At the beach … time to heal

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau and Christophe O. Alves [email protected]

Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She spent 10 years in a house practice in Québec city and two years in Vancouver. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children.

Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic.

The Algarve is one of the sunniest areas of Europe all year round. We suppose that for most people coming on holiday it would seem like one of the best places to enjoy good health.

As Chiropractors, we see each summer many visitors stopping by our office. The reason for their consultation is not only due to new problems related to sports activities or dancing hours on end but most of the time it is a flare up of old injuries.

Our body needs time to heal, time that we do not give it throughout our busy daily lives.  Sorry to say that it sometimes chooses these few days of freedom that we are entitled to each year to express itself and it hurts!

It seems like our bodies choose this time to deal with some unfinished business.  

So, if you just arrived on holiday, if you are in the middle of it or just about to go back to “normal” life, it is still not too late to help your body in its healing process.

Before your body screams at you and forces you to stop, let’s help it recover so you can enjoy your holidays to the fullest.

Here are some tips you can practice during your stay to put some more miles in your spine.

If it is not enough, a Chiropractor is just around the corner!

Fancy a walk?

Take advantage of our beautiful beaches to simply walk. Look straight ahead in the distance, try to avoid stepping on fresh made sand castles and put yourself into motion.

Walking in the sand offers some more give and it is less stressful on your joints. However you need to choose a flat strip of the beach so you don’t walk on an unlevelled surface.

You may want to increase the challenge by walking in the shallow water.

What about a swim?

Warm salty water is soothing and swimming in it is a wonderful way to cool off after sunbathing or after a long walk.

Swimming is a fantastic whole-body workout that increases strength, flexibility and produces cardiovascular benefits.

Only 10 minutes of comfortably paced breast stroke will burn nearly 100 calories. Want to burn more? Go faster or stay in the water longer.


This is a classic beach game and it is one that people never get tired of enjoying together. Even if you have not played for years, as soon as one of these things comes out everyone gets on their feet. Exercising everything from legs, waist, arms and shoulders, the Frisbee is a good all-round activity.

Time for stretching

Before and after all this activity, it is always a good idea to do some gentle stretching exercises. This will help you gain some flexibility and allow your muscles to relax.

Here are some basic stretches we recommend:

Buttock stretch (Gluteus muscles) – You can lie onto your back and bring your knees up to your chest and gently stretch your buttock area. You hold the position for a period of 30 seconds.

Cat stretch – Get on all fours, arch your back up as high as possible. Hold this position for between ten and 30 seconds then relax.

Then slump down as if trying to get the navel to the floor. Hold again for 10 to 30 seconds. Do this exercise three or four times.

Make sure that, in between all activities, you drink plenty of water and avoid long exposure to the sun.

And last but not least, relax. You don’t have to do anything at all. You can just sit there and enjoy the moment. After all, you are on holiday.

Dr Sandra and Dr Christophe can be contacted at

[email protected] or telephone 282 312 853, 969 397 375 or 913 696 370. Alternatively, visit the Algarve Quiroprática at Quinta das Fontainhas along the EN125 in Pêra