Chiropractic care can assist us on the path to smart exercise. We want to complete our work, making gradual progress towards an increase in strength and cardiovascular fitness. But even if we’re really doing smart exercise, injuries can still occur. Chiropractic care can help to prevent unexpected injuries and help to decrease the recovery time if an injury does occur.
A high percentage of training injuries occur due to tight muscles and a lack of flexibility. Regular chiropractic care can help to restore joint flexibility of your spine and assists with the reduction of tightness in the numerous muscles that attach to your spinal vertebras. The result is a spinal column that is freely movable, one that can withstand the tough physical requirements of exercise and is less vulnerable to injury. Regular chiropractic care allows us to achieve the most rewards out of our exercise program and achieve our goals of long-term health and well-being.
Maximize Your Rewards With Smarter Exercise
We all want to maximize the rewards from our time spent exercising, and it’s normal to think that is we exercise harder it will provide a bigger, faster reward. But exercising harder without the sufficient preparation more often than not leads to injury. Then there is also recovery time, the possible need for rehabilitation, and ultimately you’re back where you started in terms of fitness, strength, and endurance. Injuries are to be avoided, if you can. The best way to avoid injury is to exercise smarter. Exercising smarter is also one of the best ways to achieve continual, progressive gains in fitness, health, and well-being.
Exercising smarter consists of doing what you’re capable of doing, and then doing that little bit more. For example, if you’re a runner and usually run around run three miles a day, three times a week, it wouldn’t be a smart idea to do an eight-mile run the next time you go out. The most likely outcome of that decision would be a strained muscle, shin splints, or even worse. If you lift weights and usually bench press around 100 pounds, it wouldn’t be a smart idea to find out what it feels like to bench press 150 pounds. What it most likely would feel like is a back, neck, or shoulder injury. In both scenarios, the price paid for attempting to train “harder” is at least two weeks of down time, possibly much longer, while you attempt to recover from your injury. Of course, we’ve all made mistakes and sometimes training injuries can just happen, but tempting fate by pushing our bodies too much is not, in fact, “smart.”
Gradual Progression With Your Exercise Program
The aim with any type of exercise is to progress gradually over time. Start at a certain point in your chosen exercise which is slightly lower than you are capable of, then over a period of time gradually add more. Don’t try and add too much on everyday, as this will only set you back further in your overall exercise program. A slight increase everyday may not feel sufficient, but over a long period of time the gains you can experience are huge. Eventually you will be increasing your maximum for your chosen exercise. You should never try to increase your pace if you feel uncomfortable or feel as if you’re over-working yourself. Be in tune with what you’re doing and how your body feels. You will also notice that you’ve started to lose some weight, you start to feel more flexible, your posture is starting to improve, your skin has a nice, healthy glow, and you’re sleeping more soundly and more restfully.
Use this same gradual approach with strength training. Start with lighter weights, than you think you can lift. With lighter weights, you can start to improve your form for lifting, which in the long run will allow you to lift heavier weights, with a lower chance of injury. With weights that are too heavy, there’s always the danger of incurring an injury that will set you back and negatively affect your training. Exercising smarter leads to consistent gains in strength, muscle mass, ability to do physical work, and overall health.
It’s natural to want to exercise harder. But exercising smarter is the way to go for long-term benefit without the danger of time-wasting injuries. Exercising smarter is the most effective way to maximize the value of our investment in physical fitness.
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam