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During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Mao Asada not only won a silver medal in Ladies Figure Skating, she also landed three triple axels during that competition which was a feat that no competitor had previously accomplished. While all figure skating spins, jumps and other technical elements have varying levels of difficulty, the triple axel is especially challenging. A triple axel consists of many moving parts, which must all be perfectly coordinated in order to complete the requisite rotations in the air before landing safely on the ice.
How does a figure skater assemble all the various parts of this daring and beautiful element? Certainly not by thinking about them. The timing of this entire feat happens in a matter of seconds, while the individual moving parts of a triple axel happen in a fraction of a second. Therefore, if the skater tries to think about what is coming next, they will most likely end up falling instead.
Well-executed triple- axels, salchows, and flips combine exquisite beauty, athleticism and grace. Double and single jumps are also very impressive, requiring a very high level of coordination and skill.1,2 A skater learns how to perform these elements by training, honing their ability to focus, and countless hours of practice. The months, and years of training result in these moves becoming second nature to a skater. At this point, generally speaking, thinking plays no part in performing these "tricks", because we can't think at skating speed.
So how can we bring a skater's level of excellence to our own training? Whether we're riding a bike, running, doing yoga, walking, swimming, dancing, or playing basketball or volleyball, a high level of commitment is necessary in order to excel.3 A half-hearted effort will not get you significant results. If we truly want to increase our health and well-being, it is necessary to commit to a regular exercise schedule. In order to do this, we need to plan and use our time efficiently, making sure that we set aside at least 30 minutes each day for our daily exercise activities.
We need to make sure that we optimize our exercise time to get the best results. The main objectives of exercise are to tone and strengthen our muscles, increase our aerobic capacity and increase our flexibility and the range of motion in our joints. In order to do this, it's important for various parts and systems of your body to communicate with each other efficiently, otherwise some of your effort will be wasted. The most effective way to ensure optimal functioning of all our physiologic systems is to make sure our nerve system is operating at full capacity. Chiropractic health care focuses on fulfilling this need.
Regular chiropractic care helps to restore and maintain optimal functioning of the all-important nerve system. This helps all the various body systems function effectively so that you can derive maximal benefit from your exercise efforts. Your body becomes smarter and able to perform at higher levels. You are supported in developing new physical skills and abilities. You may also notice an improvement in your sleep resulting from a better functioning nerve system, and perhaps even an increase in creativity and joy in your life.
1Tanguy SG, et al: Are otolithic inputs interpreted better in figure skaters? Neuroreport 19(5):565-568, 2008
2Lockwood KL, et al: Landing for success: a biomechanical and perceptual analysis of on-ice jumps in figure skating. Sports Biomech 5(2)231-241, 2006
3Rinne M, et al: Is Generic Physical Activity Or Specific Exercise Associated With Motor Abilities? Med Sci Sports Exerc February 13, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)