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Shoveling Snow Safely: Tips for a Winter Workout

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Listen. We know that this first big snow storm brings mixed reviews. Whether you love it or want to buy the first plane ticket to Hawaii you can get your hands on, the snow has to get moved somehow. Shoveling snow is a great way to stay active during the winter months, but it’s important to do it safely to prevent injuries. In this blog, we will explore essential tips for shoveling snow safely.

  1. Dress Appropriately

Before you even step outside to tackle that snowy driveway, it’s crucial to dress appropriately. Here are some tips for dressing for the occasion:

  • Layer your clothing: Wear multiple layers to stay warm and regulate your body temperature.
  • Choose the right outerwear: Invest in a good-quality winter coat, waterproof boots, gloves, and a hat to protect yourself from the cold and wet conditions.
  • Wear slip-resistant footwear: Make sure your boots have a good grip to prevent slipping on icy surfaces.
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  1. Warm Up

Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity, so it’s essential to warm up your muscles before you begin. Spend a few minutes doing some light stretching exercises to prepare your body for the physical exertion. Warming up can help prevent muscle strains and injuries.

  1. Use the Right Shovel

Choosing the right shovel for the job can make a significant difference in your safety and efficiency. Here’s what to look for in a snow shovel:

  • Ergonomic design: A shovel with an ergonomic handle will help reduce strain on your back and arms.
  • Lightweight material: A lightweight, yet durable, shovel will make the job easier and reduce the risk of overexertion.
  • Proper blade size: A shovel with a reasonably sized blade will help you move snow more efficiently.
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  1. Clear Snow Early and Often

It’s easier to shovel a few inches of snow at a time rather than waiting for a heavy accumulation. Frequent, smaller shoveling sessions are not only easier on your body but also prevent the buildup of thick, packed snow that can be more challenging to remove.

  1. Use Proper Lifting Techniques

When lifting snow, use your legs, not your back. Bend your knees and lift with your leg muscles to reduce the strain on your back and prevent back injuries. Keep your back straight and your movements controlled.

  1. Push, Don’t Lift

Whenever possible, push the snow rather than lifting it. Pushing snow is less physically demanding than lifting, and it’s easier on your back. Use your shovel as a plow to push the snow to the side.

  1. Take Breaks

Don’t overexert yourself. Shoveling snow can be physically demanding, so take regular breaks to catch your breath and prevent fatigue. Hydrate and listen to your body – if you feel tired, stop and rest.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Even in the cold, your body still needs hydration. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after shoveling to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can increase the risk of muscle cramps and strains.

  1. Know Your Limits

Finally, it’s crucial to recognize your physical limitations. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, consider hiring a professional snow removal service or asking for assistance from friends or neighbors. Your safety should always come first.

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Shoveling snow can be a fantastic winter workout, but it’s essential to do it safely. By dressing appropriately, warming up, using the right tools, and practicing proper techniques, you can minimize the risk of injuries while enjoying the satisfaction of a clear, snow-free driveway. Remember to take it easy, listen to your body, and stay safe this winter! And of course, if your back starts to let you know, you have done too much, schedule a massage or an adjustment with Aline Alaska Chiropractic!

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Healthy Halloween

Its finally here! The day your children have been waiting for to run wild and gather all the candy! Here are a few tips to keep you safe and healthy this Halloween!

Road Safety

  • The traffic may be busier at Halloween, so make sure you cross the roads carefully.
  • Put down any electronic devices and keep your heads up and walk (don’t run) across the street.
  • Teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road in front of them.
  • Always walk on pavements or paths. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings possible.
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Trick or Treat Safety

  • Make sure you or another responsible adult supervise children under the age of 12.  If your kids are older mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar, well-lit areas.

 Costume Safety

  • Always decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers. If possible, choose light colors.
  • Encourage your children to use face paint or make up instead of masks, which can obstruct their vision and place them at risk of injuries.
  • Buy your children glow sticks or give them a flashlight to carry while they’re out trick or treating These will help them to see more clearly in the dark and be seen by drivers.
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 Driving Safety

  • Drive slowly and be aware that there is likely to be children out during the evening at Halloween. Also bear in mind that children can get overly excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
  • Remove any distractions inside your car so that you can fully focus on the road and your surroundings.
  • The most common trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for children during that time.

Freeze It

  • Give yourself one day of picking out your favorites and then transition.
  • Place all the Halloween candy your family collects in the freezer to remove some of the temptations.
  • Instead of mindlessly eating, make you and your family work harder for it and enjoy it as a little treat instead of a full meal.
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Consult A Chiropractor

Halloween is only the beginning of the holiday season, and soon it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas, which can have an impact on your health and well being. Seeking chiropractic care regularly will allow you to correct any joint restrictions that may be contributing to your pain and learning general health tips to improve your overall health. Furthermore, chiropractic care will aid in maintaining a healthy immune system, which is important as cold and flu season approaches!

Schedule an appointment with Aline Alaska Chiropractic today for a healthier Halloween, and maybe even a few costume ideas. You’ll feel so good, it may scare you!

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Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

It’s that season once more, when pumpkins dominate the scene! You can spot them in stores and adorning front porches. As they’re sculpted into eerie faces and illuminated during the night, pumpkins can take on an intimidating aura. Yet, beneath their spooky facade, pumpkins are actually one of the most nutrient-packed fruits available, offering a plethora of health benefits.

The seeds of this versatile fruit alone are brimming with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, making them a nutritional powerhouse. But it’s that vibrant orange hue, a rarity among fruits and vegetables, that truly sets pumpkins apart. This distinctive color is courtesy of the copious amounts of beta carotene contained within. Beta carotene, once ingested, is transformed by your body into Vitamin A, a nutrient essential for heart health, a robust immune system, and especially for maintaining optimal eye health. The process behind this conversion is nothing short of remarkable.

When you consume foods rich in beta carotene, such as pumpkins, carrots, or sweet potatoes, they journey through your digestive tract and eventually reach your small intestines. Here, a specific enzyme works its magic, splitting beta carotene into two retinal molecules, which are the building blocks of Vitamin A. The actual quantity of Vitamin A produced depends on several factors, including your overall health and the presence of dietary fats in your intestines (as some fat is required for the conversion process). But one of the most intriguing aspects is that your body determines how much Vitamin A it requires at any given moment. If there’s no immediate need for Vitamin A, your body won’t convert the beta carotene. It’s a marvel of nature!

This incredible process, however, relies on a harmonious symphony of prerequisites. Firstly, you must include beta carotene-rich foods in your diet. Then, the specific enzymes need to be present to break down the beta carotene, and your overall health must be conducive to the process. Yet, when all these factors align, your body ensures the production of Vitamin A meets its precise needs. It’s a testament to the incredible wisdom of the human body.

Your body is continually engaged in the intricate dance of self-renewal, often unbeknownst to you. The conversion of beta carotene into Vitamin A is just one of countless processes unfolding within your body every second. Astonishingly, researchers estimate that a mind-boggling 37 thousand billion chemical reactions take place in your body every single second! The sheer magnitude of these ongoing processes is truly astounding.

The conductor orchestrating this grand symphony is your brain and nervous system. To be the best version of yourself, all these reactions must operate optimally. And for that to happen, you need your nervous system to be at its best as well.

This is where your family chiropractor can play a pivotal role by maintaining the alignment of your spine, ensuring it doesn’t disrupt the function of your nervous system. Regular visits to your family chiropractor can help you be the best version of yourself. So, why not treat yourself to some pumpkin soon? It’s not just a delicious seasonal treat; it’s a testament to the amazing capabilities of your body and the importance of caring for it.

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Chiropractic for Back Pain

“My back hurts!” is something my 5 year old says more than he actually means. Turns out when your dad is a chiropractor you become very in tune with your spine from a very young age. It could also be all of the trees he climbs in and out of, but who could say. 🙂

Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by various factors such as poor posture, muscle strain, injury, or underlying medical conditions. While there are several treatment options available, chiropractic care has gained popularity as a non-invasive and holistic approach to alleviate back pain.

Holistic Approach to Back Pain

Chiropractic care takes a holistic approach to back pain by focusing on the spine’s alignment and the body’s musculoskeletal system as a whole. Misalignments in the spine, known as subluxations, can cause pain and affect the body’s overall health. By identifying and correcting these subluxations through spinal adjustments, we aim to restore proper function and alleviate back pain.

Spinal Adjustments and Alignment

Spinal adjustments are the cornerstone of chiropractic care for back pain. During a chiropractic session, Dr. Best uses controlled force to manipulate the spine’s vertebrae, bringing them back into proper alignment. By doing so, pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissues is relieved, promoting natural healing and reducing pain.

Muscle Relaxation and Rehabilitation

In addition to adjustments, Dr. Best does more than just crack backs. Active Release Technique breaks up the scar tissue and helps the muscles to stop pulling your bones out of alignment. That hand in hand with massage targets muscle tension and promoting blood flow to the affected area and can help relieve back pain and improve flexibility.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Chiropractic care recognizes that every individual is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to back pain treatment. Dr. Best performs a thorough examination to assess the underlying causes of back pain and develop personalized treatment plans. These plans may include a combination of spinal adjustments, exercises, lifestyle modifications, and ergonomic advice tailored to each patient’s specific needs. This individualized approach enhances the effectiveness of chiropractic care in addressing the root causes of back pain.

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Non-Invasive and Drug-Free

One significant advantage of chiropractic care is that it offers a non-invasive and drug-free alternative to managing back pain. While medications and invasive procedures may be necessary in some cases, chiropractic care focuses on natural healing and encourages the body’s own restorative abilities. By avoiding pharmaceutical interventions, patients can reduce the risk of potential side effects and complications associated with medication usage.

Complementary Approach

Chiropractic care can be used as a complementary treatment alongside conventional medical interventions for back pain. Chiropractors often work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists or orthopedic specialists, to provide comprehensive care. This integrative approach ensures that patients receive a well-rounded treatment plan that addresses both the symptoms and underlying causes of their back pain.

Chiropractic care offers a holistic and personalized approach to managing and relieving back pain. Through spinal adjustments, muscle relaxation techniques, and personalized treatment plans, chiropractors aim to restore proper spinal alignment and alleviate pain without resorting to invasive procedures or medications. As with any healthcare decision, it is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor or healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment approach for individual needs. If you are experiencing back pain, chiropractic care may provide an effective and natural solution worth considering.