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Exercise Smarter Not Harder

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Chiropractic Care and Smart Exercise

Chiropractic care assists us on the path to smart exercise. We want to do our work, making gradual progress toward increased strength and cardiovascular fitness. But even if we're really doing smart exercise, injuries may happen. Chiropractic care helps prevent unexpected injury and helps us recover faster if an injury does occur.

Many training injuries occur owing to tight muscles and lack of flexibility. Regular chiropractic care helps restore flexibility to the joints of your spine and helps reduce tightness in the numerous muscles that attach to your spinal vertebras. The result is a spinal column that is more freely movable, one that can better withstand the physical requirements of exercise and is 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.

We all want to get the most out of the time we spend exercising, and it's natural to think that exercising harder is going to provide a bigger, faster payoff. But exercising harder without adequate preparation often leads to injury. Then there's recovery time, possibly the need for rehabilitation, and ultimately you're back at the beginning in terms of fitness, strength, and endurance. Injuries are to be avoided, if at all possible. The best way to avoid injury is to exercise smarter. Exercising smarter is also the best way to achieve continual, progressive gains in fitness, health, and well-being.

Exercising smarter means doing what you're capable of doing, and then doing a little bit more. For example, if you're a runner and typically run three miles a day, three times a week, it wouldn't be smart to do an eight-mile run the next time you go out. The likely outcome would be a strained muscle, shin splints, or worse. If you lift weights and typically bench press 100 pounds, it wouldn't be smart to find out what it feels like to bench press 150 pounds. What it could feel like is a back, neck, or shoulder injury. In either scenario, the price paid for attempting to train "harder" is at least two weeks of down time, possibly much longer, while you recover from your injury. Of course, we've all made mistakes and sometimes training injuries just happen, but tempting fate by doing too much is not, in fact, "smart."

The goal with any type of exercise is to progress gradually over time.1 For example, if you're 60 years old and haven't exercised for many years, a walking program is a good way to begin. On your first day, walk at a comfortable, steady pace for 10 minutes. That may not feel like much, but you will be increasing your total time over the next four to six weeks. The next day, add a couple of minutes. As long as you're continuing to feel good, add a couple of minutes on every second day or so, building up consistently to a total of 30 minutes per day. At this point, you're walking 30 minutes per day, five times per week. Next, every second day or so, increase your pace by a bit.

Don't increase your pace if you feel uncomfortable or feel as if you're working too hard. Be in tune with what you're doing. After four to six weeks of gradually increasing your pace, you'll probably be able to walk 30 minutes per day, five days a week, at a nice brisk pace.2 You may also notice that you've lost some weight,3 you feel more flexible, you're standing more upright, your skin has a nice, healthy glow, and you're sleeping more soundly and more restfully.

Use the same gradual approach with strength training. Start with lighter weights, not heavier weights, than you think you can use. With lighter weights, you can build up your strength over time. With weights that are too heavy, there's always the danger of incurring an injury that will set you back and interfere with your training. Exercising smarter leads to consistent gains in strength, muscle mass, ability to do physical work, and overall health.

It's natural to want to exercise harder. But exercising smarter is the way to go for long-term benefit without the danger of time-wasting injuries. Exercising smarter is the effective way to maximize the value of our investment in physical fitness.

1Braham R, et al: Can we teach moderate intensity activity? Adult perception of moderate intensity walking. J Sci Med Sport 15(4):322-326, 2012
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012
3Exercise training and impaired glucose tolerance in obese humans. McNeilly AM, et al: J Sports Sci 30(8):725-732, 2012

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

  ~Amy Hawker

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

   ~ Patsy Dimond-Spencer

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!
~Nancy Matson

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs 

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

              A.H.
              Fenton, MI

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