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Climbing the Hill

cardio-respiratory exercise
Regular Chiropractic Care and Healthy Exercise
Regular vigorous exercise is critically important for retaining and maintaining optimal good health. But injuries may happen, disrupting our plans and best intentions. It's difficult to prevent random injuries, which by definition occur without cause or warning. One key to prevailing in your long-term exercise program is to minimize the likelihood of injury by maximizing your fitness potential.

Preventable, rather than random, injuries are often caused by tightness and/or imbalance of muscles that support spinal movement and spinal weight-bearing. These muscles include the erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, longissimus thoracis, and longissimus cervicis. These spinal stabilizers assist in all forms of exercise and their optimal functioning is required for any maximal effort. By identifying and correcting misalignments of spinal vertebras, regular chiropractic care helps ensure full and free movement of these important spinal muscles. As a result, regular chiropractic care helps you and your family get the most benefit out of the time you spend exercising, helping you to improve your long-term health.

Climbing a hill is a useful metaphor for activities involved in accomplishing a major goal, overcoming longstanding obstacles, or achieving a noteworthy milestone. But you must be prepared to engage in such a climb. Striking out without a metaphorical map, compass, bottle of water, or raingear will consistently result in limited success or actual failure. From a health and fitness perspective, climbing a hill may represent a real, concrete process. When you're out on your daily walk or run, unless you live and train entirely at sea level you're going to encounter changes in elevation. If you live in mountainous regions such as Southern California or along the Appalachian Trail, such variations in terrain require greater levels of aerobic capacity. Unless you want to spend your exercise time huffing and puffing, climbing a hill in the literal sense necessitates a high level of cardiovascular fitness.

Cardiovascular fitness may also be termed cardiorespiratory fitness.1 Such fitness refers to heart and lung capacity. With increased cardiorespiratory fitness, your heart's stroke volume increases. In other words, your heart pumps more blood with each beat than it did prior to attaining such fitness. More blood pumped per beat means your heart works less to achieve the same result. Your heart becomes more efficient, your blood pressure goes down, and your cells and tissues receive more nutrition more quickly.2,3 Similarly, with increased cardiorespiratory fitness your lungs take in more air with each breath. Such increased lung capacity means more oxygen is available to cells and tissues more quickly. Your entire cardiorespiratory system becomes more efficient. You're expending less metabolic energy and obtaining greater metabolic returns. Cardiorespiratory fitness substantially improves your overall health.

Attaining the goal of cardiovascular (cardiorespiratory) fitness involves the same type of thoroughness as that involved in achieving family and business-related goals. You plan your work and then work your plan. Interval training is a proven method of enhancing cardiovascular fitness, a method that is both mentally and physically challenging. Accomplishing your interval training goals also provides a great deal of fun and personal satisfaction.

Interval training involves alternating intense and slow periods of activity. Let's say you run three days a week, you average approximately 12 minutes per mile, and you run 3 miles per day. Now you'll substitute one interval training day per week for one of your regular running days. On your interval training day, you'll begin by lightly jogging 1 mile. Then you'll run 1/4 mile at 2:45, that is, slightly faster than your regular 3-minute per 1/4 mile pace. You'll continue with 1/4 mile at a very light recovery pace. Next, you'll repeat the sequence of fast (2:45) 1/4 mile followed by the slow recovery 1/4 mile. Repeat the sequence once more, add 1/2 mile of lightly jogging cool-down, and you've run your daily 3-mile quotient. Going forward, you may infinitely vary your interval training sequences, running 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, and 1 mile interval distances at slightly faster than your race pace. You'll get faster gradually as your cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity increase. Within 6 months of engaging in consistent interval training, climbing hills may seem no more difficult than running on flat ground. Not only will you have become much more fit, you will have made tremendous gains in overall health and well being.

1Lavie CJ, et al: Exercise and the Cardiovascular System: Clinical Science and Cardiovascular Outcomes. Circ Res 117(2):207-219, 2015

2Myers J, et al: Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness as major markers of cardiovascular risk: their independent and interwoven importance to health status. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 57(4):306-314, 2015

3Nayor M, Vasan RS: Preventing heart failure: the role of physical activity. Curr Opin Cardiol 2015 Jul 3. [Epub ahead of print]

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Testimonial

I was referred to Heartwood Holistic by some friends. Their exact words were, "Dr. Drew is amazing! And Debbie at the front desk is wonderful!" They were right! At most doctor's offices you go in for the initial visit and fill out pages of paper work only to be asked those questions again once you get seen by the physician. Not so here. Dr. Drew zeroed in on what was ailing me and presented a plan of action by the end of my first visit. I've been a regular and don't plan on changing up anytime soon. I look forward to my visits there 1.) for the relief 2.) the staff. Everyone is so friendly and they actually care about your wellness. Alexis is a special treat! She is very committed to her craft and just a wonderful person. Ask her for the Moxa and just relax on her amethyst heating pad. Dreamy!! You can't go wrong here. Looking forward to my Rolfing session with Aaron. Thank you, HHH family!

Ashley D,  August 2017


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 P, February 2017

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