Just Move it

Imagine a pill that has, through extensive research, identified hundreds of benefits to almost every part of the human body. Enhanced function of the cardiovascular system, reduced stress, increased energy, and a better quality of life are just a few of the long list of these benefits. Most North Americans would reach for the pill in a second. The “pill” is called exercise.  

Exercise is increasingly being seen as a huge factor in your health, and is being labelled EAM (exercise as medicine). The amount we sit over the day is becoming a significant public health concern.  People are sitting  and inactive throughout most of their working and recreational day.  The less activity you do, the more you become stiffer, weaker and progressively able to do less and less. When you then add a few hours in the garden or basic housework, your body rebels at the overuse.

Follow your sedentary work week with heavy exercise on the weekend and you can hardly get out of bed the next day. What is missing is the regular, daily use of your "machine" to keep it functioning properly.    

The human body is adapted and “designed” to move.  The brain and nervous system coordinate balance and movement through muscular contractions.  The skeleton provides the rigid framework for muscular action.  Regular activity promotes bone and muscle strength and keeps your joint cartilage healthier. Generally if you want to feel better, think better and be better, you need to move and keep moving.

Always do a mobility based warmup of a short walk, jog, bike or light callisthenics before exercise.  Always finish the activity, regardless of whether it's tennis, swimming or working in the garden, with some cool down stretching exercises.

Some key tips.

 

  • Do you hate to run or workout in a gym? Then try something else.  
  • Can you afford it? Some classes and programs are really expensive. Try community centers. Or just walk. 
  • When is the best time?  Whenever you can.  Does it work with your schedule? The more you tend to do it at a regular time the more you will remember to work your schedule around it.  Some people love morning workouts, while others fill their lunchtime with a walk or activity. 
  • Is it practical? If you can hardly walk around the block, lifting heavy weights, skiing or starting an intensive running program aren’t great start up choices. 
  • What are your goals? Lose weight? Get stronger? Sleep better? Want more energy in your day? Different exercise types can help or hinder your chosen goals.


HOW MUCH?
  Inappropriate intensity after a long period (2-3 months) of inactivity leads either to a sudden acute injury or to a slowly progressive overuse one.  Start off with a walk or swim (or anything) 2x per week. After a few weeks, when it fits into your daily lifestyle, add a 3rd day.

 

Avoiding injury depends on an appropriate starting level.  Reports vary regarding suggested frequency, but 5 x 30 min./ week is usually seen as the minimum to negate some of the more harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle.  Ideally some activity should be done daily.  Alternatively, when starting, take a look at the Fit in 15 program pioneered by the Canadian Chiropractic Association.   

The specialized training of chiropractors has been increasingly utilized over the past few decades with high performance athletes.  Imbalance or restrictions in the neuromusculoskeletal (nerve/muscle/bone) systems can disrupt normal movement, irritate nerves, produce inflammation and send muscles into either acute spasm, chronic tightness or cause a progressive lost of strength.  Poor or improper movement can lead to reduced performance and potential injury.   

"Chiropractic care has reduced my recovery time from injuries and lessened my susceptibility to injury.  I would recommend a physical assessment and chiropractic maintenance to anyone who is serious about their sport."   Daniel Igali - Wrestling World Champion & Olympic Gold Medalist