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Want a happy spine and a healthy life? Keep moving!

It’s unanimous! Use it or lose it.

Everybody from the doctors at the Mayo Clinic to veteran chiropractors agree. Sitting for longer than 4 hours at a time at the computer or in front of a TV will chip away at your health and shrink your years. But motion can improve your health and keep your spine young.

From the Mayo Clinic point of view -Walking is a key exercise.

 “Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. Walking is safe, simple and doesn't require practice.”
 “Walking can help you.
• Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
• Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
• Lower your blood pressure
• Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
• Manage your weight
• Improve your mood
• Stay strong and fit
“All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.”

From chiropractor, Dr. Donald Ozello’s view:  “Motion is the fountain of youth for a healthy spine.“

He says motion keeps us young and adds years to our lives. “A major difference between a “young” person and an “old” person is the ability to move correctly. Movement is the most vital ingredient to spine health. Proper motion increases blood flow, builds muscle strength, improves bone strength, decreases muscle tension and provides relief from static body positioning.”

Motion can be active or passive.

Ozello says, “Passive motions are performed on you by another person. Healthy passive movements include chiropractic adjustments, partner assisted stretches and assisted motion exercises. Healthy active movement for the spine includes dynamic motion exercises, static stretches, anaerobic exercises and aerobic exercise.”

“The spine is the nucleus of motion.”  The spinal column is composed of 26 articulating vertebrae that function as a unit. The lower back, or lumbar spine, is nicknamed the pillar because it supports the entire spinal column. The lower back is an essential component in the muscle groups known as the core. Movement supplies fluid and nutrients to the intervertebral discs (IVD.) The IVD is located between the vertebrae and serves as a shock distributor. Direct blood flow to the IVD ceases around the age of six. After that point the IVD receives its blood flow through osmosis with the vertebrae directly above and below. Motion increases the osmotic process between the vertebrae and the IVD. Movement is the key to a healthy IVD. Small and big movements increase blood flow to the IVD.

Ozello suggests  this IVD exercise: “Controlled movement exercises on an exercise ball work wonders for the IVD. Hold a pelvic tilt position, bounce very slightly and shift your hips side to side to strengthen the core, increase blood flow to the IVD and drastically increase spine health.”

“Anaerobic Exercise: Build strength, power and motion with resistance training.  Use body weight exercises, weight machines, barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, cables, resistance bands and Pilates.
Learn correct technique from a certified fitness trainer. Perform each lift with precision and pay close attention to your technique. Use perfect form each repetition.”

“Nerve slide motion exercises move the muscles and nerves to help prevent and manage nerve impingement conditions. Nerve slides are precision, non-exertion, non-resistance movements that release the nerve from scar tissue entrapment. Nerve slides assist in the prevention and management of carpal tunnel syndrome,  and thoracic outlet syndrome.”

“Motion Exercises increase range of motion and muscle strength. Tai Chi and yoga build strength, coordination and balance  simultaneously increasing joint range of motion. Learn correct technique from a knowledgeable teacher and perform motion exercises correctly and consistently for optimum benefits.”

“Static Stretching: Increase spinal mobility and flexibility by stretching after executing dynamic motions for increased results and safety. Never stretch a cold muscle. Perform dynamic motions to increase blood flow and warm-up the muscles before stretching. Exhale and move slowly into the stretch. Hold a slight comfortable muscle stretch. Release the stretch and slowly return to the starting position. Hold neck stretches for 10 to 20 seconds, all other areas can be stretched for 20 to 60 seconds. Stretching should never elicit pain or symptoms.”

As always, before starting a new exercise routine consult with your doctor.

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