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Dancing in the Streets

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Warm-Up, Cool-Down, or Both?

Debate raged for the last 20 years over whether people should stretch before or after exercising. That question has been pretty well answered in the last few years - stretching is best done when the muscles are warm. By stretching after you've exercised, as a cool-down technique - you're able to achieve and retain your maximum stretchability.

Of course, some people may want to stretch first as well. If you're muscles are usually tight, stretching first does help prepare you for exercise. Just be sure to stretch slowly and carefully, paying full attention to what you're doing. Stretching is best approached as a Zen-type activity. See the muscle lengthening in your mind.

So if you're stretching as a cool-down, what do you do to warm-up? Light jogging is a good warm-up, if that's possible for you. Jumping jacks, walking lunges, knee hugs, arm rotations, ankle rotations, and carioca moves are excellent warm-up activities, preparing your body for the physical work of sports and exercise.
As Martha and the Vandellas sang back in the 1960s, summer's here! There's so much to do and we want to make sure we have a great time. Baseball, basketball, volleyball. Swimming and surfing. Walking and running. Hiking and climbing. Rollerblading and skateboarding. Now that summer's here, everything's possible and everything's available.

Whether you live near the Maine woods, the plains of Nebraska, the beaches of southern California, or the glories of New York City's Central Park, summer is the time to be outdoors. Summer is the time to be active. It's important to get prepared for all this activity to ensure we can have fun all summer long.

This is especially challenging when you sit at a desk Monday through Friday and can't wait to get started on Saturday morning. Seven AM finds you on the tennis court or the golf course, ready to start slamming balls around. Or you hit the track and start pounding out the first few laps of your three- or four-mile run. Or you paddle out to meet the waves, ready to ride one in and rule the world.

What happens to many of us on these gung-ho Saturdays is a range of unwelcome injuries - muscle pulls, tendon strains, ankle sprains, or worse. These injuries are unexpected and most unwelcome. They may restrict our activities for several weeks and interfere with our summer plans and summer fun.

The solution is preparation. If you're older than 25, the reality is you have to prepare for physical activity. And even if you're younger than 25, it's still smart to prepare.

Regular exercise during the week will prepare you for all your weekend summer fun. 1,2 One of the most important benefits of regular exercise relates to training your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to do physical work. Exercise teaches your muscles to support heavy loads, and exercise teaches your joints how to handle mechanical stresses throughout their full ranges of motion.

The result is you're able to play your sports and do your activities full out. You're already pre-prepared by the exercise you've done during the week.

Now this doesn't imply you can go out on the tennis court and start serving at 100 miles per hour. Nor can you start your Saturday morning run at full speed. Nor can you start spiking balls over the volleyball net in the first five minutes of your practice game.

It's still important to warm-up and get into the rhythm of the activity or game. Loosen up and get all the parts moving before reaching your peak. And be sure to do some cool-down activities afterward. For most of us, the cool-down is just as important as the activity itself. Cooling-down helps us build muscle tone and improves flexibility, so our sports performance and skill level can continue to develop and improve.

Your chiropractor will be glad to help you design an exercise program that will work for you and help ensure a summer of fun!3

1Reinold MM, et al: Current concepts in the scientific and clinical rationale behind exercises for glenohumeral and scapulothoracic musculature. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 39(2):105-117, 2009
2Sturnieks DL, et al: Exercise for falls prevention in older people. J Sci Med Sport February 18th, 2009
3Hoskins W, et al: How to select a chiropractor for the management of athletic conditions. Chiropr Osteopat 17:3, 2009

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

    ~Amy Hawker
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

    ~Patsy Dimond-Spencer
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig
     Fenton, MI

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan
     Fenton, MI

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!

    ~Nancy Matson
     Fenton, MI

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle
     Fenton, MI

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs
     Fenton, MI

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

    ~A.H.
     Fenton, MI

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