The Key To Achieving Your Fitness Goals

 

Kettlebells and running shoes

The new year is a time filled with resolutions and goal setting, and no goal is more common than those of the fitness variety. After all, there is a reason gym’s experience an annual influx of new members at this time of year- it’s resolution season! Now, chances are that you, or someone you know, is considering making a fitness change in your life. Before you rush out and sign up for a gym membership, be sure to consider your ultimate goals, fitness personality and preferred exercise style. If you truly want to succeed and make healthy changes this new year, don’t rush into your fitness journey with the masses. Take a moment to reflect and understand what will work best for you.

Determine Your Workout Personality

To achieve your goal, self-reflection is the first step to success. Prior to starting any fitness plan, you should carefully review your strengths and weaknesses. This is not necessarily a physical check, rather it is a mental attitude check to determine which factors related to your goal tend to challenge you the most. The purpose of threat identification is to identify any variables that will compromise your success. This can include bad habits, like a history of being inconsistent with workouts, as well as types of exercises you know you dislike.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Can I motivate myself in a gym environment?

2. Do I need instructions, or do I have enough experience to work out on my own?

3. Would I be more consistent participating in a sport or group activity?

4. Is this something I can do from home, or am I more likely to stick with my plan if it is done outside the house?

5. Do I have a reliable friend to go to the gym with?

6. What type of physical activity appeals to me?

7. What type of activity do I dislike?

8. What time of day will work best with my schedule? 9. What is my ultimate goal?

10. How can I break that goal into smaller, manageable pieces?

Pick a Method that Suits your Exercise Style

Some people have the ability to motivate their self to hit the gym regularly, others find it challenging without someone to crack the motivational whip. If you are one of those that struggle with consistency, consider teaming up with a friend to help motivate each other, invest in a personal trainer, or try a group activity.

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If you are new to the exercise scene or are recovering from an injury, consider choosing an option that provides more instruction. If you decide to join a gym, consider facilities that offer group fitness classes and personal training consultations. One on one consultations are beneficial to new members to avoid irritating old injuries or developing new ones. If a team environment is more appealing to you, look for sports or activities being taught at an introductory level. Many recreation centers offer intramural sports or leagues catering to different experience levels.

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If you have prior experience and are self-motivated, consider setting up a small space in your home where you can exercise. January is a great month to pick up exercise equipment, as this is the time of year workout gear goes on sale. Picking up some basic equipment like a set of weights, yoga mat, and a jump rope can go a long way. Equipment doesn’t have to be big to be effective, and some activities require little more than your body to see results.

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For experienced self-motivators who have little space or motivation at home, a well-equipped gym is probably preferred. If you get easily bored, look for a facility that offers more variety, as this will help keep you interested. Another option is to try a challenging activity, like martial arts or a competitive team sport.

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For those that prefer the comfort of home, but still need a little instruction, the digital age has you covered. It is more convenient than ever to stream exercise videos on your television, phone or laptop. There is no shortage of apps, channels, and programs that can be downloaded or streamed from the internet. With an abundance of body-based exercises, you don’t need to break the bank to tone up.

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Set Reasonable Goals

If deciding the best method to achieve your goal is the first step for success, setting up a series of smaller, reasonable goals is the second. Most people start out with high expectations, set unrealistic goals, and expect to achieve them in a short period of time. Unrealistic expectations often lead to decreased morale and goal abandonment. To avoid this, it is beneficial to break your goal into smaller pieces that are more easily achieved. You should also consider the method you will use to measure your success. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to lose 10lbs, breaking this into smaller 2lb intervals over a set period of time will be more motivating. If you exceed your expectations, you will feel better about your long-term success. An alternate goal may be to drop a pant size or two; if this is the case, monitoring your body measurements would be more accurate in judging your progress. Always keep in mind that depending on your ultimate goal, the steps you take to get there will vary, carefully consider what will work best for you, and if needed, talk to a professional. Lastly, if you have any doubt about which options to choose, remember that most gyms offer trial memberships. Try before you buy!

Be Consistent

Whichever method you decide to use, remember to be consistent. Some people find it useful to schedule exercise time into their day, making preplanned appointments with themselves. Others prefer a bit more wiggle room and choose to set a general exercise rule. For instance, if you plan on working out 3 to 4 times a week, a possible rule would be to try to exercise every other day and never let more than two inactive days happen in a row.

Happy 2018, and all the best with your new year goals!

Golf Stretches From Your Chiropractor

Golf is a sport enjoyed by many individuals, and as with all sports, it is very important that we stretch before hitting the golf course or driving range. Below are some stretches that I recommend all golfers do to loosen up and prevent any injuries from occurring during play.

Stretches for a Good Swing Follow Through

  1. Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and fold your arms across your chest.
  2. Bend your knees and lean forward slightly.
  3.  Rotate your trunk in your backswing motion.
  4.  Continue from the top of your backswing to your follow through position.

 

Stretches for your swing

Hip Flexor Stretches

  1. Plant your golf club vertically in front of you, gripping the top with your hands and keeping your arms stretched out straight in front of you.
  2.  Plant one foot firmly on the ground in front of you and move the other foot backward, keeping the leg straight.
  3.  Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your front knee and lean your hips forward in a smooth motion, stretching your leg from your back foot.
  4. Try to keep your back heel on the ground and your knee over your front foot (be careful not to bring your front knee past your front foot).
  5.  Repeat this stretch with the other leg.

 

Hip Flexor Stretch

Quad Stretches

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and plant your golf club vertically in front of you, with the head on the ground for support.
  2.  Bend your left leg, bringing the foot up behind you and secure it with your hand.
  3.  Pull the foot up gently until you feel the stretch.
  4.  Hold the position for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Release the back leg and repeat the motion with the opposite foot.

 

Quad Stretches

Wrist Stretches

  1. Hold your arm in front of you with your palm facing down.
  2. Keep the elbow straight and gently pull your wrist up by grabbing the tops of your fingers.
  3. Relax your grip and return to your original position, keeping your arm stretched out in front of you with your palm facing down.
  4. Keeping the elbow straight gently pull your wrist in a downward motion with your opposite hand.

 

Wrist Stretches

Trunk Upper Body Stretches

  1. Grip the golf club with both hands in front of your chest.
  2. Plant your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Rotate your torso slowly to the right and hold the stretch.
  4. Repeat motion in the opposite direction.

 

Trunk Stretches

Side Stretches

  1. Grip your club horizontally in front of you with your hands spaced shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise your arms straight up above your head.
  3. From the hips, slightly bend to one side and hold your stretch.
  4. From the raised arm position, repeat the stretch going in the opposite direction.

 

Side Stretches

Calf Stretches

  1. Place both hands against a tree at chest level and stand arms length away.
  2.  Keep one foot on the ground and move the opposite foot behind you, keeping the knee straight.
  3.  Try to touch your back heel to the ground.
  4.  Do not bounce, and hold the stretch.
  5.  Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg.

 

Calf Stretch

 

 

Next time you head to the course, don’t forget to do these tee time stretches to warm up your golf game! Looking for other ways to improve your game? Try chiropractic care. Regular adjustments help you use your body to its fullest potential, read more about sports and chiropractic here.

Chiropractic Benefits for Athletes: Soccer Edition

Study shows chiropractic adjustments improve kicking speed in athletes Image used under license from Freestock.com

Many athletes find Chiropractic care to be beneficial in improving their performance. And for good reason. Chiropractic adjustments not only keep your body moving correctly, they also help restore and improve the brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body. When the spine gets misaligned and creates a vertebral subluxation, it does two things:

1. It locks up that joint in your spine and can result in tightness and decreased flexibility in the spine.

2. It inhibits the brain from effectively sending signals to the rest of the body.

It only makes sense that when you release that vertebral subluxation, you allow the spine to move more freely without inhibition. The tension and tightness that was hindering your body prior to treatment will be released; thereby improving the body’s flexibility.

Chiropractic Improves Kicking Speed Performance in Soccer Players

Picture it this way. When you are trying to water the garden and your hose has a kink in it… how fast is that water running out to the sprinkler? Because of the kink, there is not enough water pressure to effectively get the water to its final destination. Although a trickle may still get through, the pressure reduction because of the pinched hose still results in a less effective shower for your morning glories. So, what is your solution to this dilemma? Unkink the hose.

The same concept applies to the human body. When our vertebrae are putting pressure on the nerves in our body, it is exactly like that kinked hose we were just discussing. How effectively is that signal from the brain being sent to the body? What can we possibly do to fix that? All you need to do is receive a Chiropractic adjustment, release the pressure caused by the misaligned vertebrae and allow your body to function optimally – just like removing the kink from the garden hose!

This is why many athletes are under Chiropractic care. It improves the way the body functions and when you are competing, you want your body at its optimal level. In a recent article published in the Journal of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, the findings of a study done on soccer players was discussed. The players had been monitored to analyze if Chiropractic adjustments had any impact on their kicking speeds and performance. Results were promising and it was noted that the combination of Sacroiliac Joint adjustments and Lumbar spine adjustments saw an improved performance in kicking speeds.

Remember, you don’t need to be an athlete to take advantage of the great benefits that Chiropractic care offers. Learn more about Chiropractic by checking out our website or read our tips on finding a great chiropractor.

 

References:
1. Deutschmann, K. C., Jones, A. D., & Korporaal, C. M. (2015). A non-randomised experimental feasibility study into the immediate effect of three different spinal manipulative protocols on kicking speed performance in soccer players. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 23, 1. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-014-0046-3

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