Warm Up Your Engine


How many mornings have you gotten into your car and the second you start it up, you immediately put it into reverse, back up out of the driveway, shift into drive and off you go? It’s worked that way every other morning, why not today? Why not tomorrow?

There was an afternoon where I did just that recently. In the passenger seat was someone that I’ve known for some time.  I had my car in gear and moving so fast after starting it that my friend looked over at me and said, “So I guess you don’t plan on having this car for very long.” I looked at my friend who has a background in diesel mechanics with a puzzled look. “Either that or you just really don’t like your car very much,” he said.

I asked him why he would say that. I love my car. It gets me everywhere I need to go each day. I put in a good grade of gasoline and change the oil every 3000 miles. I try to keep it clean inside and out. Why would he say that? He proceeded, “Doc, let me put it this way. When you don’t let the engine warm up for even a few minutes before putting it into gear, you are in essence running the engine ‘cold’ and that can damage the internal mechanics of the engine. It will break down sooner.”

“Imagine your patients waking up and getting right into their day without doing the spinal stretches that you recommend,” he continued.  “Imagine a runner getting to the race just in time to do the full sprint competition. In each of those cases, you know that they are more prone to injure themselves.”

I was humbled. Granted, I don’t know much about cars, but I know more now. And he is absolutely correct when it comes to your body. It’s important – no, crucial – to warm up your body each day. Oftentimes it can be as simple as doing some regular stretches, bending your body forwards and backwards, side to side, and turning to one side and then the other. In some cases maybe even a short brisk walk and a couple tall glasses of water. Those are just some options.

Ultimately the idea is this: warm up before you attack the day because after all, you love your body. It helps you get everywhere you need to go each day. Feed it well. Exercise it often. And always remember to take it in for the occasional tune-up with healthy chiropractic care.

There really isn’t a better plan for keeping your “engine” running for as long as possible.

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