Does your exercise routine seem to be aggravating your low back or neck pain? It's the new year, your resolutions are in sight, but you may be missing some key safety points to a safe effective exercise routine! Follow this guideline to get you back on track.
1. Less may be more. (Why- If you are lifting heavy weights but are compromising your form, this means the muscles you are trying to work aren't doing the work. Your joints, ligaments, and other muscles are picking up the slack)
2. Keep good posture. (Why-When we lift weights, it's usually to gain muscle in our arms legs or chest. Think about it, if you are working your biceps, your spine should be in good alignment. Your biceps job is to flex your forearm towards your shoulder, so that's the only part of your body that should be moving)
3. Weight lifting should be done at a maximum 3 times per week/ per muscle group. (Why- This means, it's not healthy to do biceps or triceps every day. Give your muscles they time they need to repair themselves. This is where your strength builds up!)
4. Don't overdue it. (Why- Over exercising can not only cause repetitive motion injuries, but can cause serious risk to your health. Over exercising depletes us of our essential vitamins and minerals and may cause damage to our vital organs and bone structure. Moderation is the key.)
5. Full sit-ups are out, crunches are in. (Why- Your abdominal muscles are being used on 30 degrees of the 90 degrees of flexion your body performs when crunching, the rest if from your hip flexor muscle groups (front of your thighs). This exercise also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the discs of your spine. Instead, try this new crunch! Place your hands under your low back, chin tucked, place one leg extended, and raise your chest toward the ceiling. This type of crunch engages all your abdominal muscles and deepest abdominal muscle groups!)
6. Warm up and cool down. (Why- Warming up allows your body to prepare for exercise. There's higher potential of injury to your joints, muscles, and ligaments when you don't prepare. Your workout session will be the most effective after a 5-10 minute warm up. Cooling down will assist in the removal of toxins and lactic acid buildup in your muscles.)
7. If it hurts, stop! (Why- Pain is a signal that something is wrong. Good exercise pain is muscles fatiguing or burning. Achy or sharp pain in your back, neck, ankle, knee, especially down your left arm or chest is a signal that something isn't right. Stop the exercise immediately if you experience any of these symptoms)
8. Have fun, give yourself credit, Rome wasn't built in a day. (Why- You don't have to torture yourself in order to have a great workout. Find something you enjoy like dancing, jogging, Cross-fit, exercise classes or bike riding so you will feel more motivated to do it! The lower impact, the better for your joints)
9. Check your Heart Rate. (Why-Working inside your target heart rate range gives you the best results and is the safest way to aerobically exercise. This depends on your age and your fitness level. Anywhere from 55%-85% is a typical range)
10. Have your annual physical examination before starting an exercise routine. (Why- Your doctor will tell you if it's safe for you to start exercising and what type of exercises may be the best for you. Preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes are contraindications to certain types of exercise)
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain during exercise, contact your Chiropractic Physician. This may be an indication an underlying condition or injury that needs further evaluation.
Chiropractic Physicians are Musculoskeletal specialists that can assist you with many of your aches and pains.
For more information, please call (401) 683-6430 or visit www.newhorizonchiro.com.