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Sports and Exercise

Physical activity is not just for those involved in competitive sport, everyone should be active on a daily basis. Your chiropractor at Advanced Chiropractic can help you make a "Get Active" plan or manage your progress and maintain proper function while competitively training. Professional athletes, "weekend warriors", joggers, and those who want to stay in shape are discovering the benefits of chiropractic care. All of the chiropractors as Advanced Chiropractic have experience in both treating sports injuries and participating in competitive sport. Do not leave injuries untreated, or prolong starting up a fitness program.

No Time? No excuse

For years, public health guidelines suggested 30 continuous minutes of moderate to heavy exercise, five days a week. The new rule, however, is that shorter bursts throughout the day are as effective as one continuous session. "Recent research has shown that grabbing small chunks of exercise ---10 minutes, here, 10 minutes there --- can do just as much good as one longer session." (Diabetes Forecast 2002;55:89.) Even moderate exercise, such as dashing up or down the stairs, can make a big difference.

Two clinical trials, conducted in 1999, proved that people who incorporate moderate exercise into their daily activities enjoy a marked benefit. One trial included 235 healthy, sedentary, slightly overweight men and women between the ages of 35 and 60. The other trial included 40 sedentary, obese women between the ages of 22 and 60.

Some participants merely made lifestyle changes that encouraged physical activity, while others began structured exercise programs. Comparison criteria included fitness, body composition, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

"In both studies, there were significant increases in participation in physical activity, improved fitness as measured by maximal oxygen uptake, reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and reduced body fat.. The improvements were similar between the lifestyle and traditional exercise groups."(Journal of the American Medical Association 1999;281:375.)

The Keys to a Successful Exercise Plan

Shoot for the goal – Establish a goal, whether it is running a 10km race or merely keeping up with your two year old – this is the foundation upon which a successful program is built. The challenge is to make it reasonable and to avoid comparing yourself to others. Goals are personal, in fact you do not even have to tell anyone what your goals are.

Reward Yourself – Once you have determined your ultimate goal, make a few smaller ones along the way. Then choose some non-food rewards such as a weekend getaway, evening out etc. Reaching goals along the way and reaping the benefits keeps you going!

Choose reasonable Activities – Select an activity or activities that will help you reach these goals. And do not hesitate to be creative. Look beyond traditional workouts until you find a program that excites you. Try hill walking, T'ai chi, yoga, Pilates, biking, etc.

Improving your competitive edge

Competitive athletes are also discovering the benefits of chiropractic care. Why is that? Because many sports-related injuries involve the spine. Spinal injuries can restrict your range of motion, reduce strength, slow reflexes, shorten endurance, and decrease performance. Chiropractic care for these types of injuries has become increasingly popular. Professional sports teams, Olympic trainers, and competitive athletes are employing chiropractic doctors – because they demand results.

Chiropractic care helps restore function to spinal joints that are "locked up", fixated, and not moving properly. Besides helping to relieve pain, chiropractic care can also help reduce inflammation. Muscle, tendons, and ligaments depend upon proper joint movement for peak performance. Injuries to these tissues reduce range of motion, decrease blood supply, and can take you out of the game. Normalizing spinal function helps speed the healing of these soft tissues and reduce the deconditioning effect of being on the sidelines.

An aerobic exercise program or a plan of brisk walking can improve muscle tone and help you avoid strains, sprains and other activity-restricting health problems. Whether you golf, play hurling, bicycle or bowl, the best treatment for sports injuries is prevention!!

One More Time

Before you embark on any new exercise program: schedule an appointment and ask your chiropractor for a check up and personalized exercise program. In addition to correcting an abnormal function in the spine and muscular system, your chiropractor can advise you on how to avoid injuries. After all, you do not want to be sidelined before you even start! Ask your chiropractor to suggest some warm up activities specific to your needs, along with vitamin and supplement recommendations.

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