You might remember the old fable from childhood, about the tortoise who beat the hare in a race. The hare started off strong, as you would expect, but he quickly wore himself out and decided to take a nap. Meanwhile, the tortoise plodded along slowly, but steadily and faithfully… and he won the race.
The moral of the story was that consistent dedication beats passionate, but short-lived, spurts of effort. You can apply that concept to many areas of life, but with regard to exercise this lesson can help you stay in shape, avert injuries, and avoid chronic pain.
You are probably familiar with the cycles of enthusiastic exercise followed by burnout or injury. Once you lose your motivation – due to either lost disinterest or physical pain – it can be difficult to start back up again. And once you do start back up, you feel the pressure to “make up for lost time”. Yet another burst of frenzied activity can lead to yet another injury!
When it comes to exercise and staying in shape, the tortoise’s strategy is almost always the best. Maybe it’s not as exciting, and you might occasionally feel frustrated at the slow progress, but by exercising consistently and carefully you will gradually improve over time. More importantly, you won’t wear yourself out, risk injuries, and subject yourself to discomfort and pain.
As you put together an exercise program, remember not to overlook the basics. It’s fine to set a goal to run five miles or add fifty pounds to your bench press, but workouts should be built upon the basics: Flexibility, proper form, and faithful warm-ups keep you safe by preventing injuries. Proper sleep and sound nutrition give your body the fuel it needs to progress healthfully.
And finally, remember to listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re more sore than usual, take a rest day. When you’re extra tired, rest. And when you feel ready to challenge yourself a bit more, you will know.
When an unusual pain presents itself, seek professional assistance right away. Give us a call and we will evaluate potential injuries and recommend the right chiropractic treatments to alleviate discomfort. With proper attention and care, you can avoid long delays and get your fitness regimen back on the right track.