|Enhancing Your Lifestyle with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic physicians are experts in achieving and maintaining wellness. They can teach their patients how to begin safe, effective exercise programs. Chiropractors can also teach their patients how to design healthy food plans that can improve their own health and well-being and that of their families. Healthy lifestyles are an important aspect in the overall chiropractic approach to long-term wellness.
Chiropractors are highly trained in nutritional science and rehabilitative exercise. In addition to your hands-on chiropractic adjustments and other treatments, regular vigorous exercise and a healthy nutrition plan will assist you in regaining high levels of wellness and well-being.
The fitness craze was initiated in the United States in the early 1980s by a group of celebrities, (most notably Jane Fonda,) who understood that regular exercise is crucial for health and well-being.
Although many of their methods were flawed, these early pioneers helped to promote the idea that physical fitness is very valuable in and of itself - an idea that has seeped into the collective consciousness over the last thirty years. But although most people are now aware of the importance of physical fitness, many still fail to take any action on their own behalf in this critical area.
Typically, a person will procrastinate about beginning an exercise program for many years while the extra pounds continue to accumulate. Then when they have finally become frustrated enough to take action, they will often join a gym or hire a personal trainer, and buy new workout gear in a flurry of activity. Then, after the initial burst of enthusiasm begins to wane during the first month or two, more often than not the typical fitness-seeking person loses their interest, and their motivation to continue seems to evaporate along with it. Gyms and other fitness facilities across the globe profit by selling new memberships, with the full knowledge that most new gym members will discontinue their efforts within four to six weeks.
But fitness is important. And from an even broader perspective, lifestyle largely determines the risk of many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (including hypertension and stroke), and pulmonary disease - which accounted for more than sixty percent of the 2.4 million deaths in the United States in 2007.1 It is now widely understood that each of these conditions is primarily what we consider a lifestyle disease. In the case of cancer, less than 10% of occurrences are due to an inherited condition. The balance are a result of lifestyle choices such as excessive alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise.2
One of the best things you can do for yourself to help ensure your long-term health is to make regular vigorous exercise a life-long habit. For those who have been sedentary for many years, enjoying a daily walk is usually a great way to begin a life-long exercise program. Begin with a modest five or ten minute walk, and eventually build up over over the next couple months to a 30-minute walk each day. You can even break it up into two or three shorter walks during the day - perhaps a fifteen minute walk in the morning to start your day off right, and then another fifteen minute walk in the evening to help release the day's accumulated stress. Once you've gotten to the point of walking about 30 minutes each day, you can gradually increase your walking pace to make it a bit more challenging. Once you've achieved this, you may enjoy alternating basic strength-training workouts with your walks.
Fitness does more than enhance your lifestyle though. It also improves your state of mind. Once a person becomes fit, they are very often motivated to remain fit. A person who becomes fit will often notice they naturally begin to make healthier food choices than they had previously. Sugary drinks, ice cream, doughnuts, cake, potato chips and candy suddenly begin to lose their appeal. Water, organic whole foods, organic apples, raw nuts and protein smoothies become more appealing. People who develop a fitness enhancing lifestyle find themselves losing weight, easily and naturally. They are free from stress-inducing diets and the feelings of deprivation. Gone are the days of drastic weight loss and gaining the weight back plus a few extra pounds for their trouble. Instead, the pounds just slowly but surely disappear because the person is exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.3
People who become fit are motivated to maintain their results by continuing their improved, life-enhancing habits. This new, healthy lifestyle becomes their preferred lifestyle.
1Xu J, et al: Deaths. Final data for 2007. Natl Vital Stat Rep 58(19), May 20, 2010
2Kirkegaard H, et al: Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study. Brit Med J October 26, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
3Brietzke SA: A personalized approach to metabolic aspects of obesity. Mt Sinai J Med 77(5):499-510, 2010