Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center – With colorful leaves, pumpkin patches, and fall sports, autumn is one of the best seasons to spend time outdoors. Yet the chilly, unpredictable weather many of us look forward to each year isn’t always good for our health. Whether it’s colds and the flu or muscle, bone, and joint pain, health issues always seem to surface when the temperatures drop. Fortunately, there are many simple, common sense things we can do to be well and have a healthy, joyful fall season. So before the leaves start falling and you find yourself with a raking injury, keep these seven autumn health and wellness tips from our team at the Insight Neuro Chiropractic center in mind. 

How to Avoid Autumn Injuries as Activities Change with the Season

Be Active

For most people, it’s not uncommon to be more active in the warm summer months and then retreat to the comfort of our cozy homes as fall approaches. This year, make an effort to get outside and spend time in the crisp autumn air! Not only will it improve your mood and help you focus, but being outdoors in the cooler months is also linked to better breathing, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, better immune function, and the ability to heal faster. 

While the weather is still pleasant, bundle up and take a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood or make time to play in the backyard with your kids or grandkids. If it’s too cold to be outside, stay active around the house or join a gym. Even ten minutes of activity a day will make a big difference in your physical and emotional wellbeing this fall. 

Warm Up Before Strenuous Activity

From raking leaves to cleaning gutters and hanging holiday lights, many fall household activities require a considerable amount of physical exertion. Before taking on a big project that requires strenuous activity, be sure your body is prepared by setting aside a few minutes to warm up. 

One of the best ways to limit your risk of injury or strain is to get your blood pumping with stretches. Try making small clockwise and counterclockwise circles with your arms raised out to your sides. Another easy exercise is stretching your legs back and forth while you stand in an upright position. Just a few simple exercises can prevent injury and keep you from feeling aches and pains the next day.  

Maintain Proper Posture

Many injuries occur when people forget to maintain proper posture while doing yard work, lifting, or other strenuous activities. When our joints and muscles are under continuous strain from repetitive bending or reaching, complications such as back and neck pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, and shoulder impingement can happen. 

As you start a new project that requires physical activity, remember to keep your spine straight, lift with your legs, and wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Also remember to avoid bending in awkward positions, straining your neck, and aggravating a pre-existing condition or injury. 

Take Regular Breaks

When there is much to be done, it is tempting to pack a multi-day project or activity into one long marathon session. But doing this puts your body under major stress that can lead to injury – especially if you’re not used to this level of work. Before you start, think about how you can break the project or activity into smaller sections. In addition to avoiding overworking your body and allowing you to recharge periodically, spacing out your tasks will help you enjoy what you’re doing and finish with a greater sense of accomplishment. 

Drink Plenty of Water

Hydration is always top of mind when it is hot outside, but it is just as important when we’re active in the cooler months. Most adults need about four to six cups of water each day to stay healthy and replenish the hydration we lose during activity. Lightheadedness, headaches, muscle cramps, and dry mouth are all signs you could be dehydrated and need liquids. 

Whether you’re playing football or doing work around the house, a hydrated body will help you move better, reduce muscle soreness, and lower your risk of other dehydration-related injuries. To stay hydrated this fall, be sure to drink water throughout the day (not just when you’re thirsty). If ice water doesn’t seem appealing on a cold day, try hot water with lemon and honey. 

Watch for Ice

In late autumn, it is not unusual to see icy conditions in our northern regions. In fact, many chiropractic visits this time of year are the result of mishaps on ice-covered sidewalks, parking lots, and steps. Although anyone can experience an ice-related injury, adults over 65 are most at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that as the number of adults in this age group rises, as many as 49 million slips and falls will occur by 2030. 12 million of those falls will result in serious injury. 

To avoid ice injuries this season, stock up on salt or de-icing products to keep your walkways clear, invest in shoes with grooved soles made of rubber, and walk on grassy surfaces when possible. Also remember to never shovel snow or walk on icy surfaces by yourself. 

Find a Chiropractor

If you don’t already have a chiropractor, now is a great time to find one in your area and make an appointment. A chiropractor is one of your best healthcare resources in the cooler autumn weather. When you visit a chiropractor, they will ask about your concerns and symptoms, perform an assessment, and provide an adjustment to improve spinal motion and your body’s physical function. Regular chiropractic visits also help with body aches and pain, chronic conditions like arthritis, and even the immune system.  With the sweltering summer heat a thing of the past, changing leaves, and the excitement of fall sports, autumn is one of the best times of the year to be active. But this is also an important reminder to think about our bodies and how we can stay well as we enter the colder months. To learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care and to schedule an appointment with our team, contact the Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center today at 810-732-8336.