CHIROPRACTIC AND EXERCISE
“The Doctor of the future will prescribe no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet, and the care and prevention of disease.” – Attributed to Thomas Edison
Chiropractic adjustments are a method of getting the brain to view “your world” differently so that it can make the best possible adaptation to the stresses in your life. You have probably noticed that sometimes stress does not seem to affect you. At other times, however, stress can make you emotional, make you hurt, even make you sick. When your spine is well-adjusted, though, then the brain is less likely to have a poor reaction to your stress.
There is more to it than that, however. You need to have a lifestyle that supports your adjustment being as effective as possible. One area of this support is exercise. One of the most common complaints I hear is, “I just don’t have time to exercise.”
My answer is, “What if you could get a workout in 12 minutes, or less, that would have more benefit than getting out and running for an hour?”
Well it is possible. The key is to use a method called high-intensity, or interval training. Most often these are done with cardio style exercises, but super-slow weight training can have the same effect.
There are reasons why high intensity training works. Look no further than nature to help you understand. Animals do not stretch, or jog, or do any other slow exercise. This is because survival often depends on the ability to adapt quickly. Slow exercise trains
adaptability out of a physiological system. High intensity exercise uses more muscle fibers, and the more fibers in use the stronger a muscle becomes – and the more adaptable.
Just like animals in nature our survival depends on adaptability. While wild animals must adapt to physical threats more often, humans must adapt to physical emotional and chemical threats. The better you adapt, then the better your odds of survival. If you go back to the first paragraph you will be able to read how chiropractic adjustments are also an adaptation method.
Increased strength is not the only benefit of high intensity exercise. With a high-fat, low-carb diet and interval training you boost your metabolism. Then there are less food cravings, fatigue, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease; in a word, less metabolic syndrome.
Additionally, high intensity training programs increase your production of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is the youth hormone, and critical to graceful aging.
When you begin your interval training you may not be capable of putting the amount of stress on your system you need to get all the benefits of high intensity training. In that case, you may need to train up to 5 times a week. As strength and endurance improve your exercises need to be so intense that you can barely complete them. When this happens it is necessary to decrease the frequency, to no more than 3 times a week.
With high intensity training recovery time is crucial. Without recovery time interval training becomes unproductive. The key is to learn to listen to the body, to recognize when you are still in recovery phase. You know you are ready to go again when you have restless energy and a strong urge for physical activity.
Earlier, I noted that most high intensity training is done with cardio exercises. But, you can use weights. It is normally recommended that you use four or five basic movements for your exercise set. Here is how to turn regular weight lifting exercises into high intensity training:
- Lift the weight slowly and gradually. The first inch should take about two seconds. This takes away momentum and focuses the involved muscles on the exercise. The full movement should take 7-10 seconds.
- Smoothly reverse direction and lower the weight back down slowly.
- Repeat until exhaustion. You should be shaking and unable to complete the next repetition at this point. The weight should be heavy enough that you can complete no more than 8 repetitions. At the end of a set when you can no longer move the weight without jerking hold it in place for 5 seconds.
- Immediately go to the next exercise. When you have completed all 4 or 5 exercises, then you start all over. If you are in shape you can do 3 sets, but you may want to start with one set.
The slow movement accesses the maximum number of muscle fibers for strength, and the continuous lifting (no rest between exercises) accomplishes the cardio aspect of the workout. An added benefit to this type of weight lifting is that it is less stress on the joints.
If you are doing cardio type interval training you may need to start out with intervals of up to 2 minutes. The length will vary with your level of fitness. By the end of your interval you should be gasping for air. The muscles should begin to burn during each repetition. The better shape you are in, the faster you will recover between repetitions.
Once you are in shape, the total workout may take less than 10 minutes; and have a greater fitness effect than an hour-long cardio workout. An in-shape workout will consist of a short warm-up, eight 30 second sprints with 45-60 second recovery times, and a short cool down period. The alternate interval training workout I use is 20 second reps with 10 second recovery time.
If you decide to begin a program of high intensity interval training it is most important to start out slow if you are not currently in good shape. This may mean starting with only 2-3 reps, and longer rest periods between reps. It is also advisable to consult with a doctor before beginning your exercise program.
Of course, I am going to recommend that you consult with me. Not only can I give you advice on an exercise program, I can also provide you with specific chiropractic adjustments. In a world where your survival depends on the ability of your nervous system to adapt to ever-increasingly present (and possibly pathological) levels of chemical, emotional and physical stress chiropractic is a necessity. The adjustment provides your nervous system with a fresh perspective on those stresses. The fresh perspective enables you to better adapt to today’s pathological levels of stress.
Adaptation is the key to remaining healthy, and it can only happen with an optimally functioning nervous system. Chiropractic, more than any other health intervention is designed to elevate the nervous system to a state of optimal functionality.
If you like what you read please recommend it to a friend. There is a wellness revolution happening, and it is up to all of us to help spread the word. You can help by sending this to everyone you know who is less healthy than they would like.