Take a leisurely drive around the valley or down the freeway. The grass is green, flowers are covering the hills like a beautiful painting; spring must be here. Well, ironically, as I am writing this it is 92 degrees today in Murrieta, so it feels more like July. Anyway, back to springtime. This is often the time of year when we tend to dust off the running shoes, bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets, etc. and head out into the great outdoors to be with our family or enjoy our favorite sporting pastime or hobby.
Unfortunately, this is also the end of a 3-4-month period when many have enjoyed a little too much “couch time”, neglected their regular fitness routine and quite possibly put on a few extra pounds of “insulation”. No more excuses; it’s time to get out there, get active, and start living again. But a brief word of caution. If you have truly neglected your regular routine or physical hobby, please understand that you have de-conditioned your body and will take a little time to snap it back into shape. So, if you were running or walking 20 miles per week last fall, jumping right back to the same mileage would probably be a bad idea, and you can replace the word running with any activity you choose.
As a general rule, and this is my rule only, you should take approximately 1 week of reduced intensity training for every 3 weeks you were enjoying the couch.
For example, if you took 8 weeks off to eat, drink and be merry, plan on spending just under 3 weeks to build back up to the intensity you were performing at when you took your break. Start between 60-75% of your previous intensity level and work up to your 100% over this transition time. Something I want to address regarding returning to our active lifestyles is pain and injury. Too many times have I heard, “I can’t do this or that activity because my (fill in the blank) hurts.
For those of you who know me well, my answer to that comment (the majority of the time); “So what? Now give me a real excuse.” Sounds mean doesn’t it? Not really, the truth is, most aches and pain can and should be worked through. “Use it or lose it” really does apply in most of life’s physical situations. Unless something is hot, red, swollen, inflamed or broken; it is generally safe and/or beneficial to keep things moving by resuming your activities. The truth is, many times we are sore and achy because we don’t use our bodies, not because of overuse. It may take a few weeks to break down the rust in our joints, so to speak, but if you just push through it, you will be rewarded with increased strength, mobility and a healthier and hopefully pain free body.
Aside from maintaining an active lifestyle, there are numerous ways of getting a handle on the pain and healing our aging bodies. Off the top of my head here are a few: proper diet, stretching, Chiropractic, anti-inflammatory supplements such as Turmeric, etc., sleep, OsteoStrong, PEMF, Acupuncture, etc.
Notice I did not mention drugs.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are situations when medications are certainly beneficial for getting through the day, but they should really be used as a last resort rather than a first line of defense. To leave you with one thought to take away from this article, I would say “Don’t ever quit”. Think of your body like a diesel truck. Give it proper care and it will last a million miles. Please give me a call or stop by OsteoStrong if you have any questions about your aches, pains or injuries before commencing on your quest for a healthier you. Don’t forget to visit our website at www.osteostrongmurrieta.com for more information. Sincerely, Dr. Derek K. Albrecht D.C.