BY DR. LISA GOODMAN, DC, CCSP, CACCP
Summer is the most active time of year in Denver. Kids are off school, most of us are hiking, biking, golfing, boating and just plain getting outside! In addition, there are backyard barbeques, beer drinking, traveling, eating out, frequent trips to the ice cream shop and potentially acquiring some poor eating (and drinking) habits! It is quite possible that your food choices or portion sizes have gotten out of control. As kids head back to school, this is a great time to get back into a healthy routine and reestablish good habits. It is also a great idea to set yourself up for success to manage fall holidays which can tend to challenge our good habits.
Body Repair – All summer long, at Wash Park Chiropractic, we have treated injuries that are typical of getting outside! Dog walking injuries have topped the list! Broken collar bones, wrists and sprained ankles are the price we pay for walking our furry friends so much in the summer. Second to that are cycling-related injuries including mountain and road biking. We’ve seen patients who’ve flown over their handlebars, crashed, road rash and serious collisions with cars. Farther down the list are hiking injuries which generally involve sprained ankles, cuts and bruises. Lastly, overuse injuries including IT Band Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis, knee pain, elbow pain and of course lower back pain are present in nearly every summer activity. One of the most common contact sports injuries we have seen is concussion.
Fall is a really good time to repair your summer injuries to make sure they don’t turn into chronic issues that prevent you from full participation in the activities you love. Easy self-care suggestions include:
• Epsom Salt Bath 2-3x/week. An easy, soothing way to balance muscle tension and reduce pain.
• Massage. Reduce build up of inflammation in your muscles that can evolve into fibrosis and stiffness
• Musculoskeletal check up – check in with your trusted chiropractor or physical therapist to evaluate your injuries and suggest treatment to get you on the road to recover quick.
• Time-off. Yep, even a week off from the gym or your sport will be time well spent on healing. Two weeks off provides great healing and reinvigorates your love for the sport/gym/activity!
Nutrition Detox – Portion size or food choice may be a little out of control right now. Not to mention beverage consumption habits can derail in the summer. A few things you can and should do for at least 10 days but potentially for 21 days to reset your habits include:
• Get rid of all extra sugar (this includes processed foods, alcohol and obviously sweets/ice cream)
• Increase your vegetable intake. The goal here is veggies at every meal
• Eliminate all dairy
• Check in on portion size, try eating smaller meals more frequently
• Back to beverage basics. Water, sparkling water and unsweetened tea are great choices.
Another great way to kick-start your fall nutrition is to kick-start your metabolism. Recommended every spring and fall, at Wash Park Chiropractic, we do this through a metabolic detoxification process, or 10-day cleanse. A cleanse is designed to re-energize and enhance the body’s ability to get rid of toxins. They target the toxins that are fat-soluble – the toxins that are not easily eliminated and require more enzymes to be removed from the body. Another great plus is that cleanses knock off a few pounds in a healthy manner, and they get us back to nutritious eating habits that might have slipped a bit during the summer. There are tons of other programs to walk you through a reset, one good option to push the reset button on your eating habits and sugar addiction is the Whole 30.
Don’t forget the kids!
Body Repair for kids – Kids who have suffered summer injuries should also be evaluated so that they can start the school year off injury-free. Consider a season of rest weather it is fall, winter or spring, perhaps a season off of sport is a great way to physically repair. This is a good time to try an instrument, art class or yoga. If rest is not in your child’s vocabulary, interchange sports that complement each other but are not similar (ie. soccer and swimming // lacrosse and gymnastics // parkour and lacrosse).
Nutrition Detox for kids – Discuss nutrition with your kids and the importance of fuel for the brain and body. Include them in packing school lunches and making good choices. Reduce deserts, encourage water or herbal unsweetened tea, increase vegetable and protein intake at every meal.
Check-in with yourself and your family at the end of every season. Just like we clean out the garage or pantry, we must clean out nutritional bad habits and physical injuries that are hanging on to improve our moods and quality of life.
For more information about our cleanse, check out our website at www.washparkchiro.com or our facebook page.