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Fitness: How Chiropractic Can Help

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Chiropractic Can Help Your Body Run More Efficiently

Everyone knows that it is important to exercise regularly and eat right to take care of our bodies. But what if you are in too much pain to be able to exercise comfortably or safely? What if your range of motion is limited by stiffness?

By eliminating the headaches, muscle tightness, low back pain, and nerve interference (or subluxations) that result from misalignment, chiropractic helps the body become less limited in the types of and amount of movement it can perform well.

Efficiency. It is something we all look for in home appliances or cars. How much energy will this thing take to run? Does the system have any weaknesses? If it's a used car, we want to know if the car had its oil changed regularly and if the parts have been properly cared for. We know that when one thing is imbalanced, the whole system becomes less effective. The truth is, regular maintenance (getting that tune-up, having that spine adjusted) can play a significant role in overall "fitness." When all systems are fully supported and functioning properly, we run, work, and play better.

Though it can be difficult to define, physical fitness refers to a state of overall health that includes the ability to perform a range of activities, from a hard workout to working comfortably at a desk, with ease and efficiency. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are four interrelated types of fitness that contribute to complete health: muscular fitness, which includes muscle strength and endurance; flexibility, which includes muscle/tendon elasticity and range of motion; cardio-respiratory fitness, which includes the heart, lungs, and blood vessels; and body composition, or the percentage of body fat to nonfat tissues (bones, organs, etc.). Because no one system functions independently, the fitness of each affects all the others.

While it's important to get adequate exercise, eat right, and treat our bodies kindly to maximize health in all of the above categories, regular alignment or "maintenance" through chiropractic adjustments can be a big step to improving overall fitness. Because chiropractic works toward balancing the body's systems-bones, muscles, nerves, and organs-through proper posture and alignment, regular chiropractic care allows the whole body to perform at its best, increasing energy reserves as it decreases the stress and fatigue that can result from improper alignment.

In fact, icons of fitness such as Decathlon Gold Medalist Dan O'Brien and Superbowl MVP Joe Montana use chiropractic care to maintain peak physical performance; and the trend is catching on among a number of professional athletes and sports teams. The U.S. teams for the 2002 Winter Olympics were the first to employ an official Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Robin Hunter, and they had one of the best showings ever. Coincidence? Hunter has stated the chiropractic care is all about "correcting bio-mechanical faults and misalignments, and treating injuries with hands-on work, so that the athletes can return to play faster and better." John Stockton, a pro basketball player that has turned to chiropractic to better his game says, "It's not just the adjustments, it's balancing muscles and overall health." After a recent skiing accident, Schwarzenegger remarked, "I had one of those miracle moments when you call a chiropractor, they care for you and then days later you ski again like a champion on moguls."

Though it may feel like a miracle, the principle of chiropractic is simple. When the body is well aligned, muscles, joints, and ligaments function together with greater ease. Internal organs aren't hindered-the lungs and heart are better able to do their jobs. Perhaps even more importantly, chiropractic care helps prevent injuries that can result from overtaxing a particular part of the body that may be compensating for those that aren't functioning as well. Through chiropractic the body gets a tune-up. We're ready to roll-more efficiently and with a greater sense of well-being.

How would you rate your physical fitness? Would you like to learn how chiropractic care can help you with your goals?