With each and every Practice Member that comes into our wellness center, I recommend that they begin an exercise routine if they are not already working out at a minimum of 3 times per week. This is not something that we can skip over and neglect. You see, as a Chiropractor, the adjustments that I make to the spine are wonderful, but if a person does not do other constructive, wellness building activities, the spine will not maintain the adjustment and proper position for very long in most cases. So by encouraging my Practice Members to engage in regular exercise, stretching, meditating, healthy nutrition, positive social interactions, and self-help activities, together we help to heal the body holistically and permanently.
With that being said, when I first mention to those I serve that it is time to begin exercising, I often get a look of fear or confusion in return. Yet, when I explain to them exactly how simple that the exercise routine that I have in mind can be, I often get an even more confused look in response. What exactly then is it that I say to my Practice Members regarding the initial exercise program? Walk. That’s it. My initial recommendation is that they begin walking, with the goal of 3 times per week, for 20 minutes in duration. Almost everyone is capable of this simple walking program, and if a Practice Member is unable to walk for the entire 20 minutes, I suggest they walk as far as they can, stop and take a break for 1 minute, then resume walking. Just do the best you can for the 20 minutes and eventually your endurance will increase.
After you are able to walk the 20 minutes, 3 times per week for a period of 4 weeks, I then suggest that you increase to 4 days a week. Again, when you get to the point you can successfully do this for 4 weeks, you increase your walks to 30 minutes each time. At this point, this is the foundation for the entire exercise program I use for Practice Members. We also incorporate a flexibility routine at a minimum of 2 times per week, which can be completed in 10-15 minutes, and also a strengthening and resistance training routine 2 times per week that takes about 20 minutes to complete. But, without question, never skip walking 4 times per week. If the weather is bad outside, then get creative like going to the mall and walking inside or the local high school gymnasium.
In terms of the pace during your walks, I suggest a pace that causes a very slight increase in respiration. You should still be able to carry on a conversation with someone during your walks. The wonderful thing about walking is it increases all systems in our body. Our respiration is up, our circulation is improved, our metabolism and digestive system increase, our lymphatic system has increased drainage, and we release endorphins which make us feel amazing! So, hopefully this helps to take away some of the intimidation that comes with trying to figure out a way to begin an exercise routine. My thoughts are, the more simple the process is, the more successful we are.
*Always check in with your trusted healthcare professional prior to beginning any exercise routine to make certain there are no contraindications to exercising.
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