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Exercise Smarter

August 1, 2013

exercise

Turn your weaknesses into strengths.

1. Do Less. Don’t work out hard every day. Studies show that two high-intensity sessions per week are enough to achieve most fitness goals.

2. Keep Moving. Although the phrase “active rest” may sound like an oxymoron, researchers have found that doing a light workout the day after a challenging one can actually help speed the recovery process. Gentle activities such as Hatha yoga, walking, or an easy swim can help bring blood to tissues and remove waste products, speeding the regeneration.

3. Take a Shower. During your post-workout scrubdown, use hot water for two minutes, warm water for one minute, and ice-cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle three to four times. This process, known as contrast water therapy, dilates and constricts blood vessels that help remove metabolic waste products and speed recovery.

4. Get Hands-on. If you’re exercising on a regular basis, massage isn’t a luxury – it’s essential. Massage can improve the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, help remove waste, and reduce pain. It can also break up excessively tight areas in muscle tissue, known as trigger points, caused by muscle tension and scar tissue.

5. Hit the Sack. Sleep is the ultimate regeneration tool; unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting enough. Experts believe we need at least eight hours of sleep, and the average American is getting only six-and-a-half to seven hours of shuteye. Try to be mindful of how much sleep you’re getting, and set a regular sleep schedule.

6. Drink Up. Dehydration impairs metabolism and prevents adequate nutrient transfer, which is the process of bringing food and oxygen into the cells and removing waste products. Replenish the fluids lost during exercise immediately afterward. Weigh yourself right before and right after a workout. Any weight lost during the session is water weight (not fat) that needs to be replaced. Down a few glasses until you’re back to your pre-workout weight.

Many training injuries are due to tight muscles and lack of flexibility. Regular chiropractic care helps restore flexibility to the joints of your spine and reduces tightness in the numerous muscles that attach to your spinal vertebras. The result is your spine will be able to move more freely, will better withstand the physical requirements of exercise and will become less susceptible to injury. Regular chiropractic care enables us to get the most out of our exercise program and achieve our goals of long-term health and well-being.

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