck. You can get an idea of what sort of exercises you will be doing by reading our article on neck strengthening exercises. From the Chiropractic Clinic resisted neck lateral flexion exercise to the simple resisted neck tension exercise, our chiropractors will put you to work – and will promise to deliver fantastic results.

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Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar tendinitis affects the tendon that attaches one’s kneecap, known as the patella, to one’s shinbone. This tendon plays a crucial role in the way one’s leg muscles work. Without it, kicking, running, jumping, would not be possible.

A great many athletes that play sports requiring jumping develop tendinitis. This is why patellar tendinitis is also, in common parlance, called jumper’s knee.

Symptoms of Jumper’s Knee

The first sign of jumper’s knee is pain – a lot of it. The pain is generally located on the tendon between one’s kneecap and shinbone. For many, they feel as though their knee is going to give out any second. A sport such as basketball is just not possible when you have an injury of this sort. There is just far too much pain. So, for those that are athletes, particularly basketball players – if you are experiencing a lot of pain in the region between your kneecap and shinbone, and your performance is dipping faster than a the appearance and disappearance of a shooting star, then, chances are, you have patellar tendinitis.

From here, the pain gradually gets worse and worse – and it will continue to get worse until and unless one seeks treatment. That is why, at Chiropractic Clinic Houston, our chiropractors beseech all who experience uncomfortable knee pain to get chiropractic treatment. Without treatment, the pain will get so bad that, at some point, simply climbing a flight of stairs will become impossible.

Causes of Jumper’s Knee

When continuous stress is placed on one’s patellar tendon, jumper’s knee begins to develop. The stress causes tiny tears in the knee. These tears vitiate the structure of the knee – making daily physical activities more of a challenge.

Another factor resulting in the development of jumper’s knee is a sudden increase in the intensity or frequency of physical activity. For that reason, our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston exhort all to take it easy when returning to physical activity. Our chiropractors also enjoin athletes to do dynamic stretches prior to vigorous and demanding workouts.

Our Chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston

Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have developed a specialized treatment protocol to help reverse patellar tendinitis pain and damage. This fine-tuned treatment protocol has successfully helped countless college and professional athletes return to optimal form.

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Running Long Distance

It’s December – one of the coldest months of the year – and yet, contrary to popular belief, it is a great time for marathon and long distance running. Many races are being held just before Christmas rolls around. And that means many months of hard work – long, arduous hours spent in preparation for this moment. Yes, although we don’t like to believe it, although we’d like to believe that one could just get out of bed, slip on some shorts and sneakers, and hit the pavement like a natural born Kenyan, the majority of us need to prepare, we need to spend months working on building up our endurance. Failing to do so can be not only detrimental, but even fatal at times. Do you like cramps? Well, chances are you’re going to experience a slew of them if you don’t prepare. Don’t like collapsing from exhaustion? Well, that too may happen if you do not prepare. But what does it take to prepare? How does one go about getting in shape – getting ready for one of the most intense sporting events in existence? The answer our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have supplied is illustrative, and by no means the only way to get into top notch shape. However, the Chiropractic Clinic Houston methodology has been employed for years, achieving successful results countless times since it was first shared to the public.

Chiropractic Clinic Houston Race & Training Preparation

  1. Start simple. When you first start running, you don’t want to tax yourself; you don’t want to go overboard and demand too much from your body, as exposure to such rigor can come as a shock to the body. It doesn’t matter if one has the size, speed, strength, or athleticism – if one has taken part in an exercise as demanding as a marathon in quite a while, it is wise to start simple. Ease into it. Run a 5k race before you try a 10k, and don’t even think about anything longer than 10k until you can consistently perform well in the 10k without feeling emaciated afterwards. If you are new to running, don’t even concern yourself with the race. Just take part in that first marathon and finish it, even if it means you have to walk the second half of it.
  2. Stay local. By choosing to partake in a local marathon, you don’t run the risk of getting jet lag, or home sick, or any of the other anomalous occurrences that negatively affect the body. Seasoned, veteran runners are used to the travel, but for those who are just starting out, traveling can be almost as taxing as the actual race. Staying close to home also means that, in case anything were to happen to you, such as, say, a knee injury, you’d have family and friends to take care of you during your recovery process.
  3. Good shoes. This could easily be listed at number one. You do not want to skimp out on the most important equipment of all: your shoes. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston consider footwear to be the make or break equipment in all sports. And they have come to develop this knowledge through inductive reasoning, as a result of having to deal with patients with plantar fasciitis, and tendinosis, and a slew of other injuries that result from bad footwear. Running shoes can last anywhere from three hundred to eight hundred miles. Assuming you run twenty five miles per week (and we are hoping you are running more if you are training for a marathon), your shoes ought to last for a good four or five months. Sadly, the majority of runners, even committed ones who run competitively, do not change their running shoes often enough.
  4. Log miles. Keeping track of your progress is incredibly valuable. It is a great motivator in and of itself. Being able to know how well you did this week relative to last can also help you identify what you can do to make sure that your next week is even better. Introspection is wonderful, and many great runners can just feel when they are at their best, but nothing can be more precise than actual numbers. Wearing a GPS watch or just using ones phone can be a great way to keep track of where one is going – which is a great way to motivate oneself.

Most chiropractors, including sports injury therapists in Houston, would not hesitate to admit that running, although great for one’s health, can be deleterious if performed excessively. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston, TX do not disagree with such an affirmation. No doubt, running can be harmful if done in excess. But the question arises: how can one mitigate the damages incurred from pounding the pavement for years on end? The Chiropractic Clinic Houston injury prevention protocol is among the most coveted programs in existence. With it, an athlete can be sure to maintain optimal health for years to come.

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Glute Strengthening Exercises

The gluteus maximus is not only a fun word to say, but it’s also a very important muscle. Located in the rear end, its function is to act upon the pelvis, supporting it and the trunk upon the head of the femur. Weak glutes often lead to lower body injuries that can leave one sidelined or hobbling around for quite a long time. Many strength trainers seem to overlook the need to exercise the glutes, leaving them and their clients with an unbalanced body. And so, it is fair to conclude that whenever one exercises the hamstring muscles, it is also important for him or her to exercise the glutes; for if the hamstring muscles get strong but the glute muscles remain weak, then the likelihood of developing a hip injury increases dramatically. Chiropractic Clinic Houston has made an effort to introduce the importance of glute strengthening exercises to all of its clients. A healthy pelvis and lower body depend on a gluteus maximus strength exercising program. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have put their heads together to develop the ultimate glute strengthening exercise program. With this program, objective and verifiable results are guaranteed within weeks.

Exercises

Prior to doing any of these exercises, it is very important to warm up. Whether you want to walk or jog, make sure you warm up until you break a sweat. You don’t want feel loose and warm, not cool and stiff. This is very important. Choosing to forgo a pre-exercise warm up can result in calamitous damage to one’s muscles. Most muscle strains and tears occur because the body has not acclimated itself – it is not ready to undergo such high levels of stress which exercise demands. Our chiropractors understand that most people live busy lives and spending twenty minutes warming up seems like a waste of time. But, despite it seeming like a burden, it is a must. Thinking of your warm ups as an investment is very useful. In essence, you are investing a small portion of your time to significantly reduce the chances of developing an injury – an injury that may leave one sidelined for up to six months. A twenty minute preventative exercise is worth the time if it means that you most likely won’t tear a muscle and have to go through hours and hours of rehab.

Single Leg Deadlift: After the warm up, this is a great exercise to begin with. Stand on one leg, with the other straight and up in the air behind you. Lean forward, still with one foot planted on the ground and the other straight behind you. Hold for a second or two and return to the normal position. Repeat this ten to twenty times, or until you feel the burn. Then switch and do the other leg.

Lunge Stretch: This is among one of the most effective and highly-touted exercises for strengthening not only the glutes, but the hamstrings as well. This exercise also improves flexibility. Simply step forward with one leg and lower your back knee, keeping the knee you use to step forward with over your ankle. Hold for twenty to thirty seconds on each side. Be careful not to stretch too far, as this can lead to a strain, or, even worse, a tear. Play it conservative; don’t stretch if it feels uncomfortable. You will progressively get more and more flexible as you do this exercise on a regular basis.

One-Legged Squat The one-legged squat is among one of the most difficult exercises in existence. This exercise, if done improperly, can lead to a strain or tear. So be careful. If you have trouble doing two-legged squats, don’t even try doing a one-legged one. Make sure you can do at least thirty to forty two-legged squats before you even attempt the one-legged variation. With one-legged squats, you want to plant one foot firmly on the ground, with the other one out in front of you. Keep the leg that is not on the ground at a 45 degree angle. You will notice if you try sticking your leg straight out that there will be some discomfort. Make sure that when you do this exercise, you start shallow, trying not to bend too far down right away. Much like the lunge stretch, the more often you do the exercise, the more comfortable you will become in taking the exercise to the next level and making it a bit more challenging.

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Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston can help you perfect your form so that you can get the most out of your exercise routine. Improper form when performing one of these exercises can set you back weeks or even months. Nobody wants that, and neither do we. That is why we suggest that you come in and have a chat with one of our chiropractors, who, with their specialized expertise can help set up a program specifically for your wants and needs. Physical health is a a necessary but not sufficient part of living a happy life. Our chiropractors can help take your physical well-being to the next level so that you can live a healthy, and, hopefully happy, life.

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Chiropractic Clinic Houston: Hamstring Treatment Protocol

Hamstring pulls are among one of the most common injuries that athletes get. They are also one of the worst injuries, as it takes for ever for one to recover from such an injury. With a hamstring pull, one can be sidelined for anywhere from one to eight months, depending on the severity of the injury. At Chiropractic Clinic Houston, our chiropractors are dedicated to helping those who suffer from these terrible injuries to get to normal as soon as possible. There are certain things that can be done to speed up the recovery process. But first, let’s take a look at what causes hamstring strains.

The Causes of Hamstring Strains

These strains generally occur during exercises, particularly during sports – sports that require quick cuts, jumps, and lateral movements. Any sudden movement can result in a hamstring strain.

When one fails to warm up, the chances of pulling a hamstring increases by over eighty percent. It doesn’t matter if you are playing tennis, basketball, football, soccer. When you don’t warm up, when you don’t get that blood flowing, your hamstrings are susceptible to strains. When muscles move far too quickly without a proper, dynamic stretch beforehand, the muscles become stressed. This stress causes micro tears in the tissues, resulting in painful hamstring strains. Also, another issue is an imbalance between one’s quadricep muscles and hamstring muscles – with the quadriceps being stronger than the hamstrings. This imbalance generally causes the worst sort of strains – the ones that leave an athlete sidelined for half a year or more. No matter how you get injured, it is no fun, and treatment is necessary. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston are dedicated to bringing you the most cutting-edge hamstring treatment protocol in existence. It has taken years for this special team of chiropractors to fine tune and perfect this protocol, and now, in this very article, it is being shared with the world – free of charge.

Chiropractic Clinic Houston Hamstring Treatment

The Chiropractic Clinic Houston – one of the best chiropractic clinics in all of Texas – has developed an incredibly effective hamstring treatment protocol. Most chiropractic clinics are aware of the RICE method – rest, ice, compress, elevate, but what these chiropractic clinics are not cognizant of is just how long one is to perform this phase.

Chiropractic Clinic Houston recommend that you use rest, ice, compress, and elevate your hamstring for the first 48-72 hours. Any more than this and you are just slowing down the recovery time. Great studies have been done on this, yet many chiropractors fail to take notice – choosing instead to follow their own, less effective, less proven methodology. We will break down just exactly how one is supposed to follow the RICE protocol. If done correctly, you could save months of your time – getting healthier faster than you otherwise would have.

Rest: The individual has to make sure that his body is properly rested after being injured. It is recommended that one spends up to 3 days resting, but it all depends on the severity of the injury. That is why it is important to see a chiropractor – one that knows what he is doing, like the ones at Chiropractic Clinic Houston.

Ice: Immediately following the injury, icing for 48 hours is highly recommended. Cryotherapy can also be used, but for no longer than 48 hours, as any longer would slow down the healing process. Ice the affected area for no longer than twenty minutes at a time, making sure not to apply the ice directly to the skin.

Compress:Most know that resting and icing is a great way to speed up recovery. But they forget that compression can help speed up the recovery process as well. However, compression is most effective when applied my a physician or chiropractor, or some other expert.

Elevation:When one elevates the injured area above heart level, the swelling begins to decrease. For that reason, elevating is highly recommended if possible.

How We Can Help

Identifying the severity of an injury is incredibly important. The more severe the injury, the longer it takes to recover. This requires a different treatment protocol. The wrong treatment plan can actually do more harm than good. That is why it is best to have a chiropractor or chiropractic expert take a look at your injury. He or she will determine the best course of treatment and will help you return to full strength safely and efficiently. The chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have the necessary skills and expertise to make sure that your hamstring treatment plan is the plan that will get you back to full strength in the least amount of time.

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Active Sitting Exercises

Recent studies are beginning to shed light on the deleterious effects of prolonged sitting. A sedentary individual, who sits for the majority of his day, is said to have a life expectancy that is anywhere from 5 to 10 percent less than the more active individuals who get at least 1 hour of exercise per day. Unfortunately, the number of folks who do meet the minimum requirement of 1 hour of exercise per day to maintain a healthy and normal functioning body is beginning to diminish. Many office jobs require an individual to sit anywhere from 8 to 12 hours per day. This is no good. It is no good for the muscles, joints, bones, and so on. Everything starts to lock up. Why? Because the tissues begin to degenerate as they are no longer required to move. That is why so many individuals have neck, back, shoulder, and hip problems. They are not using their body as it was designed to be used.

Chiropractic Clinic Houston urges everyone to move throughout the day. It doesn’t matter if one is running, biking, or even walking at a slow pace. Movement is incredibly important, and studies prove that without movement, all animals, not just humans, live a shorter life than they otherwise could have lived – and an injury-laden life as well.

Your job might indeed require you to sit all day, but there are some things one can do it order to mitigate these deleterious effects resulting from physical lassitude. There are a series of active sitting moves that can be performed right at one’s desk. These exercise are easy, and best of all, the majority of them don’t require any equipment; and the ones that do are relatively inexpensive.

Active Sitting Exercise

Of course, the easiest and also most important thing one can do if he or she has an office job is to get up every 30 to 60 minutes and move around – just for a minute or two. This gets the blood flowing back into the body and mitigates overral degeneration that arises from inactivity. Other than this commonsensical activity, there are a list of exercises that could – and, we chiropractors argue, should – be done daily.

Wall Squats

You want to do this exercise during one of your breaks. Press your shoulder blades and lower back against a wall. Keep your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for as long possible – preferably, at least a minute or two, but the longer, the better. Repeat several times throughout the day. 3 sets is ideal, but if you can get only do it once, that is fine as well.

Toe Raises

Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston have found that many people, compared to the rest of their body, have weak shins. Part of the reason why is that people either put too much focus on the calves or just don’t get much exercise at all. Regardless, the shins seem to be one of the weakest parts of the body. Simple toe raises can fix that. Just keep your feet flat on the ground. You can be standing or sitting. We prefer people do it standing, but if you have an office job and cannot get up regularly, doing it seated works fine as well. With the heels still planted on the floor, lift your toes up as high as possible, and, after half a second or so, return to the normal stance. You should feel it in your shins during the upward motion. Do this as many times as possible; until you feel sore. Rest, and do again every 30 minutes or so.

Back Extension

This exercise is designed to strengthen ones lower back. Simply stand and place your hands on your lower back. You don’t have to put your hands there but we recommend that you do so that you do not overextend yourself while doing the exercise. Gently lean back as far as you can. Slowly return to the original position and then slowly lean back again. Repeat this twenty times per day, but do the workout only once or twice. You do not want your back to give out, and this tends to happen if one jumps into the workout too quickly and tries to do far too many repitions.

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Do these exercise every day, and within two weeks, we guarantee that you will start seeing impressive results – and not only physically, but mentally as well. Take care of the body, and the mind will not be occupied worrying about health and nutrition. One’s subconscious is a powerful mentation machine that has the capacity to consume and direct a great deal of one’s focus. A mind cannot be as alert as possible if inundated with health problems. We chiropractors argue that, following our regimen, you will focus better at work, and be more productive if you take our advice. Give it a try. It may be hard at first, but it’s worth it. Make exercising a priority. Soon enough, it will become a habit, and something you can just cruise through with little to no resistance.

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Stretches for Cross Country Athletes

Cross country running competitions resume in the fall and winter months. The competition is fierce, for both males and females. These runners race on open-air courses. The courses usually range from two to eight miles and can consist of grass, gravel, dirt or any other natural terrain.

Long distance running, especially on uneven terrain, can cause aches and injuries. All that pounding and pounding can be enough to result in long term complications. A few of the most common injuries that runners experience include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and IT band syndrome. If you have a sports injury of such sort, the following stretches can be helpful.

Stretches for Cross Country Running

Stretching prior to and after a run greatly reduces chances of injury. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston highly recommend a commitment to stretching – particularly the following stretches listed below.

Prior to Running:

  • Leg Swings: This is a great workout to start out with. Leg swings help loosen up your hips, so you feel nimble and ready to hit the track. First, hold on to a sturdy object. It can even be a friend. Next, stand on one leg and swing the other back and forth twenty times. Then switch legs and repeat. Your swing should get bigger until you reach your full range of motion.
  • Walking Lunches: Many think that lunges should not be performed prior to a workout. This is totally incorrect. Don’t listen to them. These warm up your quadriceps and hamstrings. Take a large step forward with your right leg and bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel with the ground and your knee is directly inline with your ankle. Push back up and draw your left foot even with your right. Then step forward with your left and repeat the steps. Focus on proper form and do ten lunges per leg.

After Running:

  • Hip Flexor and Hamstring Stretch: After running, a great deal of people have to cool down so as to prevent injuries. First, kneel down on one knee with the right leg bent at 90 degrees with your right foot planted on the ground in front of you. Make sure your knee and ankle are aligned. Keeping your back straight, press forward into your right hip while keeping your knee pressed into the ground. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch to the other leg.
  • Standing Calf Stretch: Great workout. One that everybody in absolutely every single sport should perform. Start facing a wall with your hands on the wall at chest level. Next, place the ball of your foot against the wall with your heel still touching the floor. Then gently lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in your calf while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch to the other leg.

Recovery From a Sports Injury

A foam roller is one of the most useful tools for recovery. For runners especially, it is important to roll your calves, IT band, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Using a foam roller helps relieve soreness and releases any built up adhesions on the fascia that can cause irritation and tightness.

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