Regular stretching can help you
keep up with summer chores with
fewer aches and pains.
Stretch to prevent pain and keep up, too
Maintaining the yard, working on house projects and keeping up with daily chores amid summer’s bustle may push you to your limits. To avoid the aches and pains of overdoing it,
add frequent stretching to your routine. The following stretches can help prevent soreness in your back and shoulders while you work, and relieve discomforts afterward. Stretch only to a comfortable
level, not to pain. If you do have pain that is intense or continues after any of these stretches, discontinue until you discuss it with your physician.
Three stretches for yard work
While standing, bring your right arm across the chest. Let your right hand rest on your left shoulder or upper arm. With
your left hand, press the right elbow into your chest to gently stretch the right upper arm and shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch to the left arm.
While standing, bring your arms behind you and place both hands on your lower back. Keep your fingers pointing down, and your
elbows pointing to the sides. Inhale, and on the exhale move your elbows towards each other as far you can without discomfort. Feel the stretch across your chest, then bring the elbows back to the
side. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Begin on your hands and knees with a flat back. Now tuck your pelvis in and head down. Stretch your mid-back away from the
floor toward the sky — like a cat. Hold and breathe for a few seconds. Relax back into the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
To stay healthy and feeling good, practice these and other comfortable stretches several times every day.
Research shows some time in
the sun is vital to good health.
Here Comes the Sun
Sunlight eases pain, boosts mood, improves health
According to the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, sunlight can ease pain in surgical patients. Bright light also appears to stimulate production of serotonin, which is
associated with improved mood. Bruce Rabin, researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, concluded that sunlight can also decrease pain from other conditions, such as arthritis.
Protects against disease
Research shows that sunlight on the skin, important in the body’s production of vitamin D, plays a larger role in good health than scientists previously suspected. Studies now
show that vitamin D not only helps the body absorb calcium to build stronger bones, but also protects against other problems, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and
Limited exposure builds health
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends limiting your exposure to sun because of the risk of skin cancer. However, brief, regular exposure to sunlight (avoiding sunburn),
can help build a healthy body while it contributes to a more positive mood.
Massage can help you weather
the demands of your favorite sport.
Massage for Sports
Your ally in summer
It’s summer and the courts, golf courses, and pools are busy with children and adults playing hard. Unfortunately, sometimes we play a little too hard. We become plagued by aches
and pains or even an injury. We reach for the pain relievers and hope to feel better soon.
Massage helps prevent injuries
Don’t forget — massage can help! Your body tends to build up tension over time as you challenge it to work harder in your sport. Massage reduces muscle tension, which increases
your flexibility and resiliency. Specific massage techniques can also prevent soreness and injury before they happen.
A group of techniques, sometimes called sports massage, can help you heal from strains, sprains and overuse. Along with reducing pain, massage decreases inflammation and
swelling, which speeds healing.
What may be even more amazing is that massage can even help you perform better, whether that’s a half-marathon, tennis match or weekend baseball tournament. And it can help you
recover afterward, too. So if you have something big scheduled this summer, schedule a massage a few days before or the day afterward — or both.
Professional athletes have counted on massage for years to help them improve their skills and prevent injury. So why shouldn’t you schedule an extra massage or two this summer to
help you feel and perform your best?