With the help of Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA), this issue discusses ways to help refocus your intensions on a happier healthier you.
Spring is the season of renewal, and that applies to more than just your garden. It’s a perfect time to rediscover all that the great outdoors has to offer. There’s something for everyone. Remember though, easy does it. If you’ve taken the winter off from exercise, it’s easy to cause an injury when you get started again, whether you’re gardening, spring-cleaning or playing tennis. So make sure you warm up and stretch before any activity, and don’t try to do too much at once. Each new activity puts stresses and strains on your Healthy Body, so ease into it.
There will be lots of beautiful days ahead to get everything done. Before jumping into any exercise routine, it’s a good idea to consult a chiropractor or fitness professional about what’s best for you and your Healthy Body. Work with these experts to discuss your fitness goals and develop a balanced workout program. Let them know if you are training for a specific sport or if you have an old injury you could aggravate.
Talk about any dietary considerations to enhance your fitness, and what types of cross training (or varying activities) they would recommend.
Whether you want to lose weight, out-jog your neighbour or win gold at the Olympics, the following are the key elements of a well-balanced fitness program:
- Cardio endurance: How well your heart and lungs supply oxygen to your Healthy Body when you exercise. You build cardio endurance by regularly doing a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of activities like running, walking, swimming, biking or ballroom dancing.
- Muscular endurance: How long you can repeat a movement or hold a position. Weight training and other activities that work your muscles will help you build muscular endurance.
- Muscular strength: How much weight you can comfortably and safely lift? Again, many activities contribute to muscular strength, but working with weights is key to increasing your ability to lift.
- Flexibility: How limber your Healthy Body is. Activities like yoga, as well as a good program of stretches, help you increase and maintain flexibility.
- Healthy Body composition: The ratio of fat to bone and muscle in your Healthy Body. There are guidelines for the ratio based on your height, weight and Healthy Body type
Talk to a fitness professional about which exercises will address your needs and, above all, are safe for you to do. A chiropractor may be able to guide you in selecting activities that will limit aggravation of old injuries. It’s essential to always use the right techniques for any sport or fitness activity. Check with a trainer or health club staff for the recommended way to use weights and other equipment. What does fitness do for my back? Exercising regularly has great benefits for your Healthy Body –including your back! Weight bearing activities such as hiking, brisk walking, stair climbing and dancing all strengthen your bones, and may help protect you against osteoporosis (a serious disease that results in deterioration of bone mass, especially in older people). If you have strong abdominal muscles, this too will benefit your back. An oversized waistline leads to weak muscles in your abdomen, which means your organs and lower spine are not being held correctly inside your Healthy Body. This may lead to back pain. Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous to be beneficial. Even a little activity three times a week can go a long way to improving your overall health and well-being.