Exercise, It's Good for the Heart (and the Spine)
By Donna Kostiew
We have all heard how exercise is good for the heart … it improves circulation, reduces the risk of heart disease, and helps people lose weight. In fact, you don’t even need to be a hardcore athlete to receive these benefits because research has shown that even a moderate amount of exercise is enough to improve your overall heart health. But did you know that regular exercise is also good for your spine? So not only does exercise improve your health and overall wellness, it can also help prevent injuries to your spine and reduce back pain.
We are all different and each of us has our own spot on the fitness level chart. What works for one person won’t for another. What is a healthy level for your neighbor may not be for you (so always check with your doctor if you plan to significantly switch things up). But any amount of exercise is beneficial to your body.
Types of Exercise
There are three basic building blocks, or types, of exercise.
Stretching – Stretching is often just considered as a warmup or cool-down in fitness routines, but if utilized on its own, it can offer even more benefits to your body as well. Stretching not only increases the body’s range of motion and flexibility, but it also helps to build strength and improves your balance. It is an amazing tool for everyone, but especially for seniors who may find it hard to leave their home because it is so easy to incorporate into the day. Stretching also helps prevent muscle strains, tears, and soreness during strenuous activity, which is why it is so important to stretch before and after your workouts.
Strengthening - Strengthening your muscles is good for every part of your body but is especially important for your core muscles. When your abdominal and back muscles work together, the spine is stabilized. This helps with your posture, allows for proper spinal movement, and reduces back pain. Strengthening your hip and leg muscles helps support and protect the hip and knee joints and prevents injuries to these areas as well. Strong muscles also contribute to your body having increased energy, greater endurance, and a faster metabolism.
Aerobic – Aerobic exercise is often the type of exercise we think of when we are told to add an exercise routine to our schedule. Running, walking, biking, aerobics classes … the type of exercise doesn’t matter, you just want it to make sense to your level of health and to the fitness goals you have for yourself. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, it improves circulation and sleep, it helps maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and it promotes weight loss.
It's never too early or too late to begin a fitness routine that can help improve your health and well-being, so have some fun with it and get the whole family involved!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.