The Healthy View
It’s been another long week of self-isolating. Have you been spending more time hunched over your laptop trying to work from home in a less than ideal workspace? Are you itching to get your golf clubs out and enjoy this beautiful spring weather? This week’s Healthy View Blog has some tips, suggestions, and information that might help make your week at home just a little bit more enjoyable.
As always, should you have any questions for our team of therapists, do not hesitate to reach out by emailing your questions. Your emails will be responded to as soon as possible.
Quote I’m Pondering…
“Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness they are altering your world.” – Ben Okri
Coronavirus Proofing Your Home
Right now, our worlds' - as we know them - have changed. We're all staying home as much as possible, but we're also making essential trips out to the grocery store and pharmacy. But do you know what you should do to ensure you don't bring the cirus back home with you?
Click here for tips on Coronavirus proofing your home.
Golf Season Preparation
The second weekend of April is always my favourite weekend of the year. The weather is usually starting to improve enough to be able to go to the golf range and hit some balls, shaking off the swing rust from our winter away from the course. More importantly, it is also the weekend Augusta National hosts the time-honoured tradition of the Masters Invitational golf tournament - which is widely considered the official start of golf season.
Although it may not feel like golf season is right around the corner, due to the cancellation of the Masters and all other tournaments since the beginning of March, when the weather improves and golf facilities open for business, you’ll want to be ready to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, it’s then that golfers usually realize their bodies are not quite ready to go from 0 to 100.
Now is the time to start work on your overall level of fitness, getting your body ready to play golf. The five most common mechanisms of injury in golf are:
- Poor body mechanics
- Poor swing biomechanics
- Excessive practice or overuse
- Poor nutrition
- Improper club fitting
Poor Body Mechanics
Poor body mechanics, means that many golfers get injured because they do not have the mobility and stability to support swinging a golf club repeatedly during the golf season. More simply put, most golfers lack the required level of flexibility and strength to avoid injury while playing.
There are many things to consider when designing a program to help the way a golfer moves, but the most important thing to realize is that any program worth doing should be customized and tailored to each golfer’s physical capabilities.
The leaders in the golf health and fitness industry are the people at the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips have been educating medical professionals, fitness coaches, and golf instructors for years on how to improve and optimize how golfers move. Here are a couple great tweets by TPI that talk about the importance of mobility and stability. (approx. 1 minute each)
In the following tweet Charley Hoffman shows a drill that he does regularly to help him find proper neutral spine positioning at the address position. (less than 1 minute)
In this last tweet, I’ve attached a podcast from world #1 ranked Rory McIlroy on his approach to health and fitness. (approx. 30 minutes)
If you have any questions regarding how your golf fitness can be improved during this period of isolation, feel free to reach out to me directly and I would be happy to help you get ready for the 2020 golf season.
Ergonomics of Working from Home
Because of our current situation, a lot of us have found ourselves working from home for longer hours than usual, all without ergonomically designed work stations. You can improvise a work station with a little imagination and an understanding of a few basic principles.
- If you’re using a laptop, position the monitor so that the top is just below your eye level. Use textbooks or a box to elevate to this appropriate height.
- Your arms should be positioned at your side at a 90 degree angle. Using a separate keyboard can help with your arm position.
- Consider standing at a kitchen counter or perching on a high stool.
But, by far the most important principle you need to remember is to change your position frequently. Stand up and stretch, take deep breaths when you feel tense or tired, and go for a walk if you can. Try to make use of the time you would normally take to commute for exercise or meditation.
Have questions about your work from home set-up? Reach out to Joanna directly.
Increasing Hip Mobility
Following up on last week's piece about increasing Hip Mobility (Core 4 Stretches), I want to put a focus on building or improving the way you move first.
We are built to compensate when we don’t have enough mobility (i.e. ankles, hips, thoracic spine). Our joints are designed to be either mobile or stable for normal function. If you restore the joint mobility first, you can improve stability in many cases.
If someone tells you they have a bad back, they are often wrong. They might have a bad low back, but that doesn’t always mean they have a “bad back.” Pain in the back, especially in the lumbar region, is often the result of tightness in the hips and thoracic spine. The lower back is not the culprit, the lower back is the victim. We must improve the mobility (areas in blue, above) before attempting to improve stability (areas in red).
Regional interdependence comes out of a concept of “Just because that’s where the pain is, that is not necessarily where the problem is.” This video is an example of the importance of understanding the concept of regional interdependence, commonly referred to as the “Joint by Joint Approach.”
If you’re trying to rehabilitate, stabilize, or train a spine and you haven’t looked at all the reasons a spine may have to compensate – lack of hip extension, lack or medial rotation on one hip, poor balance on one leg, poor thoracic spine mobility – you’re not doing a very good join at protecting the spine. You’re trying to add a positive to a situation that would do better if you removed a negative. This is why we “Don’t put strength on top of dysfunction.”
Have questions about this or any other mobility issues, reach out to Chris.
Immunity & Recovery
Dr. Bubbs - a naturopathic doctor and consultant performance nutritionist for Canada Basketball - hosts a weekly podcast, featuring experts in the health and wellness field. In a recent episode, Dr. Bubbs rewinds the tapes to bring you a highlights podcast on immunity and recovery. In the episode, you’ll learn:
- How the immune system works and is impacted by exercise
- About the importance of adequate fueling for elite sport and the consequences of low energy availability on health and performance
- About vitamin D and its impact on immunity
- How stress and the gut-brain connection can impact your overall health
Listen to this episode, here.
Have a topic you want us to discuss in these weekly Healthy View blogs? Email us!