Summer fun means outside activities in the warm sun, from strenuous pursuits like biking, hiking, and volleyball-playing, to more leisurely enjoyments like sunbathing on a float. No matter how you plan to enjoy the steamy summer months, maintaining hydration should be right up there with sunscreen on your list of important hot weather priorities.
Dehydration is a condition that ranges from mild to serious, and can happen quicker than you think. Right Diagnosis defines dehydration as "an abnormal condition in which the body's cells are deprived of an adequate amount of water." One of the main situations factoring into a person becoming dehydrated is heat.
Think you drink enough water and don't need to worry about dehydration? Consider these points:
Dehydration symptoms range from unpleasant confusion, muscle weakness, and fatigue to extremely dangerous ones like seizures, kidney failure, and death. The good news is that staying hydrated in the first place is relatively easy if you take a few precautions up front.
#1: Drink plenty of water
Make it a habit of carrying water with you during the summer months, and sipping on it throughout the day, especially if you are planning on outside activities. Invest in a couple of BPA-free water bottles for yourself and your family to tote with them on their summer adventures.
Not a big fan of plain water? Try adding lemon, cucumber, and mint sprigs to liven it up! Mix up in a big pitcher the night before so the flavor has time to penetrate. Another option is flavor packets, which are individual packets of flavors like green tea, watermelon, and peach.
#2: Eat the right foods
Liquids aren't the only way your body gets water. Avoid dehydration by eating foods with a high water content.
Choices like celery, watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, and citrus fruits all offer exceptional hydrating ability. Pack these as snacks for the pool or beach, or to enjoy before and after an outdoor workout.
#3: Steer clear of certain drinks
As yummy and refreshing as an icy beer or frosty margarita tastes, alcohol can contribute to dehydration. If you decide to indulge, limit yourself to one or two, and drink a large glass of water along with your beverage to counteract the alcohol's effects.
#4: Avoid overexertion
Exercise is a wonderfully healthy pursuit; however, keep an eye on the temperature. If it is going to be exceptionally hot and humid, choose to exercise either early in the morning, or after sunset, when temperatures are lower and the sun isn't beaming.
#5: Wear proper attire
Dress in light, airy clothing in fabrics that breathe. Protect your head with a cap or hat that shades your face. Avoid black clothing, which tends to absorb the sun and make you hotter.
#6: Be prepared
Extreme heat makes everyday issues like a flat tire or dead battery life-threatening. Visit a mechanic to confirm your vehicle is in good shape to lessen the chances of getting stranded. Carry extra water or sports drinks in your vehicle, and keep your cell phone charged. If your car breaks down, either stay in your car to wait for help, or stand in the grass instead of on the sizzling pavement.
Staying hydrated is essential for good health all the time, and during the summer in particular. Implement these easy tips into your daily routine so you and your family maintain hydration and enjoy hot weather outdoor fun.
Soccer is one of the most popular team sports in the United States, and offers an excellent form of exercise to children and adults alike. Unfortunately, the nature of the sport, the repeated movement and the chance of collision, add up to quite a few opportunities for injury.
Lower and upper extremity injuries, overuse injuries, and head, neck, and face injuries are commonplace. According to Stanford Children's Health, "88,000 children 8-14 were treated in an emergency room for soccer-related injuries."
Soccer players who take certain precautionary measures decrease their chances of injury. Let’s look at three ways you can avoid injury as a soccer player:
#1: Use proper equipment
Donning proper fitting cleats, uniforms, and shin guards decrease the risk of being hurt in the first place. Make adjustments often, especially if the player is growing rapidly or fluctuates in weight.
#2: Get checked out by a chiropractor pre-season
Soccer players who allow their fitness less to lapse increase the chance of injury. Visit a Doctor of Chiropractic to ensure there are no underlying issues with participating in strenuous activity. A chiropractor is also able to make sure the spine is aligned and muscles and joints are strong and functioning properly.
#3: Pay attention to the surroundings
A field that is not kept up well offers a greater chance of turning an ankle or falling. It's vital to check out the playing area beforehand and note any uneven areas that could cause a player to trip.
In addition, consider the weather. Muddy, slick fields create extra issues, and particularly hot temperatures make players run the risk of dehydration or heat stroke. Prepare for weather issues in advance of the game.
If, even though you take all of these precautions, you still end up injured, there are several options for treatment. The injury is hopefully mild and heals on its own after a few days of rest. More serious injuries require a doctor visit, and one of these three treatments.
First, ice and elevate it: Keep weight off the injured area as much as possible, and elevate it with pillows. Use an ice bag wrapped in a towel to keep down swelling and inflammation. If the injury is painful, over the counter medication helps reduce discomfort.
Then, take a break: The last decision you want to make is to begin playing too soon and re-injure yourself. With more serious injuries, sitting out of a few games, or even an entire season, is a choice that promotes healing and health. Talk to your chiropractor about the time-frame the injury needs to be able to recover correctly, and follow his or her advice.
Finally, keep your chiropractic adjustments: Chiropractors are trained in treating the neuromusculoskeletal system as a whole. Many of the injuries suffered from soccer show an improvement after a few chiropractic visits.
Spinal and joint alignment, muscle healing, and tendon relaxation are all techniques chiropractors employ to promote and hasten healing. Additionally, chiropractors give insight on valuable ways to use nutrition and exercise to keep the body functioning at optimum capacity, to avoid re-injury.
Enjoying physical activity is essential to maintain a routine that provides a healthy, active lifestyle, and joining a soccer team is a great choice for children as well as adults. Knowing the advance precautions to put in place to avoid injury will help keep you strong and safe.
If, however, you or your child end up hurt, these forms of treatment will lessen healing time and get you back in the game at full speed. So give us a call to schedule your next appointment before you get back out on the pitch.
Is Organic really worth the cost?
It seems our moms were right; we are what we eat. Unfortunately in today's marketplace, there are many valid worries about the foods we consume. Antibiotics, pesticides, and foods tainted with dangerous diseases are a top concern for many Americans. In addition, processed and genetically modified foods and artificial ingredients contribute to a number of health issues from obesity to cancer.
Our diet is one of the most important facets of maintaining overall good health for the long term. Farmer's markets, small grocery stores, and the movement toward organic labeling shows the trend toward making healthier food choices.
If you are thinking about adding a few organic foods to your meal plan, or chucking all processed foods altogether, you are moving toward a healthier, higher performing body with fewer health issues. Here are five reasons why:
#1: Fewer chemicals
The practice of using a variety of pesticides in non-organic farming is widespread in the United States. No matter how fastidiously you wash them, foods with these toxins are harmful to your body. A recent article in The Huffington Post stated that toxic pesticides are present in 70% of the food found in grocery stores!
Many large, traditional farms aim to produce as much food as possible, as cheaply as they can. They turn to pesticides and herbicides to make the crops grow faster and last longer. It's a sad fact, but the American public ends up paying a price anyway. An organic diet offers a respite from these chemically laden foods.
#2: Tastes better
You may not even realize the taste you DON'T get when eating processed foods. Toxins that make them grow and keep them fresh deplete the taste dramatically.
Growing from properly maintained soil without the presence of pesticides, organic foods deliver a richer, more engaging flavor. Individuals who eat organic often eat less and are better satisfied with their meals because of the increased taste.
#3: More nutrient density
According to The Ideal Bite, organic foods contain up to 50% more nutrients than their non-organic counterparts. Depleted soil quality from over farming is a key reason for this situation. This means a person needs to eat less organic food to maintain the necessary dietary vitamins and minerals that ensures good health, offsetting the initial higher cost of choosing organic.
#4: Less antibiotic exposure
Large food manufacturing farms often choose to pump their animals full of antibiotics to reduce illness and promote rapid growth. Obviously, these make their way into the end product that we end up eating.
Too much exposure to antibiotics causes everything from early puberty in children to antibiotic resistance. If you become ill and require antibiotic medical treatment, long-term consumption of non-organic meat could literally hinder you from responding.
#5: Supports the local economy
In addition to building a strong body and mind, choosing organic contributes to the local community by supporting the small farmer. The small farmer is able to adopt to organic standards with less effort, and is more likely to embrace healthy soil practices and other ethical farming traits in the first place. Seek out local establishments for the widest variety of the freshest, locally grown food.
There are an assortment of reasons to choose an organic diet. In a nutshell, it is proven to offer great benefits to your long-term overall health. If you can't commit to an entirely organic diet, substitute a few organic choices from your present food selections. Even changing small areas of your diet will provide better taste, greater nutrition, and stronger well-being.
Have more questions? We’re here for you! Simply ask our Doctor of Chiropractic during your next visit how eating organic foods can benefit you.
The crack of a ball against your bat, good! The crack of a back or shoulder, bad!
Baseball, the nationwide pass time, heats up in summer. From little league on up, individuals enjoy swinging the bat and running the bases. Unfortunately, the movements baseball requires can wreak havoc on a person's body, leaving them with strained backs, hurt shoulders, and pulled muscles. According to Livestrong, there are over 600,000 injuries from playing baseball per year, and 5-14 year olds suffer from 117,000 of them.
The aspects of the game — running, sliding, twisting, and jumping — cause the body to maneuver into awkward positions. If you or a loved one has slid into first and felt a pop, or twisted to catch a fly ball and felt a snap, chiropractic care offers several ways to help put you on the road to a complete recovery.
Baseball injuries frequently involve large muscles, resulting in a high degree of pain. Chiropractic treatment offers relief from severe pain of many injuries involving the spine, muscles, and joints.
Using spinal adjustments, a chiropractor is able to help the body align itself properly, and sooth the injured area. Once the body functions normally, pain is diminished. Sometimes this can be accomplished in one visit, while other injuries require a few sessions before pain diminishes.
A strained neck, pulled back, or overextended knee may cause the individual serious issues in being able to move. Limping around slowly is nobody's idea of fun!
Chiropractic adjustments are proven to help reduce inflammation and improve mobility in many injury cases. If that last baseball game has you unable to put weight on your knee, your neck won't twist without pain, or your shoulder won't lift your arm, it may be time to visit a chiropractor for evaluation.
The premise of chiropractic care is to treat the entire body as a whole, not just the injured part. As the body becomes better aligned, it functions at a higher capacity, and begins to heal itself.
Most injuries resulting from playing baseball, such as tendonitis, strained muscles, torn rotator cuffs, and the like, heal faster with chiropractic care. Increased blood flow to the injured area, and less pressure on the body part (usually due to misalignment of the spine) allow the injured area to regenerate, and a greater chance to begin healing faster than without chiropractic care.
Even over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory drugs cause side effects in certain individuals. Allergies, stomach issues, and other reasons result in many injured people steering clear of medication to relieve pain and inflammation.
Chiropractic care provides these individuals a drug-free, less invasive way to help manage the pain and promote healing. More people every year are choosing to visit a chiropractor for pain relief instead of popping pain medicine.
Before jumping into a baseball game, or even if you or your children play regularly, remember that prevention is worth its weight in gold. Take care of your body by stretching beforehand, being aware of your physical limits, maintaining proper posture, and staying hydrated during the game. With a little extra effort, the chance of a baseball injury can be dramatically decreased.
Summer fun often includes activities such as baseball, whether in a league or in your back yard with your family. Avoid suffering from an injury as best you can, and, if you or your child end up with an achy knee, twisted elbow, or smarting shoulder, call you chiropractor to schedule a thorough evaluation as quickly as possible.
Dr. Andy Johnson