All posts tagged: stretching

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 11th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life. 

A nice moment recently.  This past season one of the boys I’ve coached for several years has had a very tough go of it.  It’s been especially frustrating for him because he was coming off an amazing season last time out.  He went from catching everything and making big plays to dropping pass after pass.  We worked with him a lot, but it never clicked like it had for him and after a while the quarterback lost faith in him, and the ball went to him less.  You could just tell his confidence was gone.

During our last game this past weekend we got near the goal line and the other team called a time out so my team (and oldest son who was my fill in assistant for the day) was surrounding me waiting for me to call the play.   I told the player I just mentioned to look me in the eyes, and I said “I’m calling this one for you because I believe in you.  I want you to believe in yourself, catch it and score.  Can you do that?”  He said he could.  And he did.  I then had a nice moment with him as he ran off the field.  Later, my older son said “You’re usually so fired up when you’re coaching but that was a nice heartwarming moment and I’m glad I was there for it.  That was cool.”  I certainly didn’t throw the pass or catch it, so I deserve no credit, but I think sometimes it’s important to let someone who is maybe a bit down know that you’re still there for them.

A great reminder about exercise.  I finished coaching my team for the season on Saturday and it’s always a let down for me when I’m done and it’s over.  After the game, my wife mentioned that she started an email address for my late brother-in-law (her youngest brother) so that we can email him as kind of like a shared journal for us to keep of him.  That night I wrote to him, and it was emotional for me.  Sunday morning, I woke up and feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and not myself.  I decided had to do something, so I put my daughter in the jogging stroller and off we went for a 5-mile run. 

Almost immediately during that run (and especially after), I felt like a different person.  The anxiety had subsided, and I felt clear-headed and myself again.  This was a great reminder for me about.  The physiology of exercise is truly amazing and does so much more than tone our bodies.  Rather than dwell on feeling sad or try and numb the pain with substances, get out and get some endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) going and you’ll notice an instant improvement in how you feel.

A great question to ask yourself.  In the book “Atomic Habits” (excellent book!)  the author makes the point that our habits form our identity.  As an example, if you regularly write each week, then part of your identity is that of a writer.  If you don’t write, this would not be the case even if you wanted to think of yourself as one.  So, the question to ask yourself is as of this second right now, what are your most common habits?  What do those habits say about who you are?

I like this simple viewpoint.  Regardless of where your life is at, you can begin changing your identity through habits at any time you choose.  If you’re out of shape and have 50 pounds to lose but are now trying to exercise and eat better, then your identity is that of someone who is getting in shape.  If you’re broke, start following habits that someone with money might.  Give real thought to your habits and what they say about you and what you’d like them to say about you.

A valuable lesson I I’ve taken from my races.  Due to COVID, I have not had an opportunity to compete in a legitimate race since March 2020.  This week I registered one that will take place in late July and am excited again.  I was speaking with someone who is doing the same race and competing in an ultramarathon (generally 31 miles minimum up to 100 miles or more) for the first time and they asked me quite a few questions.  One of the things I expressed to them was that these types of races mirror the feelings and emotions that everyday life gives us.  In other words, you’ll physically exert and challenge your body but will come away with many valuable lessons that apply to life in general.  I was then asked to provide an example.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in these types of races is that things will always get better, and things will always get worse.  The trick is to just accept this and never get too high or too low.  When you’re going great, enjoy the heck out of it and take full advantage.  When you’re in a low spot, keep fighting and realize that things will soon improve somehow.  Both extremes are equally valuable and necessary.  There are times in races where I’ll feel horrible for hours and then great for hours, it just depends.  Life is no different – there are ups and downs and ultimately the key is to just keep moving forward.  Sometimes this will happen with speed and enthusiasm.  Other times it’ll be slow and begrudgingly.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other and making progress.  True in races, even more true in life. 

Some quotes I love.

“Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens.” – Tim Tebow

“When they say you can’t do it, do it twice and take pics.”

“Most people don’t really want the truth.  They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.” 

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” – Philip Sidney

“Sick until proven healthy is the same as guilty until proven innocent.”

Want more?

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Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 11th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 4th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life. 

A cool experience this past week.  On Memorial Day it is common for many to do the “Murph Challenge” which is named in honor of Navy SEAL Mike Murphy who died heroically in Operation Redwing as told in the book and movie, Lone Survivor written by Marcus Luttrell (who was the only survivor).  The workout involves wearing a weighted vest and running 1 mile, then doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and then finishing with another mile run.

I did this workout myself and then my two oldest sons and their friend joined me for another 5-mile run where each of us took turns carrying the American flag.  Seeing those young men proudly carry the flag as passing cars beeped their support made me extremely proud.  Afterwards they kept talking about how cool the experience was and how glad they were they did it.  I was so proud of them and shared a “proud dad” post about it on my Instagram about the event and told my boys I would tag them and some of the Navy SEALs and special operations guys we look up to as well.  Almost immediately, our post was “liked” by Marcus Luttrell who was on the mission in which Mike Murphy died and who was his best friend.  This meant a lot to all of us, as though he approved of how we were honoring his friend and the thousands of others like him.  It was a great day of patriotism for us and an experience we’ll all remember.

Something that’s been working well for me.  For the past week, I’ve taken nothing but cold showers.  I learned this years ago from reading about Wim Hof who is the godfather of cold training.  For space purposes, I won’t go into all the specifics of how (just Google it) it works but being exposed to cold water (and cold in general) forces you to breathe in a certain way to tolerate it.  Exposure to the cold water in this fashion leads to physical and mental resiliency, less sensitivity to cold (through production of brown fat), increased testosterone, boosts in metabolism, increased energy and more.  I’d gotten away from doing this for some time but am back at it and the benefits for me have been noticeable instantly!

“I walk every day, why am I not losing weight?”  I hear this often and wanted to address it.  First, there is nothing wrong with walking and it can be great exercise.

When someone goes from being relatively sedentary to beginning to walk regularly, there is often an immediate improvement in terms of weight loss.  This is because the body is not accustomed to it and so metabolism is increased.  If you continue walking the exact same distance and pace each day, eventually your body will become more efficient and will not need to raise metabolism as much in response, and thus you won’t lose weight.  If you were to quicken your pace, increase the distance, start walking more hills or otherwise change the routine; you’d notice a change once again.  Finally, if you’re walking and moving more but not following it up with at least decent nutrition, it’ll be difficult to see any noticeable changes from just walking (or any exercise really).

Something I liked recently.  My youngest son will be 3 in July and began taking karate a couple months ago.  Some classes go well, and some don’t which is what you expect at that age.  This week he went to a class and ended up being the only student, so he had the instructor to himself.  It went ok for about 10 minutes and then went off the tracks before my wife had to end his lesson (out of respect to the instructor).  He was a bit intimidated being in class alone, and it was new for him, so we weren’t worried about it.

What I liked is that the sensei told my wife “I’m not going to tell him he did well because he didn’t “, then offered some constructive advice and explained that this is a normal part of young students’ learning.  He wasn’t upset with my son in any way, was kind to him and told him he’d see him tomorrow.  Why did I like this?  Because I think it’s wonderful when the correct behaviors are reinforced as opposed to commending those that aren’t.  He did not insult my son or hurt his feelings; he simply didn’t praise his behavior as being appropriate.  When he shows up at his next class and does well, I’m sure he’ll tell my boy that he did great and that will hopefully begin the cycle for him of knowing how to behave in class.  This is a small example to me of how good behaviors can be learned and how things that are earned are always far better than those that are simply given.

Some quotes I love.

“You won’t always be motivated that’s why you have to learn to be disciplined.” 

“Discipline is doing what you hate to do but doing it like you love it.” – Mike Tyson

“There’s free cheese in a mousetrap.” – saw this on Instagram and dug it

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 4th
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7 Ways to Prevent Neck Pain

As a chiropractor neck pain is something I deal with daily. As a result I’m frequently asked what can be done to reduce it. Today I’ll discuss 7 things I’ve found most effective for reducing neck pain.

1. Computer ergonomics. Neck muscles are small and designed for regular motion – looking up, down, side to side, etc. When they remain in a single position for too long they are forced to carry a greater load than what they’re designed for. Staring into computer screens for hours at a time is the most common culprit for this these days.
The fix: Sit with your shoulders back, head in a neutral (not forward) position, use a bigger monitor and make sure your monitor is in front of you and not to one side.

2. Devices. These days most of us have smart phones or tablets that we use regularly (often too regularly). When reading or playing on them we usually do so with our heads bent forward. This puts significant strain on the muscles and vertebrae of the neck leading to potential problems.
The fix: Rather than bringing your head down toward the device, bring the device up toward you so that you can look at it without bending the neck. This will eliminate neck strain.

3. Sleeping position. Another frequent cause of neck pain is a poor sleeping position – often using either too many pillows or too few. This places minimal stress on one side of the neck while applying significant stress on to the other. Signs of this are difficulty falling asleep due to discomfort and/or pain upon waking.
The fix: A pillow with a cervical contour or simply sleeping with a pillow sized so that your neck muscles feel relaxed on both sides when lying on it will help. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach as this requires your neck to be turned to one side which will inevitably cause problems.

4. Stretch. In my experience while people often take time to stretch their backs, few stretch or loosen their neck muscles. This can lead to tight muscles, lack of mobility and often pain.
The fix: First, perform basic range of motion a few times throughout the day by simply moving your head and neck forward to back, side to side and then tip it from side to side. Next, do these same ranges of motion against resistance. For example, as you rotate your head to the right, do so into your right hand which is applying gentle pressure toward the left. This helps strengthen the muscles of the neck.

5. Posture. If you look at pictures of yourself you may notice that you have a tendency to have your head forward or tipped to one side. These poor positions are common and apply undue stress to the muscles and vertebrae of the neck and upper back leading to pain and other issues.
The fix: Start by drawing your breastbone back to improve your posture, this will keep your shoulders, head and even hips in a neutral, healthier position. Second, I recommend “postural checkpoints.” These are mental prompts you create for yourself to help monitor your posture. For example, if you tend to slouch while driving, create a checkpoint when you stop to remind yourself to “sit up straight.” After a week or two these become automatic and help decrease neck pain (and other pains as well).

6. De-stress. Stress has a negative effect on muscles making them tighter, less mobile and often sore. This is particularly true for the muscles from ranging from the neck down through your middle back.
The fix: There is no one cure for stress but in general things such as meditation, exercise, spending more time with people that build your confidence/make you happy, creating “me time”, having a hobby and other such things are effective.

7. Checkups. As mentioned in my introduction, neck pain is something I deal with daily because of how effective chiropractic can be in curing it. Our spines our constantly pressured via many of the things mentioned in this post. This can lead to arthritic changes of your spine (long term) as well as pressure on nerves that cause pain and other unpleasant symptoms (short or long term).
The fix: Treat your spine like you would your teeth, get regular checkups so that problems do not develop and so you’re not forced to endure unnecessary pain.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt Kenney7 Ways to Prevent Neck Pain
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