Exercise is Good!
Running is regularly great for your health and has so many benefits.
In fact, over 60 million people participated in running in the United States last year! With even more people reporting as active walkers.
Benefits of Running
- Reduces stress
- Boosts your metabolism
- Improves cardiovascular health
- They can even alleviate symptoms of depression!
We are naturally born to learn how to walk, run, skip and jump.
But … Why the Common Running Injuries?
Why is it, then, that we often see runners in pain or having issues?
If it were so good for you or you’re “naturally” made to run.. then why do people end up with runner’s knee? With Achilles tendonitis? With IT band syndrome? Shin splints? Hamstring strains? Plantar fasciitis? Stress fractures?
Problems stem from not having proper form when running.
When the muscles may be overcompensating, or our framework (skeletal system) isn’t properly aligned.
Running ends up not being efficient or balanced. When a pain comes up, most people continue to run and fight through symptoms.
No Pain, No Gain?
Often, the answer is no.
Many of these common running injuries can actually stem from a lack of motion in your spine and pelvis.
So – we’ve got our pelvis, vertebrae (bones in the neck and back) and tehn the skull.
When there are areas where the vertebrae are no longer moving like they should, they are in dysfunction, distortion, misalignment, or what we call subluxation. Now the surrounding tissues and joints have to pick up the slack!
This means certain muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia are overstressed while others are under-utilized.
When We Lack Balance
When we have this lack of balance, there is an asymmetrical distribution of forces in the body. Each step puts excess strain and mechanical load on certain tissues that can no longer adapt as efficiently as they’re meant to.
In the case of runners, who average 85 steps per minute per foot, these imbalances and strains can add up, and if not addressed can lead to chronic injury over time.
Does This Have to be My Future?
No! You have a choice! If you want to keep running, you need to make sure not only are you using proper running form, shoes and strides, but you’re also being proactive.
As chiropractors, we approach the body looking to restore and maintain balance and health, not just in a local sense, but in a global sense.
Correcting these spinal problems and restoring proper function at the core, and allowing the body to restore it’s normal patterns and function at its best.
Whether you’re a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, or you just want to run around the block with your dog, chiropractic can help guide you back toward resilience!
It can help to optimize your level of health and function, and get you back up to doing what you love, pain free!
Your sleep habits are an indicator of your overall health and well-being.
“45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.”The National Sleep Foundation’s Inaugural Sleep Health Index
Americans report sleeping an average of 7 hours and 36 minutes.
Even though this average is within the 7-9 hour recommended sleep range according to the Sleep Duration Recommendation chart below, 35% report sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair” with 20% reporting that they don’t wake up feeling refreshed.
This means that Americans report good sleep quantity, but not quality.
What about this sleep debt? As soon as we start cutting hours, supplementing our sleep with stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks and external lights, our circadian rhythm (natural sleep/wake cycle) becomes affected, and we start moving into this state of sleep debt.
Just like financial debt, our sleep debt can take its toll. When this debt adds up, our reaction time slows down leading to more mistakes in the workplace, and in turn making driving more dangerous.
There is no substitute for good sleep!
Cleaning Up Your Sleep Routine
To pay back this debt, start by cleaning up your sleep routine. Adding one or more of these habits to your routine can start to move you towards better reaction time, increased work productivity and overall more energy!
- Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
- Stick to a regular sleep and wake schedule
- Neglect that snooze, wake up when the alarm wakes you up
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Exercise daily
- Relax before bed with a hot bath or a good book instead of electronics (electronic use can interfere with sleep)
- A daytime nap can also help catch you back up, even if it is 15 minutes mid-day
- And most importantly, get adjusted!
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”Irish Proverb