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Shape up in 2012 Part 4  

Exercise and Chiropractic Care

Lack of Exercise is More Dangerous Than Smoking

Our e-newsletters have been exploring the importance of Chiropractic, Exercise and Health over the last few months. It was very timely to catch a new report published this week by the respected medical journal, Lancet, citing that a lack of exercise can cause more deaths Another benefit, when you utilize a High Intensity Interval Training system, is that than smoking. This comes as quite a wake-up call to those who live sedentary lifestyles and proves how important an active and healthy lifestyle is to increase longevity of life.

As a chiropractor, I encourage an active lifestyle, including exercise, to significantly decrease your risk of developing illnesses ranging from heart disease to type 2 diabetes.

Exercise Guidelines

We have spent the last several newsletters delving into some of these guidelines, which you may find copies of on our website at www.renodoc.com, under the link, Newsletters. Some important reminder points are:

Pick an exercise that gets you motivated to move and stay moving. If one choice is not working, keep moving, but change activities. If it's still not working right for you, ASK. I am here as your health care coach and chiropractic physician. There are solutions and options for Your particular situation. I can help by suggesting more options. (Keep reading).

If an exercise program is not working for you, yet you love it, many times, a simple change of shoes, inserts, an adjustment to correct a subluxation of the spine or extremity, or a supplement for cellular stressors may be just the thing to keep you going. (See end).

Exercising in a group or with a partner works for many people.

Be sure to give yourself achievable goals, consistently.

Eat a balanced diet and drink more water. Structure your nutrition to suit your workout.

Get knowledgeable advice from health and fitness experts before beginning any program.

Is Exercise Ever Bad For You?

We have already talked about preparation, prevention of injuries, hydration, etc, but the question above does warrant some thought beyond those topics. It is a very tricky question because the majority of people, including those with health concerns, like heart conditions, do not exercise enough. However, regardless of levels of health, there is some concern with excessive, long-term endurance exercisers and recovery issues during and after exercise. 

A medical study earlier this year linked excessive intense exercise, like ultra marathon running, to increased heart damage. Right ventricular (RV) function, and diseases that affect the RV tend to cause electrical instability that may increase the risk of sudden death... So...Although exercise reduces your cardiovascular risk by a factor of three, too much vigorous exercise, such as marathon running, actually increases your cardiac risk by seven. This is a powerful lesson to anyone who engages in large amounts of cardio exercise, because as it turns out, excessive cardio may actually be counterproductive. While the space in this newsletter does not allow us to elaborate extensively, the main effort we can offer is to remind you that adequate recovery is as important as the exercise itself. Adequate rest and hydration is imperative. Also, recovery from the oxidative stress that any type of exercise creates (see more info later ) is very important, as well.

My Favorite Type of Exercise Plan

Walking , Swimming, Dancing, Biking, etc, still remain the favorite types of recommended exercise for the Majority of my patients. Two hours a week, minimum, is the recommended time needed.

For those who want to reach a higher level of activity, performance and health, research now shows you can gain greater benefits in less time. Clearly, when it comes to exercise, more is not always better, and the opposite is often times true. Research emerging over the past several years has given us a deeper understanding of what your body requires in terms of exercise, and many of our past notions have simply been incorrect.

For example, there's compelling evidence showing that high-intensity interval training, which requires but a fraction of the time compared to conventional cardio, is FAR more efficient, and more effective. You can literally reap greater rewards in less time. The same can be said for the super-slow form of weight training, which mirrors many of the health benefits of high-intensity interval training. Research published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases recently concluded that the best fitness regimen is one that mimics the movements of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, which included short bursts of high-intensity activities, but not long-distance running.

Interval Training - A Better Cardio Workout

According to fitness experts, getting cardiovascular benefits requires working all your muscle fibers (you have three different types) and their associated energy systems. Curiously enough, this cannot be achieved with traditional cardio… Your heart has two different metabolic processes:

1) The aerobic, which requires oxygen for fuel, and
2) The anaerobic, which does not require any oxygen.
Traditional strength training and cardio exercises work primarily the aerobic process. High-intensity interval training, on the other hand, works your aerobic AND your anaerobic processes, which is what you need for optimal cardiovascular benefit, according to exercise physiologists and cardiologists. If you don't actively engage and strengthen all three muscle fiber types and energy systems, then you're not going to work both processes of your heart muscle. Many mistakenly believe that cardio works out your heart muscle, but what you're really working is your slow twitch muscle fibers. You're not effectively engaging the anaerobic process of your heart.

While they are several types of High-Intensity Interval Training systems available, I have been utilizing the services of a personal trainer who uses this kind of a system, harnessing the capabilities of a specialized equipment called the Power Plate and the ROM. While we can discuss this equipment in more detail in the office, what is important at this point, is that this system does address these fibers and metabolic systems completely. As an added boon, when you perform these exercises properly, you will also increase your human growth hormone (HGH), which increases your muscle growth and effectively burns excessive fat. HGH also plays an important part in promoting your overall health and longevity.

Another benefit, when you utilize a High Intensity Interval Training system, is that truly is more, as you can get all the benefits you need in just a 20-30 minute session performed twice a week. In fact, you should not do HIIT exercises more than three times a week. If you do, you may actually do more harm than good - similar to running marathons. Because while your body needs regular amounts of stress like exercise to stay healthy, it also needs ample recuperation, and, if you give it more than you can handle, your health will actually begin to deteriorate. So it is really crucial to listen to your body and integrate the feedback into your exercise intensity and frequency.

So, when you work out, it is wise to push as hard as you possibly can a few times a week, but you need to wisely gauge your body's tolerance to this stress, and give your body time to rest and recover.

The take-home message here is that one of the best forms of exercise to protect your heart is short bursts of exertion, followed by periods of rest. You can do this utilizing special systems, or by adapting running sessions, elliptical machines or recumbent bikes, or a weight lifting Super-Slow resistance training strategy. Ideally, you'll want to do a little bit of both.

By exercising in short bursts, followed by periods of recovery, you recreate exactly what your body needs for optimum health. Heart attacks don't happen because your heart lacks endurance. They happen during times of stress, when your heart needs more energy and pumping capacity, but doesn't have it. So rather than stressing your heart with excessively long periods of cardio, give interval training a try. You can fill in other days of the week by a nice walk, swim, bike ride, etc, of minimal effort.

Supplements to Help Reduce Oxidative Stress from Exercise

While I can spend a whole article just on this topic, I would like to suggest a miracle breakthrough product that we have available in the office and on line to battle the free radicals and oxidative stress levels that are rampant in our bodies due to our lifestyles, including the oxidative stress that exercising creates. You can learn more about this product thru an ABC Investigative Report at www.abcliveit.com. We carry the product both in the office, or you can purchase it on line, either retail, as a Preferred Customer or as a Distributor at our site set up to carry the product at www.mylifevantage.com/bradcorbindc.  

As always, yours in True Health

Dr. Bradley S. Corbin, DC