The Young Athlete

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer, dance, or Little league team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training, and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads, and shoes fit your child or adolescent.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies and vegetables rather than potato chips.  Make sure meals are high in protein to help with muscle breakdown.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling, and figure skating may require your athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.Teenagers_playing_Sports
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game, or meet.  I’m always amazed at how many athletes we treat that tell me they never warm up!  A slow jog, jumping rope, and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multivitamin and magnesium are good choices for the young athlete. Young athletes use their bodies in an incredible way and if nutrients aren’t properly replenished you can be prone to muscle injuries.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability, and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition, and injury prevention to young athletes.  When an athlete sustains an injury, a doctor of chiropractic can help speed recovery and instruct the young athlete on how to avoid a repeat injury.

Doctors of chiropractic are also certified to perform school spots physicals.  If you have questions about your young athlete and how to help them perform better or stay injury free, talk to one of the doctors at Minser Chiropractic today!

 

Take a Hike! Tips for changing your walking game

Are you tired of walking the same streets and sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try a Hike this Summer! Hiking can provide a unique setting and experience to exercise the body, clear the mind, and enjoy Mother Nature at very little cost.

Unlike specific sports, hiking does not require any special skill or expertise. Hiking is essentially walking, which is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body.

Various trails provide grounds to accommodate the beginner to advanced hiker. If you are just starting out, choose a wide trail with low grades, and then advance to more steep and rocky grades.

couple-relaxing-after-mountain-hiking-picjumbo-com

The health benefits of hiking are nearly endless, including weight loss, prevention of heart disease, decreased hypertension or high blood pressure, improved and maintained mental health, prevention of osteoporosis, prevention and controlled diabetes, improved arthritis, and relief of back pain.

  Here are a few tips for a successful hike:

-Wear comfortable shoes and socks to prevent your feet from blistering

-Be careful when hiking up and down hills

-Keep your knees bent and use side-stepping maneuvers when hiking on steep trails

-Use hiking sticks or poles when needed

-Take your time, it’s not a race

-Be careful when crossing streams or other bodies of water

-Bring your own water and a snack if you’re doing a longer hike

-Check the weather before you go! Don’t want to get stuck in the rain or get a sunburn

-Dress in layers (it is better to start off warm and remove layers)

-Do not leave trash behind.

So grab your family and/or friends and check out these local Saint Cloud trails:

Quarry Park & Nature Preserve; St. John’s Arboretum in Collegeville; Warner Lake County Park: Mississippi County Park; or any local state park or state forest.

 

Pregnancy Pains? Try Chiropractic!

New mothers and moms-to-be can attest to the aches and pains that can accompany their pregnancies.  Most commonly, we see complaints involving low back and pelvic pain, but many women may also experience mid back and rib pain, muscle achiness, sciatica (pain into the legs), and heartburn.  These aches and pains can become a real nuisance for these women and make pregnancy a difficult time.

During pregnancy, the average woman can gain 25-35 pounds, or even more, which can place increased stress on her joints and tighten muscles of her neck and back.  Weight gain during pregnancy changes a woman’s center of gravity forward, which places further stress on her low back spine.

Pregnant women also create hormones to help relax and loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvis to accommodate for baby’s growth, which may cause imbalances of the spine and pelvis.

pregnantLuckily, chiropractic care can have a dramatic and positive effect on the pain a woman may experience during her pregnancy.  A chiropractor is trained to detect any imbalances that may exist in the spine and pelvis, as well as find muscles that may have tightened up due to her pregnancy.

Chiropractic adjustments are safe for both mom and baby and may be able to give immediate relief of pain.  Chiropractors can also recommend and perform muscle work and/or acupuncture to help with pain or other symptoms experienced as well.

Prenatal exercises can be prescribed to help stretch and strengthen muscles of the back and pelvis to prepare for labor and delivery.  Nutritional advice can also be given to help a women enjoy a healthy pregnancy for herself and her baby.

Chiropractic care can also help after labor and delivery.  During the first couple of months post-delivery, the ligaments that were loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten again.  It is important to treat any imbalances in the spine and pelvis brought on during pregnancy or from delivery before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further muscle tension and pain.

If you or a loved one is an expecting mother and has questions on the benefits of chiropractic during and after pregnancy, ask one of our doctors.  We love helping women enjoy their pregnancies naturally and pain-free!

 

6 Workout Mistakes That are Sabotaging Weight Loss

For most weight loss regiments there is the same formula to reach your goal: exercise and eat healthy. Mistakes in your diet are pretty easy to spot, but what about your workout?

The first step to avoiding mistakes in the gym is to recognize when/if you’re making them. Changing your habits can take some time, but if you start small and keep with it you will become knowledgeable and eventually see results.

  1. You didn’t warm up – Failing to warm up before a workout in one of the most common mistakes people make. You should warm up for 3-6 minutes before your workout. This warm up should include stretching muscles you will be using and a quick light jog, jumping jacks, skipping, or brisk walk to get your blood flowing. Warming up can also help prevent injuries.
  2. You are using the wrong weights – When doing weight lifting workouts in the gym (or at home) a common mistake is the weight you are using. Ideally you should to be doing 3 to 4 sets with 7 to 10 reps per exercise if the main goal is to put on walking-vs-running-featuremuscle and decrease fat. Find a weight that challenges you but is also realistic. It’s better to start off lighter and go up than start heavier and risk injury.
  3. Don’t rush your reps – To maximize your workout you should focus on each and every rep and go at a steady pace. If you’re pumping through reps too fast or swinging weights around you are increasing the risk of injury, therefore putting your goals at risk. By the time you reach your final set, the last few reps should give you a deep burn. If you’re not feeling that burn, maybe you need to go up in weights or do one more rep.
  4. Stop doing so much cardio – Running is a great cardio workout but 15 to 30 minutes is plenty for most of us, even if your goal is reducing fat. A good mix of weight-lifting and different forms of cardio 2-3 times a week is a good place to start. It’s different if you are training for a race (like the Minser 5k) ; keep running!
  5. You are working out too much – Don’t get us wrong, it’s healthy to workout, but you shouldn’t be pushing yourself too hard. If you push yourself way over your limit, you could easily injure yourself. Working out, whether at the gym or at home,  about 2-4 times a week is a good amount for anyone just starting.
  6. Not setting goals – Setting goals is a great way to keep you accountable for working out. It’s important to have a workout plan to help you stick with exercising. This way you can focus on the right exercises and equipment to use when you workout. Having a buddy workout with your is a great method to keep yourself (and your friend) accountable for your goals.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or getting back into an exercise routine, it’s important to avoid these mistakes and decrease risk of injury. If you need help with your workouts contact us and we can set you up with our exercise specialist to go over your goals and get you working out!

Stressed Out? Try Massage!

There are numerous causes of stress that are present in our lives on a daily basis. When we become stressed our body reacts in various ways.

The top six symptoms of stress are:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of Interest
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
  • Depression

A great way to relax and combat these symptoms is through a relaxation massage! (you can find other methods here!)

c700x420A relaxation massage is one of the most naturally beneficial experiences that life offers. It helps reverse the body’s physical reaction to stress and strain, calms the mind and helps satisfy the human need to be touched in a caring, nurturing fashion. Massage techniques are designed to reeducate your body to relax, unwind, rest and assume to its proper state.

Massage therapists are trained to “listen” to your body. Meaning, they use their hands to feel where the tension is located and through various techniques reduce that tension. Most people put their stress in their neck or upper back and that explains why there is so much tension and tightness in that area when we become stressed.

Relaxation massages are good for people of all ages! If you have a teenager who is stressed with school work, sports, or just everyday life, a relaxation massage can help them combat stress.

Schedule your relaxation massage today!

 

What to Know About Essential Oils

At Minser Chiropractic Clinic, one thing we get of questions about is essential oil. Many people have heard of them or have a basic understanding but aren’t aware that they can do great things for your health. We’ve compiled the most common questions we have heard and supplied some answers for you!

What are Essential Oils?oil

Essential oils are a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing aroma compounds from fruits and plants. It’s a natural oil found in plant that is typically obtained by distillation.

How Do You Use Them?

There are many different ways to use essential oils. A common way is to use them in conjunction with a massage. A massage therapist adds the oil to the massage lotion and uses that throughout the massage. If you’re at home, you can add essential oils to another base oil and rub that on your skin.

Another frequent method people use essential oils in through a diffuser. The diffuser circulates the aroma in the air so you are able to benefit from the essential oil. You can also add a few drops to a hot shower or bath and get similar results.

What Can They Do?

The-Benefits-of-Essential-OilsEssential Oils can do many wonderful things for the body! You might have to do some research on which ones are right for your condition (or see one of the doctors or massage therapists at Minser Chiropractic Clinic).

*Note: Some essential oils are not recommended for pregnant women or those with sensitive skin.

Essential Oils Can:

  • Help detox different body systems
  • Aid in meditation and relaxation
  • Fight colds and flus
  • Useful for skin care
  • Good for digestion issues
  • Aids with depression and anxiety
  • Relieves stress and muscle tension
  • Helps bring peace of mind
  • And many, many other benefits!

Where Can I Get Them?

Essential Oils are sold at many different places. You can find some at organic stores, or sections of larger stores (though these might not be good quality), online, and at clinics.

Here at Minser Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a variety of high quality essential oils. Our essential oils are one of the highest quality grades and can last you a long time, depending how often you are using it and in what quantity.

Final Thoughts

Essential Oils are a great way to freshen up the house in cleaning and can be very beneficial for your health! They are another holistic tool you can use to improve your life. If you have any specific questions about essential oils, give us a shout out!

5 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy

When it comes to our health, typically we think of eating healthy, exercising and getting spineplenty of sleep. But what about the health of our spine? After all, it does protect one of the most important systems of the body, the nervous system.

The nervous system controls every other system in the body from muscle movement to breathing. So what can we do to keep our spine in tip top shape?

Massage Therapy

Not only are massages good for relaxation for the mind, but also for the muscles of the body. Muscles around the spine can become tight and pull on the vertebrae of the spine, causing irritation of the spinal cord which can result in pain and disruption of other body systems.

Chiropractic Care

Subluxations, also known as misalignments, occur throughout the spine and joints of the body. These misalignments can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain, headaches, tingling, digestion issues, etc. Chiropractors correct misalignments to promote good nervous system health.

Stop Smoking

Smokers tend to have more back pain than nonsmokers and for longer periods of time. Smokers heal at a slower rate when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around the spine.

Good Posture

While sitting at your desk, keep in mind good posture techniques to avoid lack of circulation, muscle tension, and headaches. (Here are some posture tips for at work!)When carrying or lifting things, use your knees instead of bending down at the
waist.

bad-sleepWe often forget to think about our posture while we are sleeping. The best position for your spine is when you lay on your side. Put a pillow between your legs or knees to reduce pressure on the lower back, plus it helps better align the neck. Check to see if your pillow has enough support for your head and neck to avoid headaches.

Exercising

Yes, exercising is good for your spinal health! People who are overweight tend to have more spinal dysfunction due to more pressure applied to the spine and a shift in center of gravity. Try to stretch your back muscles regularly to avoid tight muscles, which will help reduce subluxations. Having good back and core strength helps promote good posture.

If you have more questions about spinal health ask one of our doctors!