The Importance of Exercise: Strength Training

In our blog ‘8 Benefits of Exercising’ we talked about the importance of exercise and as a recommendation, 30 minutes of exercise every day is needed. These exercises could be from something that we already know how to do like walking or mowing the lawns. This week, I would like to dive into something slightly more specific; strength training and how you can include it into your exercise routine.

When I mention strength training, I’m not asking you to become a bodybuilder nor be the next Chris Hemsworth. All you need to start with is 2 days a week for 20-30 minutes each time. So perhaps you can substitute your two days of walking and do this instead.

Effects of strength training

So now we know how often and how much weight training we should be doing every week, do you know why we should make it part of our routine? Weight training can help with many things apart from building strength and muscles, it can help with fat burning and the prevention of osteoporosis too.

Weight training helps with building muscles and increasing strength. Muscle builds and strengthens through repetitive stress. Our muscles are made from many smaller muscle fibers. Every time we do strength training, we actually tear and rip these muscle fibers. Our body knows that each time we tear our muscle fibers we are lifting something heavier than usual and it will find a way to adapt. As a result, our muscles become thicker, larger, and stronger when it recovers.

Strength vs. Cardio

Many studies also show that weight training can help us burn more fat and calories than cardio exercises. This does not mean you should just ditch cardio altogether as there are also unique benefits that only cardio provides. Muscles are metabolically more active than fat therefore muscles burn more calories in a resting state. This is why if you want to burn that fat off your belly, don’t just do cardio and add in some strength training too!

Weight training can help with the prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones. This process happens as we age and as our bones become weaker, it can no longer withstand as much pressure and stress. This makes us more susceptible to fractures. Every time we strength train, we actually stress the bone by pulling and tugging it. So once we put stress on the bone, it stimulates the bone-forming cells into action causing more bone growth.

A common misconception about strength training is that we have to go to a gym or lift something really heavy. But in reality, when we are first starting off, bodyweight exercises are more than enough. Some simple bodyweight exercises include push-ups, squats, crunches, planks, lunges, and many more. We actually have plenty of videos on our YouTube channel and Instagram. If you are interested, we are also posting up new videos on basic bodyweight exercises this week that you can check out!

Now you know the amount of exercise you need to do, start incorporating some weight training, and become the best version of yourself!

 

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Strength training 101: HAWC classes help improve fitness > Kunsan ...

 

 

Kids Balance Exercises: Snow Angel

Kids Balance Exercises: Snow Angel

This activity will help your child to forge stronger sensory and movement connections to their limbs. Chiropractic care for your kids can greatly benefit their physical and mental development including improving their balance. Kids Chiropractic care is gentle, precise, and effective. Here’s a tip on how you can help your kids improve their balance with Snow Angel.

STEPS for Snow Angel:

1. Have your child lie on the ground face up with arms by their side and legs together.
2. Have them close your eyes.
3. As the parent you will tap an arm or a leg to indicate for your child to move it outwards then bring it back into their body.
4. You can tap an arm, or a leg, or both at the same time. And voila, snow angel.

 

LEVEL 2: Instead of tapping the limb you will tell them “left arm” or “right leg”.

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTiOxlXbgFE[/embedyt]

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here!

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Health Advice – How To Live Longer

It seems like every few years we have to unlearn some health advice that experts have come up with.

“Fats are bad… No, they’re good!”

“Carbs are the enemy! No wait, sugars! What’s the difference again?”

You’d think that after all these years of experimentation, documentation and research that they would have the answer by now. Well they have… But it’s no surprise fountain of youth or berry found in some remote location. In fact, the answer is no surprise at all. It’s really quite simple and attainable by the vast majority of people (even those that can’t afford organic bananas).

  1. Sleep well

Ever since we were young we’ve known that sleep is an important part of being healthy and energized throughout the day, but chances are that you’re overestimating the amount of sleep you get! Sleep affects pretty much everything, from your mental state to your digestion, so if you’re doing everything right but still not seeing results, take a closer look at your sleep habits!

  1. Eat better

Ever hear the saying “You are what you eat”? Well there’s some truth to that since the foods you eat literally make up your body. When you’re missing important nutrients, your body is more likely to get damaged or fall ill. Which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re in the habit of getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates (vegetables, rice, quinoa, fruits), protein (tofu, legumes and so on) and healthy fats (nuts and seeds). Bacon, sausages and deli meats are not a part of this list as they are not healthy in any amount and regarded as a Class A carcinogen (cancerous) which is the same level as smoking cigarettes.

  1. Move more

Exercise signals the body to use nutrients and balance blood sugars, build and repair bone and muscle tissue, and circulate blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body, including your brain! It’s one of the most incredible things you can do for your health. Its not optimal to sit around and watch Netflix all day (although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional binge), we were designed to move. So start moving! Whether it be a leisurely walk around the block or an intense Crossfit session, you’ve got to make it a lifestyle. If you’re looking for a community focused gym that you can get all your needs (cardio, strength, boxing, weights, body weight, running, rowing etc) that’s not full of posers then you should try https://www.priorityfitness.co.nz/.

  1. Stress less

Everyone has their own unique way of getting in the zone and escaping from the world for a little bit. Whether it be painting, meditation, having a coffee with friends or cuddling on the couch with your hubby, always make time for yourself to take it slow and really enjoy life as it comes. It’s easy to get caught in the riptide of the fast paced lifestyle and forget about the little things like personal time and health. So always schedule some YOU time and never forget one of the most powerful medicines of them all – laughter.

These 4 pillars have stuck as health advice clichés for as long as anyone can remember… but they remain so for a reason. Lifestyle habits have a powerful impact on quality of life. Granted, there are many things that we don’t have control over, but we DO have control over our habits. Going over how to make these habits stick will take a whole other article, but you can get started by ditching the mindset of being perfect and starting when you’re “ready”, and instead become PROACTIVE by starting now (no matter how small the step). We’ll visit each of these pillars in future blog posts to make sure you’re on the right track!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Desk Mobility

Here’s something that may come as a surprise to you – your body wasn’t designed to be in one position for more than 15 minutes. With many people working office jobs where they’re inside sitting for prolonged periods of time, 15 minutes of sitting isn’t even a warm-up, taking your body to the furthest point from mobility.

Ideally you want to be getting up every time to keep it moving and do what’s ideal for our body, but realistically, getting up every 15 minutes for a walk would make you wildly unproductive. Therefore, 30-60 minutes is a more reasonable goal. Even doing a short mobility routine or walk to get water whenever you become conscious about it is better than nothing.

Here are a few mobility routines that you can try out the next time you realize you’ve been in the same position for way too long:

Mobility routines

  • Standing Back Extension
    • Stand up straight and place your hands on your hips.
    • Bend backwards (extend your back) to your pain-free end range.
    • Hold that for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Scapular Retraction
    • Squeeze your shoulder blade together like you’re trying to hold a cup of water.
    • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Neck Extension
    • Ensure proper posture and form (slightly extended low back and retracted shoulder blades).
    • Look up at the ceiling while relaxing your jaw (to get maximum ROM) and hold for 5 seconds. Then look down at the floor and keep it there for 5 seconds.
    • Repeat this about 8-10 times.

 

These mobility exercises were made to open your body up and work the opposite way that your office desk posture does. Now you know why you should stay moving and you have some tools under your belt to support this. Happy desking!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

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How To Avoid Burnout (Stay Sane!)

You have experienced a decrease in focus, memory, and clear thoughts. This is a sign of what’s known as mental fatigue or burnout. It can be linked to many things in your life including sleep, stress, and even diet!

The biggest contributor to all this is really at the core of how society runs today with non-stop activities and connectivity. It’s hard to catch a break! And rather than just eliminate everything that you know, why not try to increase your resilience and build some coping strategies to ensure that you can get the most out of what you do.

Structural chiropractors are known for improving the function of the spinal joints and other joints in the body to help your nervous system thrive, but what good is that if your life is under an emotional thunderstorm and mental breakdown? Structural chiropractors look at the whole person and offer lifestyle advice, as well as recognize who requires further investigation by another health care provider.

Here are four burnout resiliency strategies that you can include into your life:

  1. Sleep: aim for 7-9 hours as it seems to be the optimal range for proper recovery of the brain and body. Be sure to check out our blog on how to sleep properly to support the structure of your spine.
  2. Exercise: increasing exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of depression and anxiety. It does this by getting you out of the house and releasing endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help you feel good and confident. If you’re hesitant about doing exercise on your own – join a class!
  3. Nutrition: reducing the amount of inflammation in your diet can help your reap huge health benefits. Inflammation-inducing foods are unique for each individual and may require form trial and error, but can often be found in processed meats, juice or pop and even gluten. If you really don’t know where to start, speak to a nutritionist.
  4. Meditate: If you flick through some past blogs you’ll see that we’ve started to mention meditation as a positive health strategy quite a bit. And this is with good reason. Meditation is up and coming and many people are now experiencing the benefits of taking the time to step back and relax their mind for a bit as it can produce greater productivity and efficiency later. Even 10 minutes a day can do wonders for your health. It can be in any way you’d like; focusing on the breath, breathing techniques, a stroll outside. Find what works for you and schedule it in!

Summary

At the end of the day, the only person that can help yourself is you. And when you’re feeling foggy, unmotivated, and burnout it can be hard sometimes and it can be a downward spiral. The best way to address that is to make a decision to do something about (these strategies) and the rest will figure itself out as you start to take time and take care of yourself and your mental health. Contact one of our structural chiropractors if you have any questions.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Neck Pain – How To Get Rid Of It

If you’re sitting in front of a computer or desk for most of the day then you’ve probably run into the problem of annoying neck pain. Throw in a bunch of stress, poorly designed chairs and desks and you’ve pretty much got a recipe for neck pain that likes to visit you regularly.

With this kind of behaviour being the norm in every day life neck pain has become a common problem with multiple possible causes. But with the help of your structural chiropractor and some self-care, you can nip that neck pain in butt so that it stops visiting, visits less often or at least doesn’t stay over as long.

Here are our 3 tips for neck pain:

  1. Stretch – Prevent Neck Pain:

    muscles in the upper back and neck tend to contract and stay contracted for long periods of time. Over that time, your brain forgets what length they were in the relaxed state and keeps them short. Stretches can help remind the brain that these muscles aren’t meant to be that short for such a long period of time!Try this stretch out for your levator scapulae muscles:
    a) Rotate your head to 45 degrees.
    b) Place your hand on the same side behind your head and bring your head down toward your knee on the same side. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides. Do that 3 times.

    For a deeper stretch, push your head back into your hand and then relax into the stretch further.REMINDER: do this gently and DO NOT pull your head too hard. Always ease into it and start with the weight of your hand as the downward force to start.

  1. Strengthen:

    A great exercise we love to give people with neck pain is the chin tuck. It helps strengthen the deep muscles in your neck and train the brain to hold your head in a more ideal position in relation to gravity.a) Looking straight ahead place your index and middle finger on your chin.
    b) Pushing back with your two fingers retract your chin back to create double chin.

  • Hold for 5 seconds and relax and repeat that 10 times.
  1. Move:

    The main source of most neck pain is that your neck is held in a position for too long. Throughout your day keep your neck joints moving. Remember: movement is life for joints and taking the time to go for a walk or even looking up and down. Putting your neck in positions it hasn’t seen for a while does wonder for preventing neck pain.

Along with all this advice, if you have stubborn neck pain, consult with one of our structural chiropractors to help put a stop to it and get back to doing your thing.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Stress Management – 3 Ways

Mindfulness and stress are on the tips of everyone’s tongue nowadays. Large corporations are investing millions on mindfulness rooms and practices for their employees to reap the benefits and increase productivity. Meditation and stress-reduction taught in school curriculums now, because they also know the effectiveness.

It seems the hustle and bustle of everyday life is getting to our heads. It’s not natural for our circuitry to be firing constantly for so long. So how can we help support this new way of life, or at least reduce the amount of stress that affects us?

Here are our 3 top tips:

  1. Exercise/Yoga: Studies have shown that regular exercise or yoga can decrease stress, pain, and even your risk of injury. Aiming to do either one of these 3-5 times a week is ideal and does wonders to support your mind by increasing blood flow to the brain and having your focus set on something other than a screen for at least half an hour.
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing): this kind of breathing calms down the nervous system and reduces the noise that goes on by getting you to focus on your breathing. Studies have demonstrated breathing exercises can reduce fatigue and anxiety. To actually benefit from the practice, it must be performed 3-5 times a day for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meditation: once thought of as a hippie ritual, mindfulness meditation is now common practice used to help people reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, headaches and depression. It’s widely accessible as there are many online guides as well as apps that can help guide you through a session and all you need is yourself and a peaceful environment.

Stress is just a part of life and how you choose to manage it is up to you. Keep these tips in mind to take care of your mental health and keep your mind sharp. If you have any questions or would like more tips on stress management, please consult with a health professional.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Deadlift Technique (Part 2)

Last week I talked about the deadlift stance. This week I want to cover another significant error I see in deadlift technique that can lead to injury and give this great lift a bad name. Properly performed deadlifts are great for strengthening the lower back and glutes. Performed poorly they can lead to significant lumbar injury.

When starting my strength training journey in 2010 I injured my lower back by making the foolish mistake of adding too much weight to the bar too soon, causing my lower back to round partway through the lift. Bang, my back went into spasm. I sheepishly put away the weights and limped to the shower and was forced to take a few weeks off to recover. Since then I have been meticulous about working on my deadlift technique.

After I recovered I spent months drilling the technique by having my training partners hold a broomstick along the length of my spine while I would perform my deadlifts. The goal is to keep three points of contact with the broomstick:

Broomstick-Deadlift method

  1. The back of your head
  2. Your midback between the shoulder blades
  3. Your tailbone

Image result for deadlift 3 points of contact

This drill will help you stay aware of what your back is actually doing during the lift and not fool yourself into thinking your form is good.

Filming yourself during deadlift sessions is paramount when starting out, and even for more advanced lifters to keep an eye on your form especially during your heavier sets. Review the footage between sets and don’t keep adding weight if you notice your form is looking rubbish!

Excessive rounding of the lower back, technically called lumbar flexion, puts a lot of strain on the back of the discs of your spine. Repetitively loading your spine in a flexed position is a great way to increase your risk of a disc herniation. Repetitively loading the spine in a neutral position (within a properly designed training program) is a great way to strengthen the spine and reduce low back pain and injury risk.

So grab a broomstick and a camera and work on your technique so you can build a strong, healthy spine!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Deadlift Foot Placement (Part 1)

Background

There is nothing quite like the feeling of picking up a heavy weight in your hands. As with any movement or exercise in the gym, when repeatedly done incorrectly the deadlift can lead to some issues.

Although the deadlift appears simple, there are a few things you need to pay attention to. The first is foot position. It’s not uncommon for me to see people in the gym deadlifting with their feet in too wide a stance. I’m referring to the conventional deadlift here, not the sumo deadlift where the feet are supposed to be placed in a wide stance.

How and Why

Having your feet too far apart will mean that your knees will cave inward to make room for your arms to grab the bar. This is not good as it will stress the ligaments of the knees, increasing your chance of injury or at the very least, decreasing your power output during the lift.

Exact foot position will vary slightly from person to person but for general consideration, if your stance is too narrow you may struggle to engage the glutes at the top of the lift. If the stance is too wide, as mentioned it will push the knees inward.

A good place to start is with feet hip width apart (please note that this is narrower than shoulder width apart!). With the feet in this position they will be directly beneath the hips, allowing you to grab the bar with your hands shoulder width apart.

Image result for feet hip width apart for deadlift

There are dozens of other things to look out for when deadlifting. But getting your feet in the right place is a good place to start.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Protection Plan Of Care

Following an initial care phase at Revolution Chiropractic, we frequently offer what we call a Protection Plan. This is a tailored plan of Chiropractic checks. Designed to maintain, or protect, the positive changes we’ve achieved with your spine.

The majority of issues we find in the spine are due to months, or more commonly years, of cumulative stresses to the body. Dysfunctional movement patterns of the spine become ingrained in the brain, and Chiropractic adjustments, along with spinal exercises, aim to rewire the brain so-to-speak as well as allow muscle, ligament, and tendons to heal and function properly.

How

After the initial care plan is complete, your spine should be much stronger, functional, and resilient to stress. However, it won’t miraculously be invulnerable to the future impact of poor posture, repetitive strain, or sheer bad luck.

I like to describe it this way; we design your initial care phase to unravel the effects of past stress. While the protection care plan helps you move more smoothly into future tensions.

A Scandinavian study published in 2018 compared the effect of scheduled maintenance care (what we call a Protection Plan). Versus seeing the chiropractor only when pain occurred. It discussed how this affected the frequency of bothersome low back pain (i.e., pain that affected the ability to do desired daily activities. The maintenance care group had nearly two weeks less bothersome days than did the control group in the year.

Results

Now, this study didn’t show that low back pain completely disappeared in these chronic back pain sufferers, but they did gain more days on which they were able to do what they wanted, unhindered by their pain, which is a win. As with any scientific research piece, it is somewhat limited in its scope, in this case, it only looked at low back pain in chronic low back pain patients, which is far from the only group of people that we work with during practice!

Pain is something measurable to an individual, but we must also consider the potential effect of a spine that is more mobile and putting less tension on the brain and spinal cord on the overall capacity and well-being of a person. We see it frequently, better sleep, more mobility when playing sport, or just doing regular physical activities and fewer headaches, just to name a few! Of course, different people respond differently, and everyone has the choice of how they want to manage their health care. Still, we will continue to make available (and personally utilize, yes, chiropractors need chiropractic too!) maintenance care in the form of our Protection Plans.

Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

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