Cool Down: Why or Why Not

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the importance of warming up and how it was crucial before we jump into our workout. So today we are going to skip the workout and head straight into the cool down and why it’s important to do a cool down after. Some of you may think cool downs are a waste of time and it is extremely boring. I was on that boat myself not too long ago until I decided to give it a go and see what the difference was. So let’s go through a couple of important reasons why you should always cool down after a big workout.

 

  1. It can lead to a reduction of lactic acid build up. After a big workout, our muscles secrete a large amount of lactic acid. It is this lactic acid that causes our muscles to be sore. So to prevent muscle soreness it is best to reduce the amount of lactic acid continually building up. Research has shown that doing a warm down such as a slow paced walk or a gentle stretch is the most effective way or reducing lactic acid. So if you don’t like sore muscles the next day, do a warm down!
  2. A warm down prevents venous pooling of the blood in our extremities. This pooling of blood in the extremities may lead to dizziness and fainting. This is because when we are exercising our sympathetic nervous system comes into play. When we are in this state, our blood pressure and heart beat rises. When we stop moving, our body switches over to the parasympathetic state. In this state our blood pressure drops. Because of the sudden drop of blood pressure, the blood will have gathered into your extremity and not enough blood would’ve been pumped into your brain. Due to the lack of oxygen in the brain, it can cause dizziness and fainting.
  3. It’s a great time for reflection. After every sports game or workout, it is a good time to reflect on how well you did and what you can improve on. Of course, you always deserve a pat on the back as well after working out. Cooling down is a great way to calm your mind while still being engaged at your previous task.

 

Cooling down is just as important as warming up. It allows us to decrease the likelihood of muscle soreness, prevents dizziness and fainting and allows us a good time to reflect. There are also many great reasons why cooling down is a must after every workout! So remember to spend 5 minutes to either go for a small walk, a stretch or something with low impact after your next work out!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Fit For Life

Morning Exercise Benefits

We have mentioned many times about the importance of consistent exercise. However, most of us just exercise whenever we want and do not have a set routine. But for results to show, it is best to be consistent. So is it better to work out in the morning or the evening?

Well in this first part, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of working out in the morning.

 

Positives:

  • Working out in the morning can give your day a kick start. Most of us are a bit slow in the morning. However, if we exercise first thing when we wake up, it’s a natural way to boost metabolism. It can be even more effective than coffee and it will provide you long lasting energy for the rest of the day.
  • You are more concentrated during the workout. When we exercise the first thing in the morning, we have no thoughts in our minds. Additionally, most people may not even be up by then so it is less likely that you will have distractions going on. This could be emails that you need to reply, text messages and phone calls. You will be more in the zone as many people are still asleep at that time during the day
  • Morning workouts have shown to improve the quality of your sleep. This is because your body will have had the whole day to settle down from the adrenaline and the endorphins. Additionally, it’ll help the body to release melatonin (a hormone that helps sleep cycle) earlier in the evening. Thus it will allow you to go to bed early and wake up early.
  • It burns more body fat than working out in the evening. This is because you are working out on an empty stomach. Our muscles need fuel for it to function. If we don’t have food in our stomach, our bodies will feed off what we have stored first. That first fuel source is fat.

 

Negatives:

  • Increase likelihood of injury. In the morning, your muscles and ligament are at its stiffest point. This is because while you were asleep, everything in your body would have been still for at least 6 hours. The best way to counter this is to do a thorough warm up before you start your work out. This way, you muscles will be able to function at its best.
  • You might to be able to perform as well as you would like. Again this relates to the point above being that your body is still in a rested states and joints aren’t functioning properly. Research has shown that the optimal muscle output is during the evening or late afternoon. This is due to the fact that your body has had the entire day to acclimatise to proper tension and movement. Again, to counter this problem is to do a very good workout to get everything functioning as well as it can in the morning.
  • Burnout may happen if we push ourselves way too hard. This is because the body is functioning at a high intensity on an empty stomach. I know it can be more effective at burning fat but pushing it over the line may be harmful. Your body may not be able to take it. So the best way to counter it, is to work out at 80% rather than 100%. This way, your body will avoid burnout but it is still effective.

 

This blog talked about the positives of doing an early workout. There are many great things about it such as more energy throughout the day, less distractions, improve sleeping quality and more effective in fat burning. However, if we don’t warm up properly working out in the morning can lead to more injuries and a decrease performance during the work out. Additionally, it may even cause fatigue and burn out if pushed too far. Next blog will be about the benefits of working out in the evening. Hopefully by then you’ll find the most suitable time for you to do your exercise.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Morning Exercise Stretch | Eric Sonstroem | Flickr

Ice or Heat for Back Pain

As a chiropractor, I have seen many back injuries. Injuries can be acute or chronic. Many people ask me the same question, Which is better for back pain, Ice or Heat?  I want to put an end to this debate so you’ll know next time what to do for the painful area.

Ice or Heat for Back Pain – Which is better?

Both heat and ice have their advantages and are used for different purposes. Let’s start with the advantage of using a heat pack.

HEAT

Heat packs are great for promoting blood flow. This is because heat causes blood vessels to dilate. As a result, it allows more volume of blood to be pumped through. This has many advantages for the human body.

Firstly, due to the increase in blood flow, more oxygen, nutrients and minerals will be able to flow to the area of damage allowing more recovery and healing to occur.

Secondly, the increase in blood flow can help with muscle pain. This is because all the harmful toxins and lactic acids (which is often the cause of muscle pain) will be flushed away. Leading to healthier cells around the area of damage.

Finally, using a heat pack to promote vessel dilation can lead to the relaxation of muscles. This is because heat increases muscle elasticity. The muscles in our body are just like rubber where heat allows for the rubber to be more elastic and further stretched. This leads to tight muscles being able to stretch and relax more.

ICE

Ice or cold therapy does the opposite promoting blood flow, it decreases blood flow. This is because cold temperature and ice packs lead to vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessel). There are also benefits to constricting blood flow.

Firstly, it decreases inflammation. After a traumatic incident, the body naturally tries to heal instantly by increasing blood flow suddenly, to allow white blood cells. By constricting the blood flow, there will be a decrease in inflammatory reaction causing less swelling. It is this swelling that compresses nerves which will cause pain in the damaged area.

Secondly, ice can also soothe muscle pain temporarily after an intense workout. This is because it reduces inflammation caused by the workout. This leads to a decrease in lactic acid build-up thus minimising pain in the overworked muscles.

For a brief summary, there are many benefits to both heat and ice therapy. The main point of heat therapy is to promote blood flow allowing for quicker recovery. Whilst, ice/cold therapy helps minimise inflammation in the body by constricting blood flow. As a suggestion, if your pain is chronic I would suggest heat therapy would be the way to go. However, if you have just finished a workout or had a recent injury, ice would be the best way to go. This way you can stop the inflammatory response as quick as possible.

Hopefully, this clarifies the debate of which is better; heat or ice. Next time, you will be better informed about what to do!

When to visit a Chiropractor?

If you are applying therapy to an injury, your a most likely going to benefit from visiting your Chiropractor.

For treatment, advice and relief of acute or chronic pain, you can visit our chiropractic and wellness clinic in Auckland, North Shore. 

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland for acute and Chronic pain.

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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ice vs heat back pain - chiropractor

 

 

The Busy Person’s Workout

 

If you’ve had no time during the week and you’re looking to fit in a quick, solid sweat, here’s your go-to do anywhere workout. It’s a great way to maintain muscle mass, keep your metabolism going and more!

Full-body movement everyday is important whether it be cycling, running, climbing, walking or this awesomely time-efficient workout. Here it is:

  • 5 reps of each of the following 5 movements = 1 circuit.
  • Repeat for a total of 3 circuits (add or subtract 1 based on your conditioning level and available time).
  • 1-2 minutes rest between circuits.

Squat

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms out in front of you.
  • Keep your core engaged and your tailbone tucked in.
  • Lower yourself by pushing your hips back and keeping your feet pointing straight.
  • Push weight through your heels and midfoot when pushing yourself back upright.
  • Increase difficulty
    • Add more reps.
    • Hold something decently heavy like a dumbbell or a bag full of things.

 

 

Push-Up

  • Start on the floor with your arms extended in front of you, your hands directly under your shoulders and your fingers pointing forward.
  • Maintain a straight line form your head to your heels.
  • Keep your elbows in and externally rotate your hands so that your elbow creases are pointing forward (imagine twisting the ground outward) and lower yourself.
  • Increase difficulty
    • Add more reps.

 

 

 

Good Mornings

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms behind your head.
  • Keep your core tight, back straight, knees slightly bent and weight on your heels.
  • Bend at the waist by pushing your hips back until you feel a little stretch in your hamstrings (behind your thighs).
  • Increase difficulty
  • Extend your arms up overhead.
  • Loop a resistance band behind your neck with the other end under your feet.

 

 

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Find a chair and get into a split stance with your right foot forward (knee bent) and left foot straight and back. Place your right hand on the chair and hold the weight in your left hand.
  • Keep your core tight, tailbone tucked and weight on your front foot (right) heel.
  • Pull weight to your lower ribs and lock your shoulder blade down.
  • Complete 5 reps on each side.
  • Increase difficulty:
    • Add more reps.
    • Add more weight.

 

 

Bear Crawl

  • Start on all fours.
  • Push with toes to bring your knees off the floor.
  • Keep pelvis stable and centred.
  • Crawl with your right arm and left leg moving up together.
  • Do the same on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Increase difficulty:
    • Add more reps.

 

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Low Back Pain and Pregnancy

Just when you think being pregnant is enough to deal with, nature has to throw in the curve-ball of a higher risk of low back pain. Not only that, but statistically, it’s said to start early on in pregnancy and increase over time. This can put a lot of stress not only on the mother, but everyone around her as well. So what causes it? How does it affect your baby’s development? And what can you do about it?

 

Cause

 

Low back pain on it’s own is a complicated condition. Muscles, ligaments, discs, and tendons are all potential culprits, but sometimes even your brain itself perceives dysfunctional patterns and sends pain signals as a response.

As the baby grows, the lower back will gradually start to increase its curve as the pelvis tilts. The shoulders move back to compensate for the shift in the centre of gravity. Finally, the head takes on a more forward position, a condition called Anterior Head Syndrome. All this happens as the body releases a special hormone to relax the ligaments in the pelvic area to allow for easier birth and movement of the structures as the uterus enlarges.

All of these shifts and changes increase stress and strain on the low back, so it’s no surprise that low back pain is expected during pregnancy.

 

Baby Development

 

The low back pain itself is not the concern when it comes to the baby’s development. However, it does throw a wrench in the works when you’re trying to maintain an optimal, healthy environment for your baby. It can make it hard to stay on track with movement and exercise, get high quality sleep, prepare healthy meals (to avoid eating out and consuming processed, innutritious food), and manage stress levels.

 

Solutions

 

  1. Walking: 30 minutes a day should do, just to get some motion in the pelvis and avoid uninterrupted sitting.
  2. Foam Rolling: working on the fascia and muscles will help your soft tissue adapt to all the structural changes that your body is going under.
  3. Strength Training: developing strength, especially within your core stabilizing muscles, can help immensely with low back pain and overall health.
  4. Structural Chiropractic: a structural chiropractor can act as valuable asset in the health care team of any pregnant woman. They can keep the body functioning optimally as well as address conditions such as Anterior Head Syndrome and low back pain. We usually find pregnant women to have the speediest recovery at our office.

If you’ve got a baby on the way, try these out and benefit from a better and more comfortable pregnancy. If you have any questions about pregnancy, low back pain or other health concerns, feel free to bring them up with your Structural Chiropractor.

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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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A pregnant woman holds her hands behind her back. Concept … | Flickr