A family goes hiking in a forest in Bend. Oregon.

5 Chiropractor-Approved Activities for the Summer

Summer is finally here, bringing warm weather, sunshine, and plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy some fun physical activities. However, it’s important to choose activities that are good for your body and won’t cause injury or strain. As a chiropractor, I’m often asked what types of summer activities I recommend to my patients. Here are some of my top picks for enjoyable summer fun.

1. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that works your whole body without putting excessive strain on your joints and spine. Whether you opt for swimming laps at your local pool or just enjoying some relaxing time floating and playing in the water, swimming is a fantastic way to get fit and build strength and endurance while minimizing impact. The buoyancy of the water helps take pressure off your joints, muscles, and vertebrae.

2. Hiking

Getting out for a hike on a scenic trail is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of summer while also treating yourself to a excellent workout. Hiking works your legs, core, and cardiovascular system. Just be sure to wear proper footwear with good traction and arch support to avoid straining your feet, ankles, and knees. Proper hiking posture is also key – keep your shoulders back and spine straight as you walk to avoid rounding of the back. Using trekking poles can also help take some strain off your back.

3. Kayaking/Canoeing

These water sports provide a unique physical workout by exercising your core, arms, shoulders and back through the paddling motion. Kayaking and canoeing are low impact on your joints while still improving strength, endurance, and balance. Proper form and posture are important to avoid back strain. Make sure your back is straight and you’re engaging your core as you paddle.

4. Cycling

Biking is a fun family-friendly activity that is also an excellent low-impact workout to help build strength and endurance in your legs. Be sure your bike is properly fitted to your body and that your posture is upright rather than hunched over to avoid back strain. Wearing a helmet is also crucial. Choose paved bike trails or paths without too many hills at first to work your way up gradually.

5. Yoga/Pilates

These mind-body practices combine stretching, strength, and balance work in a low-impact way that is easy on the joints and spine. Taking a yoga or Pilates class outside in a park is the perfect way to get exercise while also connecting with nature. The strengthening and stretching involved in yoga and Pilates can help improve flexibility, balance, core strength and posture – all things chiropractors in Bend love to see.

The common thread with all of these activities is that they get you moving and active without excessive impact, jumping, or high strain on your joints and spine. That’s the key for summer exercise. You want to have fun, get outside, and challenge yourself physically – but not at the risk of injuring your back, neck, or core.

As with any exercise program, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it if you are feeling excessive pain or strain anywhere. Proper form and posture are essential for any of these activities in order to avoid injury.

Why Regular Chiropractic Care is Important in Summer

Summer is a time when many people become more physically active, engaging in various outdoor activities, sports, and recreational pursuits. While this increased activity can be beneficial for overall health and well-being, it can also put additional stress on the body, particularly the musculoskeletal system. This is where the importance of continuing chiropractic care during the summer months comes into play.

Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to health that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure, primarily the spine, and its function. By addressing spinal misalignments and joint dysfunction, your Bend chiropractor aims to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and promote overall well-being. During the summer, when our bodies are subjected to increased physical demands, maintaining proper spinal alignment and joint function becomes even more crucial.

One of the primary reasons to continue chiropractic care during the summer is injury prevention. As we engage in activities like hiking, swimming, gardening, or playing sports, our bodies are put under additional stress. Misalignments in the spine or imbalances in the musculoskeletal system can increase the risk of injuries, such as sprains, strains, or even more severe conditions like herniated discs. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help maintain proper spinal alignment, reduce stress on the joints, and enhance overall body mechanics, which can prevent these types of injuries.

Furthermore, chiropractic care can also aid in recovery from existing injuries or chronic conditions. Summer activities may exacerbate existing issues, such as back pain, neck pain, or joint discomfort. By addressing the underlying causes of these conditions through spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and other techniques, your chiropractor in Bend can help alleviate pain and promote healing, allowing individuals to enjoy their summer activities without significant discomfort.

Chiropractors employ a variety of techniques and treatment options to keep the body in tune during the summer months. Some of these include:

  1. Spinal adjustments: This is the cornerstone of chiropractic care, where your Bend chiropractor uses precise, controlled movements to restore proper alignment and mobility to the spine and joints.
  2. Soft tissue therapy: Techniques like massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release can help relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote healing.
  3. Exercise and rehabilitation: Your chiropractor in Bend often provides guidance on specific exercises and stretches to improve strength, flexibility, and overall functional movement patterns.
  4. Nutritional counseling: Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and aiding recovery. Your Bend chiropractor may provide nutritional advice to support the body’s healing process.
  5. Lifestyle recommendations: Your chiropractor may offer suggestions on ergonomics, posture, and other lifestyle factors that can help prevent injuries and promote overall well-being.

By incorporating chiropractic care into summer routines, you can take a proactive approach to maintaining your musculoskeletal health, reducing the risk of injuries, and ensuring that you fully enjoy the activities you love without being sidelined by pain or discomfort.

So, get out there and savor all the warmth and sunshine summer has to offer! Just be smart about your activity choices and keep your back, neck, and core in great shape. Enjoy your summer!