Often times in my practice I help people work on treating their pain and improving their lives. One of the best pieces of advice I give to clients is to start a workout regimen to help enforce the work I do and also to prevent new issues from arriving. The clients I have noticed who start workout out come less and less and when I ask why they just have less pain and feel great! Here are some of my favorite benefits of working out.
1. Helping the spine by strengthening the intrinsic and extrinsic core
the spine is not meant to withstand all the compression of the body. A strong intrinsic and extrinsic core helps unload the vertebrae and also reinforce good posture. Working out these back muscles and stabilizers can help decrease pain, increase range of motion and promote long term health of the spine.
2. Releasing positive hormones
Exercise decreases stress hormones and can also a number of neurotransmitters including serotonin and nor-epinephrine. High intensity workouts can also increase testosterone levels which can be extremely helpful for men who might be experiencing a decrease in this hormone.
3. Strengthening under-active or deconditioned muscles
When muscles become underused and weakened other muscles will have to work harder and are therefore more susceptible to overuse injuries. This means a synergist (helper) have to help a prime mover, like a bicep having to do shoulder flexion for a weakened/dysfunctional pectorals and anterior deltoid.
4. Boosting memory
Exercise will boost memory and thinking power both directly and indirectly. Studies have shown that the parts of the brain that involve thinking in memory are larger in people who exercise. Indirectly it will also reduce stress hormones and promote a better nights sleep that is vital for overall health and memory. "Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions," says Dr. McGinnis.
5. Movement's effect on fascial lines
Fascia is the interconnecting webbing of the body that connects many important structures such as bones, organs, muscles, and more. When we don't move often these fascial lines of the body can become stiffer and aren't as elastic. Making sure we are moving often and going through a great range of motion is important to making sure that your body maintains it's elasticity.
6. Exercise controls weight
Exercise will help people lose weight directly and indirectly. Working out will help burn calories which helps immediately and increase a person's metabolism which will help long term. Consistent exercise decreases stress which will help people enter a parasympathetic state which also allows the body and mind to recover. Working out also promotes a good nights sleep which is important for proper recovery, metabolism, brain function, and energy levels, and memory.
7. Helping erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is often complex and can be caused by a variety of issues, exercise can have a number of benefits related to this. Working out can increase energy levels, heighten testosterone levels and improve self image.
Working out also helps decrease stress and improve sleep which results in more time in a parasympathetic mode which is required for men to have sex. For men who are chronically stressed their body will stay in a sympathetic state and make it difficult. Decreasing stress and anxiety as well as boosting healthy hormones is important to help with this condition.
8. Exercise also positively influences the nervous system
Neurogensis: Creates new neurons.
Neurochemistry: Releases neurotransmitters that improve brain function
Bonus: Maximizing injury prevention and workout performance with Level Up
While you're getting back into your workouts its great to have a maintenance plan in place and injury prevention. I love mixing p-dtr and massage therapy techniques into a single session to get long term results and work on over/underactive tissue
P-DTR is great to utilize to help restore muscular imbalances and range of motion. This makes sure to maximize your workout efforts and avoid potential injuries. After I've helped clients recover from the initial complain we focus on what are their goals and plans physically for the upcoming year: complete a certain hike, improve deadlift/squat, ect. Once we establish these goals we can look at common compensations/muscles associated with these movements and work towards future injury prevention and/or maximizing results.
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