Fitness and Health – They go hand in hand.
Have you ever thought being fit is not that important? “I am not an athlete, as long as I can do whatever I need to day to day I’m fine.” Memories of a really hard 5am boot camp on some random oval, or even the school cross country or swimming carnival you skipped because you were embarrassed to compete or didn’t want to be out there for everyone to see. Most of us have memories like this and it results in long-term aversions to both fitness, exercise, and sport. The problem with this is, it is important to maintain your fitness.
Can you imagine if you never brushed your teeth? Or had a shower? Or you only ate chocolate, nothing else. It is logical to realise that you are not going to be in a good position physically. Not exercising. Never taking your heart rate above rest. It has a long-term detrimental effect as well. Everyone hears us talk about “conditioning” in the clinic. Is your body fit and able to do anything you throw at it? Might not be doing a big workout or run. It might be going shopping or doing a big day of gardening. Work on these three key areas of your fitness will help reduce your risk of injury. Don’t just do one or the other, all three are required to be adequately conditioned.
Cardiovascular conditioning – Can your heart and lungs circulate oxygen and nutrients efficiently?
This is the form of exercise most of us hate the most. It might be a run, or a bike ride, or that big circuit workout they do in the local gym. This form of exercise should be the basis of any training program. It burns calories, but more importantly it helps to improve the efficiency of your body’s heart and lungs to transport oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues and take away the carbon dioxide and waste.
A good way to assess your cardiovascular fitness is to check your resting heart rate. A smart watch or blood pressure monitor can help, or simply feel your pulse at rest and count the beats per minute. A good range to be in is anywhere form 50-70 beats per minute. Lower than 50bpm at rest is very fit and greater than 70 can indicate some room to improve. (these values are general only)
Resistance training – Building muscle tissue and conditioning your nervous system.
Lifting weights or putting your muscle under loading helps to build muscle tissue. Now the thing to remember is you will not become Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight. In fact, for 99% of the population lifting weights properly is extremely important for healthy bones, joints, and muscles. You will not become a beefy gym junky. You will tone and be able to perform daily activities a lot easier.
The main thing to remember is the muscles of the trunk, back, hips, legs, and arms when strong and functioning correctly mean that you may be far less likely to have injuries. Fitness is a state that will help you adapt and function well when under load. That may be doing gym workout, or gardening or housework. All these things require muscular strength to an extent.
Core strength and flexibility – Reducing the risk of injury.
Finally, core strength is probably the most important. Developing a solid core that activates and can engage when you do other movements is so important in developing a spine that is injury resistant. The core is a diverse group of muscles that control the trunk and pelvis internally. Pilates is an effective way of delivering results in this area.
Flexibility is another important factor not to miss. We are all somewhere on the spectrum between stability and flexibility. Your ability to move your body through full ranges of motion without restriction or an over amount of resistance through the joints and muscles is important within structural integrity. Work on this. There are great programs to help build flexibility and core strength so ask one of our chiro team today on what you need to do to get a well-rounded and balanced exercise program.
See your Chiro or Physio
Our chiro team is always talking about short term relief and long-term results. Remember that symptoms are an alarm. They are not the problem itself. We treat the cause, not the symptoms. Perth Allied Health Clinic Chiro’s will always give you advice on how to improve yourself and build a strong foundation to work off.