How To Increase Athletic Performance

tennis-player-1246768_1280Athletes would agree the ability to know the precise position of their extremities and joints in space are essential to optimal performance. Playing tennis, hitting a baseball and swinging a golf club are just a few examples of where this is critical. New research indicates chiropractic adjustments can significantly improve joint position sense in those with a history of neck pain who currently are asymptomatic. In the recent study, asymptomatic subjects with a previous history of neck pain significantly improved their elbow joint position sense immediately following a chiropractic adjustment to the neck. While only the position sense of the elbow was evaluated in this particular study, it’s not a stretch to assume other parts of the upper extremity and potentially lower extremity could also be positively affected. This could be very significant for those wishing to achieve optimal athletic performance in a number of sports.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 88-97 (February 2011)

Is Pain Your Obstacle to Fitness? Chiropractic Can Help

yoga-263673_1920Are aches and pains getting in the way of your weight loss goals? Your local doctor of chiropractic can help. This fall, doctors of chiropractic across the country will highlight how they can help patients focus on getting past the roadblocks to fitness and better health during National Chiropractic Health Month. The theme for the 2010 observance is “Why Weight? Get Healthy!”

More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to CDC statistics, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer. However, many people are unaware that even modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of a person’s total body weight, could improve blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugars levels. That’s only 10 to 20 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.

Yet losing weight can be a struggle, and many people wonder where to begin. The answer for some may be in the office of a doctor of chiropractic (DC). “Diet pills and extreme diets do not offer long-term solutions,” says Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association. “Doctors of chiropractic, on the other hand, offer natural approaches such as exercise, diet and hands-on care to help keep you active and able to achieve your weight-loss goals in the short term, and also help you maintain your fitness level and thereby avoid some chronic conditions down the line.”

Consultation with a DC is particularly important when you consider that the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system—osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain and joint pain—often cause overweight people to avoid physical activity and exercise when they need it most.

If you’re carrying more weight than the load-bearing structures of your body—spine, legs, etc.—can handle, there’s going to be pain, loss of movement and degeneration in the joints. Particularly if you’re carrying most of your weight in your abdomen, the low back and the spine will need to work harder to hold you upright. This adds extra stress and tension on your muscles, which in turn creates stiffness.

Sponsored by ACA, National Chiropractic Health Month is held each October. The event helps raise public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: American Chiropractic Association. October 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010

Motivation Key To Exercising

tape-403593_1920While many have specific reasons when starting an exercise program, the original reason behind initiating an exercise program may not be enough to sustain exercising long-term. New research indicates that similar to yo-yo dieting, many who start exercising have a difficult time sticking to exercising in a long-term fashion. For example, individuals who purchased home exercise equipment had a 73 percent increased likelihood they would start exercising as compared with those who did not. However, these same individuals were no more likely to be actively exercising at the one-year mark as compared with those who had not purchased any form of home exercise equipment. Thus, there may need to be reasons to maintain an exercise program that differ from those reasons that got one started in the first place. First and foremost and similar to successful weight loss, exercising really needs to be viewed as a lifestyle change with constant attention to maintaining the program. If unrealistic exercising goals and methods are implemented early on, there is little chance of maintaining this into the future. Exercise must be properly planned and must be realistically integrated into one’s lifestyle to ensure long-term success.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008

Physical Activity Guidelines Released

jogging-1509003_1920While research has shown just one exercise session has its benefits, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends adults obtain 2.5 hours of exercise per week. For children, a minimum of one hour of “run and play” per day is recommended. The latest statistics released in July 2008 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state approximately 26 percent of U.S. adults are medically obese. Worse yet, one quarter of U.S. adults are completely inactive with close to two thirds not active enough. To download a copy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ guide titled Be Active Your Way, visit them online at http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. October 7, 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008

Fitness Not Fatness For Longevity

fitness-594143_1920While much research has shown that being overweight poses a health risk that results in a shorter lifespan, researchers have now found that being fit and overweight may be healthier and result in more longevity as compared with simply being of normal body weight but being unfit. A group of over 2,600 adults over the age of 60 were examined during 1979-2001. Each had their fitness assessed by participating in a maximal exercise test as well as having their body mass index, waist measurement and percent body fat recorded. Upon assessing overall mortality rates at the end of 2003, researchers discovered that fitness was the most significant mortality predictor and was independent of overall body weight/obesity. Thus, it was the cardiovascular health of the individual and not the weight of the individual that more strongly influenced their overall health and longevity. Researchers recommended that all older individuals continue with physical activity even if they are of normal body weight.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of the American Medical Assoc. 2007;298(21):2507-2516.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007

New Exercise Guidelines Released

man-1245658_1920.jpgIn their efforts to improve America’s public health, the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association released new exercise guidelines. According to these leading health groups, adults should participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (accelerated walking, light jogging or similar heart rate accelerating activity) five days per week. Alternatively, they recommend adults participate in vigorous-intensity exercise (moderate jogging or similar activity that causes rapid breathing and substantial increase in heart rate) for a minimum of 20 minutes three days per week. The guidelines also suggest adults engage in 8 to 10 weightlifting exercises to improve muscle strength and endurance on two nonconsecutive days per week. For those 65 and older, the guidelines additionally recommend flexibility and balance exercises to assist in preventing fall-type injuries.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. August 1, 2007.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007

Multiple Mini-Workouts Burn More Fat

stopwatch-34108_1280.pngIn a recent Japanese and Danish report, researchers found that breaking a workout into two shorter workouts with a break in between was more successful at burning fat. In the study, researchers found men who exercised for two 30-minute workouts with a small break in between burned more fat than those exercising for 60 minutes without a break. Researchers found that although total calories burned during the two different workout methods were the same, 77 percent of the calories burned post-workout were fat in those working out for two 30-minute sessions as compared with 56 percent in those working out for 60 minutes straight. Thus, it appears adding rest periods within longer exercise programs can result in additional fat burning.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of Applied Physiology. June 2007.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007

Higher-Intensity Workouts More Effective

running-573762_1920.jpgIn terms of promoting overall fitness, German researchers have found moderate to high-intensity endurance exercise significantly more beneficial than low-intensity exercise. While low-intensity exercise is appropriate for those with heart conditions or other disabilities/conditions that prevent higher intensity exercise, researchers stated that for healthy adults, intense endurance exercise is superior. In order to reap the benefits of endurance exercise, researchers recommended that healthy individuals with no heart problems aim for a heart rate of at least 80 percent of their maximum heart rate. To determine your approximate maximum heart rate for those 20 years of age and older, simply subtract 20 from your current age, then subtract the resulting number from 200. Thus, a 35-year old would have a maximum heart rate of 185 beats per minute; 35 minus 20 equals 15 and 200 minus 15 equals 185. Therefore, the target exercising heart rate for this individual would be 148 beats per minute; 80 percent of 185.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: International Journal of Sports Medicine. January 2007.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007

 

You’re Never Too Old or Too Overweight To Exercise

fitness-1916724_1920Many studies have been conducted on young and middle aged adults showing the substantial benefits of dietary modifications and exercise addition to one’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, far fewer studies exist for the elderly. Now, results from a new study indicate these benefits are also significant in the elderly. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 27 sedentary obese men and women aged 65 were randomly assigned to a diet and exercise program. Those elderly subjects who were assigned to the diet and exercise program significantly lowered their bodyweight, blood pressure, blood sugar and bad blood triglycerides. More specifically, those elderly who were assigned to the diet and exercise program lost an average of 18 pounds and experienced an 59 percent decrease in metabolic syndrome (a collection of conditions that increase an individual’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease) as compared to the control group who did not participate in the diet and exercise program.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2006.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007

Active Seniors Lower Back Pain Occurrence

yoga-1434787_1920In a recent study of 1,387 seniors aged 70 to 100 years, seniors who exercised more frequently and more strenuously had a lower incidence of lower back pain (LBP). Participation in strenuous physical activity was not only associated with a lower incident of LBP, but also associated with a lower risk of having previously suffered from LBP lasting for more than 30-days. Researchers concluded, “Strenuous physical activity at least once a week is protective for incident LBP in seniors.” All individuals, especially seniors, should visit their primary health care provider prior to initiating any exercise regimen or elevated physical activity.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Spine. 32(1):76-81
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2007