The act of stretching has not only become an art form but also has many philosophies and theories to go along with it. To make life easier, here are some simple guidelines to follow. These guidelines will greatly enhance your physical fitness.

The most common mistake made when stretching is not properly warming up! Many think that stretching is a warm up and it simply is not! Warming up refers to raising the core temperature of your body.


It is very important to perform a general warm-up before you stretch. It is not a good idea to stretch before your muscles are warm. Cold stretching (no warm-up), on the other hand, can greatly increase your risk of injury! Warming will do more than just loosen stiff muscles; when done properly, it can actually improve performance.

In general, the fewer muscles you try to stretch at once, the better. For example, if you want to stretch your hamstrings you are better off trying to stretch one hamstring instead of both hamstrings at the same time. When you isolate a muscle, you experience less resistance from other muscle groups. This is turn gives you greater control over the stretch and allows you to easily change its intensity.

One thing many people seem to disagree about is how long to hold a passive stretch. The truth is that no one really knows just how long is best. A good common ground seems to be about 20 seconds.

Another factor to achieve the ideal stretch is taking slow, relaxed breaths. Some experts recommend increasing the intensity of the stretch only when exhaling. Proper breathing helps to relax the body, increases blood flow throughout the body, and helps to remove lactic acid and other by-products of exercise.

Here are just some of the benefits of proper stretching:

  • enhanced physical fitness
  • enhanced ability to perform skilled movements
  • increased mental and physical relaxation
  • enhanced development of body awareness
  • reduced risk of injury
  • reduced muscular soreness
  • reduced muscular tension

Start stretching today and remember: Don’t Stretch til You Sweat!


Dr. Bill Nolan from Cherry Street Chiropractic offers simple tips to avoid back injuries while show shoveling. “Snow shoveling can be stressful. Bending forward, lifting, and twisting, combined with the exposure to the cold, can cause muscle spasms, strains or tears. Your spine is in the most vulnerable position when you flex forward and rotate. This is why simple movements such as raking, vacuuming, and shoveling cause a lot of injuries.”

First, there is a right way and wrong way to shovel. Most people shovel the wrong way and put their spine at risk for injury. The most common method of shoveling is to load up the shovel, lift the load without using your legs, and heave the load over one of your shoulders. This method puts tremendous pressure on the lower back, increasing your risk of injury.

Dr. Bill suggests these tips when dealing with snow:

  • Warm-Up. Before you start any type of exercise you want to do a warm-up, shoveling is no different. A body that is stiff and tight is prime for an injury. A few minutes of walking, jumping jacks and stretching can do you a lot of good.
  • Stay warm. Once you start working outside you want to keep your muscles warm. The best way to do this is layer your clothing. If you get too hot you can always take a layer off. Your hands and feet are important areas to stay warm as well.
  • Proper shovel. The right shovel should be about chest high on you, this allows you to keep your back straight while shoveling. If you use a shovel that is too short you will be forced to lean forward more putting more stress on the lower back.
  • Proper posture. When you do shovel, use your legs and bend with your knees. Instead of throwing the snow use the shovel to push the snow straight ahead into the snow bank.
  • Take breaks. If you shovel for too long or too fast without taking a break your muscles are at higher risk for a strain. Think about lifting weights, you would never bench press for 30 minutes without a break. Use the same approach with shoveling. Take frequent breaks.
  • Stay hydrated. Keep your body hydrated while shoveling with plenty of water. Take the same approach to moving snow as you would with exercising at the gym.

Good luck with the snow! Stay safe and stay warm. If an injury does occur please do not hesitate to call us.


Last year I attended a conference entitled: Move Well- Innate Physical Fitness & Spinal Hygiene…there were so many good take aways. One concept that really stuck with me was the fact that our new “normal” is to be unhealthy and unfit whereas just a few decades ago it was the norm to be fit and healthy.

To get you started to move in the right direction here are 10 Activities to Avoid or Minimize:
1. Sitting
2. Standing with weight on one foot
3. Reading on your back with head in a flexed position
4. One sided sports (creates imbalances-always practice with both hands)
5. Carrying bags on one shoulder
6. Sleeping on your stomach
7. Cradling phone between shoulder and ear
8. Watching tv (no justification possible)
9. Repetitive activities with arms in front or overhead
10.Poor posture during any activity

Tomorrow we will discuss 10 Good Choices to Make…stay tuned.


Just because its the most common does not mean it is the best….I am referring to SYMPTOMS! The majority of people judge their health by the way they feel. If we feel good we believe we are healthy and if we feel bad we believe we are sick. Although this may work in certain situations the majority of the time using symptoms as our barometer of health is not a good decision.

For example it takes 8 years for cancer to be detectable. Imagine if every cell that turned cancerous caused us pain or discomfort…we would stop the behaviors immediately to avoid the pain. Unfortunately none of the big killers (cancer, heart disease, etc..) work this way.

Imagine if each time we ate bad food that caused our arteries to clog we could feel the damage? When we burn ourselves on a hot stove we learn very quickly not to touch it, but we continue to smoke, eat bad food and not exercise because we cannot immediately feel the negative effects of our actions.

The same goes for our spine…when we feel pain in our lower back we think we are “in bad shape” but when the pain is gone we think we are “good to go”….it is time to reevaluate the way we use symptoms….if you are looking to find out if you are truly healthy or sick then you must invest in your health as you would your vehicle. Many patients will take better care of their vehicle than their own body…regular oil changes, car washes, tire rotations, etc… When was the last time you had your homocysteine levels checked or your c-reactive protein? Both of these are better markers of heart disease and inflammation than blood pressure and cholesterol. Take control of your health and stop using symptoms as your barometer of health.


Do you suffer from shoulder, neck or head tension? If so, you may have Forward Head Posture. Forward Head Posture is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder tension as well as certain types of headaches. Forward Head Posture can be identified when the ear is positioned forward from the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it (see picture).

For every one inch your head moves forward from its proper position, the head gains approximately 10 pounds in weight.  This forces the muscles in your upper back and neck to work much harder to keep the head from dropping forward. Fatigue is one of the most common causes of poor posture. Tired muscles cannot support the spine as it was designed to do.

Forward Head Posture can be a result of poor habits such as “slouching” at the computer, sitting awkwardly on the couch, or poor sleeping posture. These habits can be worsened if the neck muscles have been strained and or sprained in the past.

Awareness of proper neck and shoulder posture is the first step toward correction. One simple exercise you can do, at home or work, to alleviate neck and shoulder tension is the “double chin” exercise.

Start by standing or sitting up straight. Look straight ahead and make sure your chin is level with the floor. Pull your head back as far you can, keeping the chin level, until the skin under your neck bunches and looks like a double chin. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do 10 repetitions. This exercise should be done at least once per day.



We do things for our kids because we want what’s best for them, right? We want them to be happy, healthy, do good in school, etc..  We buy homes in certain school districts because we believe it will give them an edge later in life.  We put off vacations and new cars so that we can put money away for their college education.  Of all the things I do for my kids, the one that I am most proud…

…is to give them a chiropractic adjustment!

To understand why I adjust my kids, it’s best to understand what the adjustment does to the body.  The brain controls everything in our bodies;  how we move, how our organs work, how we digest food, how we fight illness and disease. The only way for the brain to communicate with the body is along the “Super Highway” of nerves that travel down the spine and out to the organs, muscles and tissues.

We adjust the spine to make sure that there is no interference with the brain’s communication to the rest of the body. When there is no interference the body will do two things…it will function and heal better! .  Kids sleep better, eat better, fewer notes come home from teachers because they can control themselves better in class.  I notice a difference in my kids when they are getting regular adjustments and you will too.

I adjust my family because I love them and I want what’s best for them.


Cherry Street Health Group is centrally located in downtown Danvers. We welcome the chance to meet you and introduce you to our team and services.


Copyright 2017 by Cherry Street Health Group. All rights reserved.