WHY EXERCISE IF YOU ARE ALREADY ACTIVE?
Exercise is most beneficial when it is intentional, habitual, progressive, and part of your lifestyle. Exercise is different than having an active job, or running around being busy. Regular exercise prepares our bodies and even our mindful state for the demands of work, sports, and recreation by developing our body’s physiology and biomechanics against gravity and stress. Here is a look at what exercise is, and why it can be of medicinal value in our lives.
Exercise is intentional. It should have a purpose for advancing our body’s ability to repetitively function in our daily environment. For some, this environment would entail prolonged sitting or standing, repetitive work, or sports. In any case, the time and the mode of exercise has the intended purpose to protect the person from repetitive activities that they encounter most frequently.
Exercise is habitual. It is part of a lifestyle appropriate for all ages. For most people’s maintenance routines, up to 3 days a week of exercise may be adequate to prevent de-conditioning, but not enough to get in better shape. Exercise done 1-2 times a month is perceived by your body as a kind of trauma, and is likely to do more harm than good since it isn’t regular enough for tissues to adapt.
Exercise is progressive. Keeping a log is a good way to measure progress or development of strength, stamina, and endurance. I often emphasize exercise to be something that is challenging to a reasonable measure, proportional to one’s abilities. There is only so much that muscles and joints can tolerate before breaking down over time. Having someone trained to observe your movement during exercise is extremely valuable. Chronic injuries occur with the lack of proper exercise programming and consultation which leads to repetitive gym routines over time.
And finally, exercise is most enjoyable when it is a part of your lifestyle. Over time, exercise can achieve the following effect, which many people rely on prescription medications to do the same:
Improve breathing and circulation
Improve sleeping patterns
Raise body metabolism and lose weight
Regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol
Improve balance and strength
Develop a desire to eat healthier
Keep joint fluids from drying out
Prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
Maintain mental alertness
Restore and maintain flexibility
Enhance or maintain fine motor skills
Enhance or maintain motor reflexes
Reduce stress, increase productivity
I regularly ask my patients to perform certain exercises as part of their treatment in order to observe proper movement while assessing for painful ranges of motion. From time to time, consulting with your personal trainer, physical therapist or chiropractor can help you maximize your time during exercise and thus, avoid injury.
Dr. Adrian Pujayana is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and an Athletic Trainer (ATC). He has been using his sports therapy background in combination with Chiropractic since 2000 in South Pasadena.