Like we did at Thanksgiving, we decided that you might enjoy a little holiday trivia. This time, we’re talking Christmas trees!
- Christmas trees became very popular in 1841, when Prince Albert had one set up in Windsor Castle. In 1848, drawing of “The Queen’s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle” was published in the Illustrated London News. The publication of the drawing helped Christmas trees become popular in both the United Kingdom and United States.
- The official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933. Since 2004 the tree has been topped with a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star. And since 2007, the tree has been lit with 30,000 energy-efficient LED’s which are powered by solar panels.
- Artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany during the 19th century and later became popular in the United States. These “trees” were made using goose feathers that were dyed green and attached to wire branches. The wire branches were then wrapped around a central dowel rod that acted as the trunk.
- 9 million artificial trees were purchased in the United States in 2012.
- The most popular Christmas trees are: Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, Virginia pine and white pine.
- Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the top Christmas tree producing states.
- An acre of Christmas trees provides the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
All of us here at Case Chiropractic hope you and yours have a very merry Christmas! More
For all of those who have had to dig out of the snowstorms up north and in the mid-west, you know there can be problems when snow, ice and frigid weather blast into town. Winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is not in condition. Winter sports like skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you’re not in shape. Even shoveling snow the wrong way, clambering awkwardly over snow banks, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kinds of clothing can all pose the potential for spasms, strains and sprains. Preparation for an outdoor activity, including conditioning the areas of the body that are most vulnerable, can help avoid injury and costly health care bills. Simply put, warming up is essential. Here’s some recommendations to help prevent injury:
Skiing – Squats are the best exercise to do to warm up for skiing. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, knees aligned over your feet. Slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees over your feet (but do not let your knees go past your toes to prevent knee injury). Stand up straight again. Perform 10 to 15 squats.
Skating – Lunges are the best exercise to warm up for skating. Take a moderately advanced step with one foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat the process with your other foot.
Sledding/tobogganing – Perform knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries caused by repetitive bouncing over the snow. Either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.
Don’t forget cool-down stretching for all of these sports – At the bottom of the sledding hill, for instance, before trudging back up, do some more knees-to-chest stretches, or repetitive squatting movements to restore flexibility.
Shoveling snow can also wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. The American Chiropractic Association suggests the following tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety:
1. If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.
2. Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
3. Shoveling can strain muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. Do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.
4. When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don’t try to throw it. Walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
5. Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
6. Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
7. Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.
After any of these activities, if you are sore, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two. If you still feel soreness or pain after following all these tips, it may be time to see your doctor of chiropractic. More
The day after Thanksgiving is a milestone of sorts in America. It reminds us of just how quickly the year has gone by – and how close we are to the holiday season. And until we flip the calendar over to a new year, the chaos just doesn’t let up. Our bodies can sometimes have a hard time keeping up with everything you want them to do. With the added stress of the season, we need to do everything we can to help our bodies keep up. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about. So here are a few tips to keep in mind while searching for that incredible deal:
1. Stay hydrated: Drink eight to ten –ounce glasses of water a day. On shopping days, you may need to drink more.
2. Stretch: Make sure you stretch. When you are stressed-out, your muscles are not as flexible.
3. Foot wear: Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the sole to absorb the impact of walking on those hard shopping mall floors. One study showed that 60% of women report wearing uncomfortable shoes when they shop.
4. Clothing: Make sure to wear layers as you will be going from cold to warm.
5. Leave that heavy purse at home: Leave your purse at home and only bring your driver’s license and credit card or important identification cards. You can also wear a light fanny pack.
6. Frequent Breaks: Plan frequent breaks during your heavy shopping days. Take a break every 45 minutes. 30 minutes if you have less stamina. Try to eat light foods. Skip the coffee. Coffee and sodas add stress to your body.
7. Lockers: If possible, obtain a locker. Lockers can cut down dramatically on how much you have to carry around. If your mall or shopping center does not offer lockers, try to plan frequent trips to your car. Don’t carry around more than is absolutely necessary.
8. Diet: We need to eat better around the holidays. On average, people gain 5 to 6 pounds. Eating a heavy meal and then running around shopping can be very dangerous. More