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Ten Minutes of Stretching Can Make All the Difference

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Chiropractic Care Is Part of Your Exercise Program

We all want to be healthy and well. Achieving this goal requires some time and effort, but the payoff is well worth it. Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, helps slow your heart rate, and helps you sleep better at night. Regular exercise often helps people lose weight and puts a spring in their step. Regular exercise puts color in your cheeks and gives your skin that certain glow. Exercise is a very good thing.

Chiropractic care helps us get the most out of our exercise by making hidden reserves available for peak performance. Regular chiropractic care removes nerve interference and keeps the joints of our spine moving freely, eliminating roadblocks to full mobility and full function. By helping optimize our nerve systems and musculoskeletal systems, regular chiropractic care helps get our bodies in shape so that we can do the exercises needed to keep our bodies in shape.

Should I stretch before or after I exercise?1 Should I even bother to stretch at all? These are the questions that every busy adult asks whenever he or she is planning to begin an exercise program. The correct answer to the first question is "do whatever is right for you." Some people need to lengthen their major muscle groups, such as the quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and calves, before they run, walk, swim, and/or lift weights for exercise. For others, it's best to stretch at the end of a workout, re-lengthening the major muscle groups so they'll be ready to help you move through the rest of your day.

The answer to the second question is "yes, stretching is important for everybody and is often the missing link in trying to understand why you injured yourself when you were exercising." Stretching helps you either warm up or cool down, whichever is needed for you to get the most out of your exercise. Not stretching in the way that you need puts you on the fast track to sustaining an exercise-related injury. As always, prevention is the best policy.

A dynamic warm-up is a fun and entertaining supplement or replacement, at times, to stretching if you're a stretch-first person.2,3 In a dynamic warm-up, you take important joints such as your hips, shoulders, and lower back through complete ranges of motion, using large muscle groups for support. Dynamic warm-up activities are similar to core strengthening exercises and have unique names such as scorpion, hip crossover, drop lunge, and quad circles. You can mix-and-match a variety of dynamic warm-up activities on different workout days, creating ongoing interest that helps you maintain your exercise routine.

A dynamic cool-down can serve as a similar supplement or replacement to stretching, at times, if you're a stretch-after person. If you've been walking or running, rather than simply completing your walk or run, spend an additional few minutes walking or running with shorter strides and/or at a slower pace. Walking backward at a slow pace is another method for achieving a dynamic cool-down. If you've been lifting weights, a series of deep-knee lunges will stretch your lower back and hips. A yoga-style downward dog will lengthen your spine, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Moving your arms through big circles, both clockwise and counterclockwise, will open up your shoulder girdles and lengthen the muscles of your rotator cuffs.

Regardless of the method you choose, stretching is an important part of your regular exercise activities. The extra few minutes spent either warming up or cooling down will help you maintain your exercise program achieve long-term health and well-being.

1McHugh MP, Cosgrave CH: To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports 20(2):169-181, 2010

2Morrin N, Redding E: Acute effects of warm-up stretch protocols on balance, vertical jump height, and range of motion in dancers. J Dance Med Sci 17(1):34-40, 2013
3Behm DG, Chaouachi A: A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 111(11):2633-2651, 2011

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Testimonial

I was referred to Heartwood Holistic by some friends. Their exact words were, "Dr. Drew is amazing! And Debbie at the front desk is wonderful!" They were right! At most doctor's offices you go in for the initial visit and fill out pages of paper work only to be asked those questions again once you get seen by the physician. Not so here. Dr. Drew zeroed in on what was ailing me and presented a plan of action by the end of my first visit. I've been a regular and don't plan on changing up anytime soon. I look forward to my visits there 1.) for the relief 2.) the staff. Everyone is so friendly and they actually care about your wellness. Alexis is a special treat! She is very committed to her craft and just a wonderful person. Ask her for the Moxa and just relax on her amethyst heating pad. Dreamy!! You can't go wrong here. Looking forward to my Rolfing session with Aaron. Thank you, HHH family!

Ashley D,  August 2017


I am so thrilled to have come across this little gem of a place! I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful couple this past week and was able to get in to the clinic for a chiropractic adjustment. I currently live about an hour away from the wellness center, but I'll be making the drive just to see them for my health needs. Dr. Drew was so attentive and thorough. He really listened to me and we discussed what I was accustomed to as far as treatment goes. He takes careful time with each client and truly cares about your health. After 15 years of visiting many different chiropractic doctors, I can quickly get a read on the type of care I'll receive. I immediately felt at ease and confident with him. I was able to chat with his lovely wife, Alexis, as well and am anxious to set up an appointment with her. This is no ordinary wellness center. They offer so many options for treating a vast amount of health challenges. They see and treat the body as a whole, which is the only way to find true health.

Kari P, February 2017

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