If I asked you what you needed to do to be healthy, no matter who you are you’d probably be able to tell me – Eat Right and Exercise. We all know it, so why don’t we do it? Putting it into action is another thing entirely. We are so busy, with so many things in our schedule and so many other people we are have commitments too and so our priorities become the the things that feel the most comfortable at the time – easy instant food and a chance to rest wherever we can get it. So often these essential tips to health miss out.
Often we think of being healthy in terms of our weight, or appearance. If you’re a slimmer build, you can be tricked in to thinking that you aren’t someone who needs to watch their health as much as the larger person you see at the desk at work. But exercise is for EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME! Did you know your body is designed to hunt and gather, walking miles to obtain food everyday? (organic, nutritional plant and animal food!). Our lifestyles may be very different from our primitive ancestors, but the design of our body is exactly the same. Our ancestors had far less problems with health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, depression, anxiety, cancer, obesity… the list goes on. Luck? I think not. It is through physical activity that our body can reach it’s full health potential. “Physical inactivity causes abnormal gene expression and is a direct causal factor of most chronic health conditions”*. LACK of movement is actually a stress to our body!
Did you know that sedentary living- that is a lifestyle where the majority of what our body is doing in a day is sitting at work, in the car, on the couch- has the equivalent effect on your health as smoking A PACK OF CIGARETTES A DAY!! Take a minute to read that again. If one of your loved ones was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, you would have serious concerns for their health, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you do all you could to help them kick the habit and make healthier life choices? Can you imagine your kids smoking a pack of cigarettes a day? Scary thought isn’t it. Yet in our current times we take the dog for a walk while the kids stay home and play computer. Most homes have more than one electronic gaming console, and the idea of activity may be reserved for Saturday morning sports – if they’re lucky!
I’ll tell you a little secret – the idea of movement helping your body to self heal and self regulate, is why chiropractic works so well! We are putting specific movement through your spine in areas that are not moving well due to the everyday physical, nutritional and emotional stresses we place on our body. This allows your muscles and joints to begin to function like they should and help your body adapt to it’s environment. If you have ever wondered why you may not be getting better as quickly as you thought you should, or simply what you could do to make the effects of your spinal adjustments last longer – have a look at your exercise habits! If your exercise regime involves less that 30minutes of moderate activity at LEAST 5 days a week, then that may be why your 10 minutes of movement with us a few times a month is only giving you 80% of the results you want.
I could go on about the importance of exercise on brain function, in regulating hormones, diabetes, skeletal and muscle disorders, the effects of ageing, cardiovascular health, cholesterol… the list goes on! To get you started, here is a list of activities to avoid or minimize and ones to include, to help maximise the effects of your chiropractic treatment! Check out Dr James Chestnuts book – The Wellness Prevention Paradigm for more information.
Avoid or minimize
2. Standing with weight on one foot
3. Reading on back with head flexed forward
4. Carrying bags on one shoulder
5. Sleeping on your stomach
6. Cradling phone between shoulder and ear
7. Watching T.V. (sorry!)
8. Poor posture during any activity
1. Regular chiropractic Spinal Check ups
2. Daily physical exercise
3. Sitting on a ball with good posture at a work station
4. Frequent breaks with exercises and stretches
5. Maximise opportunity for physical daily living tasks
6. Hobbies that require physical exertion
7. Finding an exercise buddy or group
8. Gymnastics, Yoga, Pilates or equivalent
9. Set mirrors in your car so you can only see out of them with proper posture!
If you would like some more tips, talk to us here at Hills Spinal Health!
* F.W. Booth Ph.D. J. of Applied Physiology 2002
Jess Hambly BChiroSc. MChiro. Cert. A.K.