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Regular Chiropractic Care and Your Mechanical Advantage
Vigorous exercises such as hiking, running, and walking pose challenges to numerous physiological systems including the cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal systems. By progressively increasing mechanical loads on weight-bearing structures (including the lumbar spinal vertebra, pelvis, thigh bones, shin bones, and ankle bones), these exercises also engage metabolic pathways involved in production of new bone. Regular chiropractic care helps ensure that your body effectively meets the various physiological demands imposed by our exercise activities.
In order for all our internal systems to work at peak capacity and efficiency, our organs, tissues, and cells must receive and transmit timely information from and to our body's master system, the nerve system. But spinal misalignments may irritate spinal nerves, causing nerve interference and disrupting the free flow of signals across critical neurological networks. Such disruptions may lead to pain, interfere with our ability to exercise effectively, and interfere with our ability to gain the numerous benefits of exercise. By detecting and correcting such spinal misalignments, regular chiropractic care helps our bodies function at optimal levels and gain the most from the valuable time we're spending on our exercise activities. As a result, regular chiropractic care contributes substantially to our long-term health and well-being.
As autumn’s outdoor temperatures begin to moderate, many of us look forward to opportunities for vigorous cardiorespiratory activities that we put aside in the heat of the summer. It's much easier to hike in the spring and fall, even in the peak afternoon hours, because the sun’s intensity is less harsh.
Hiking is tremendous fun and is a wonderful form of vigorous exercise for the entire family, including the youngest through the oldest.1 Hiking combines both cardiorespiratory and strength training activities, which train not only your heart and lungs but also the large muscle groups of your legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the gastrocnemius/soleus muscles of your calves. However, hiking is not like other forms of exercise. As you cannot really do a hike gradually, it's important to have acquired a good level of fitness before you begin to hike. Also, hikers need to be prepared and take along specific supplies. When you hike, it's best to expect the unexpected, and certain basic supplies are critically necessary.
In terms of fitness preparation, beginning hikers should be able to walk four miles at a brisk pace.2 This will allow you to hike a two-mile trail at a modest incline, covering a total of four miles out and back. Doing such a hike a few times will then provide the preparation needed for increasing your hiking distance. Hiking preparation also includes strength training. In a comprehensive strength training program, you train all major muscle groups once a week. This is done by performing "split routines" such as training chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs on separate days. Your comprehensive strength training program works synergistically with your cardiorespiratory exercise. Doing one form of exercise benefits the other activity and the result is substantial improvement in your fitness levels. The overall result is that you are appropriately prepared to hike.
Regarding supplies, every hiker needs a backpack. Your backpack will contain a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a two-liter water bottle, some trail mix and protein bars, a GPS-capable phone, a map and compass (as low-tech backups to your phone's GPS), and a lightweight rain slicker or waterproof poncho. Each of these items is necessary for a safe and enjoyable hike. You don't want to run out of water or snacks. You don't want to get sunburnt or rained on. And you certainly don't want to get lost. By Murphy's Law, the supply that you neglect or forget to bring, is the one you will need on that hike. The best policy is to always be prepared.
With appropriate preparation, hiking will provide you and your family years of enjoyment of the natural world and will enhance your health and well-being for years to come.
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I am so thrilled to have come across this little gem of a place! I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful couple this past week and was able to get in to the clinic for a chiropractic adjustment. I currently live about an hour away from the wellness center, but I'll be making the drive just to see them for my health needs. Dr. Drew was so attentive and thorough. He really listened to me and we discussed what I was accustomed to as far as treatment goes. He takes careful time with each client and truly cares about your health. After 15 years of visiting many different chiropractic doctors, I can quickly get a read on the type of care I'll receive. I immediately felt at ease and confident with him. I was able to chat with his lovely wife, Alexis, as well and am anxious to set up an appointment with her. This is no ordinary wellness center. They offer so many options for treating a vast amount of health challenges. They see and treat the body as a whole, which is the only way to find true health.
Kari Powell, February 2017