Maintaining some degree of regular exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy for every one of us – no matter how old or young.
Essential components of exercise include:
Strength work – to maintain "core" muscles as well as aiding bone density.
Cardio - exercise for a healthy heart, circulation and general energy levels.
Stretching – to maximise joint and muscle flexibility which helps to prevent injuries and arthritis
Our chiropractors have vast experience in assessing your exercise needs and will often make specific recommendations for you from one or more of the 3 categories above.
Whatever your exercise need, our chiropractors try to ensure maximum convenience in their recommendations and will often suggest use of simple aids such as Theraband/Theratube or Fitness Balls so that you can exercise easily at home.
In some cases a more extensive range of exercise equipment may be necessary, in which case we can help you with a referral to a gym, exercise physiologist, or personal trainer.
Stretching is an important part of warming up before physical activity and cooling down afterwards. Stretching helps to prepare the body mentally and physically. Additionally, regular stretching routines will help to improve individual flexibility and prevent injury.
Here are some tips for safe stretching.
Try to do stretches once per day. Regular stretching improves your balance, strength and flexibility. Gentle stretching can improve your circulation and a steady blood flow helps reduce muscle tension and soreness.
Get advice to avoid injury. Check with your chiropractor before stretching if you have an injury or are unsure of the correct technique or are recovering from injury.
Warm up your muscles before stretching. Try 10 minutes of gentle exercise like brisk walking. Stretching cold muscles may result in injury.
Hold a sustained stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Don’t bounce when stretching. Overstretching causes muscle to contract and can cause small tears in fibres.
Only stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Once your muscle feels comfortable, increase the stretch then hold it again. If it hurts, you’re pushing too hard.
Breathe normally when stretching
Keep it balanced. Work opposing muscle groups each time you stretch. If you start by stretching the muscles at the front of your hip, then follow by stretching the muscles at the back.
Keep it interesting. Add variety to your routine by increasing your stretching repertoire. For example, you could join a yoga class or ask your chiropractor for new stretches.
Make stretching part of your other warm-up and cool-down activities. It can help your mental preparation before exercise and help you relax afterwards.