Everybody understands that exercise is necessary for optimal physical and mental health. Beginning a workout routine can be simple, but sticking with it long-term is the challenge. Knowing how to stay motivated can be overwhelming when facing various fitness options. Understanding the benefits of exercise and identifying the most significant motivating factors will help stick to the fitness plan.
Benefits of Exercise
The first step is identifying why you want to start exercising and the principal motivator/s. For most individuals exercising regularly helps:
Contribute to weight loss
Decrease risk of disease
Improve the quality of life
Improve mental health
Sticking to a plan tends to dissolve after a few months without serious motivation. It is recommended to focus on making the why as specific and personal as possible. The more specific the why, the less likely the individual will stray from the plan. For example, a middle-aged father wants to get and stay in shape because he wants to keep up with his kids and set a healthy example.
A small amount of regular exercise positively affects the body’s health. This is a common cause of burnout and is not necessary. Those who have never exercised or worked out regularly are often tempted to start with intense hours-long exercise routines.
That means that 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise/activity or 15 minutes a day of vigorous exercise/activity is the recommended amount to see and feel health benefits like improved metabolism and mental health.
Getting the body physically fit is a long-distance marathon, not a quick sprint.
Consistency is the objective.
Increasing the frequency and/or duration of workouts is fine, but doing it in a way where the exercise is still enjoyable and not a chore is recommended.
Individuals who work out too hard and need to rest for a few days risk losing motivation.
Becoming more active throughout the day outside of the workout regimen is recommended to increase physical activity levels and build and reinforce healthy habits. If exercising is too strenuous for the individual, start with increasing physical daily activities. This is an effective way to ease into regular exercise. Examples of physical activities include:
Developing healthy habits, physical and nutritional are the goals, which is why it is essential to find an exercise approach that doesn’t lose its appeal and continues to develop. One study found that working out with friends or joining group sports can generate greater enjoyment. There are a variety of activities that can include:
Organized sports leagues:
What is essential is to find something that you will want to continue to do.
Personalized Training and Rehabilitation
Barranco-Ruiz, Yaira et al. “Dance Fitness Classes Improve the Health-Related Quality of Life in Sedentary Women.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 17,11 3771. 26 May. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17113771
Dalle Grave, Riccardo. “Nutrition and Fitness: Mental Health.” Nutrients vol. 12,6 1804. 17 Jun. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12061804
Higgins, John P. “Smartphone Applications for Patients’ Health and Fitness.” The American journal of medicine vol. 129,1 (2016): 11-9. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.05.038
Yang, Yun Jun. “An Overview of Current Physical Activity Recommendations in Primary Care.” Korean journal of family medicine vol. 40,3 (2019): 135-142. doi:10.4082/kjfm.19.0038
Practicing improper/unhealthy postures throughout the day can severely fatigue the mind and body. Children’s postural health is vital to their overall health and energy levels to perform tasks, school work, and play. An unhealthy posture causes the body to lose its ability to dissipate forces evenly and correctly. Symptoms like soreness, pain, tightness, and irritability can begin to present, which is the body’s way of letting the individual know something is off. When the body is in proper alignment, the spine disperses body weight correctly and efficiently. Chiropractic adjustments can effectively counter the unhealthy posture effects, and simple postural exercises can strengthen the body, increasing healthy posture habits.
Children’s Posture Health
Healthy posture is more than simply sitting and standing up straight. It is how the body is positioned, meaning the head, spine, and shoulders, and how it moves unconsciously like a walking gait. An uneven gait or awkward body position can indicate a problem and cause long-term consequences to a child’s health.
Kids and children are constantly hunched, slumped, and slouched over device screens. This constant awkward positioning adds weight to the spine, increasing the pressure, which can cause issues ranging from headaches, mild neck pain, low back pain, and sciatica. Severe health effects from poor posture include:
Difficulty breathing from prolonged hunching-over.
Spinal joint degeneration.
Vertebral compression fractures.
Poor alignment of the muscles begins to restrict postural muscles from relaxing correctly, making the muscles stay stretched or slightly flexed, causing strain and pain. As a child’s body grows, practicing unhealthy postures can drive continued awkward positioning, abnormal spine growth, and an increased risk for arthritis later in life.
A chiropractor will check for any imbalances, like a hunched back, one shoulder higher than the other, or a pelvic tilt/shift. Through a series of adjustments, chiropractic releases the muscles, relieves pressure on ligaments, allows the postural muscles to relax and realign to their proper position, prevents further muscle overuse, strain, abnormal joint wear, and helps reduce fatigue by conserving/utilizing energy as the muscles are functioning correctly and efficiently.
Simple postural exercises can help maintain children’s postural health.
Place hands next to the chest so that they are underneath the shoulders.
Gently press the chest upward.
Keeping the legs on the ground.
Look straight ahead.
They only take a few minutes, but the objective is consistency. Doing the poses for one week won’t immediately change unhealthy posture habits. It is developing consistent healthy postural habits that generate improvement. They should be done at least three times weekly to build strength and endurance.
Kids and Chiropractic
Achar, Suraj, and Jarrod Yamanaka. “Back Pain in Children and Adolescents.” American family physician vol. 102,1 (2020): 19-28.
Baroni, Marina Pegoraro, et al. “Factors associated with scoliosis in schoolchildren: a cross-sectional population-based study.” Journal of epidemiology vol. 25,3 (2015): 212-20. doi:10.2188/jea.JE20140061
da Rosa, Bruna Nichele et al. “Back Pain and Body Posture Evaluation Instrument for Children and Adolescents (BackPEI-CA): Expansion, Content Validation, and Reliability.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 19,3 1398. 27 Jan. 2022, doi:10.3390/ijerph19031398
King, H A. “Back pain in children.” Pediatric clinics of North America vol. 31,5 (1984): 1083-95. doi:10.1016/s0031-3955(16)34685-5
Poor spinal health in adolescence can lead to chronic pain in adulthood. Teenagers, just like adults, can experience back pain from accidents, sports injuries, a sedentary lifestyle, part-time jobs, chores, etc. However, sitting too long in school along with heavy backpacks can also contribute to compromised spinal health. Chiropractic professionals can help these young individuals address and prevent spinal issues/injuries to maintain a healthy spine.
Teenagers Spine Issues
If discomfort or pain is present, much push through, as they and their spines are young. There are common spinal dysfunctions that teens and parents should be aware of. These include:
Teenagers can put a serious strain on the spine from various forms of physical activity, jumping, dancing, and playing. This pressure gets transmitted through the spine. During a teenager’s development, this can result in permanent disc damage.
A spinal deformity or exaggerated curvature of the spine is common and affects young children and teens. It usually happens during the growth spurt just before puberty. This is why it is important to have a teenager’s spine checked regularly and analyzed for signs/symptoms of scoliosis.
This condition is often associated with sports injuries. It happens when teenagers overextend/overreach their backs. It’s most common in gymnastics, weight lifting, tennis, football, diving, and other similar sports.
Protection and Prevention
There are several ways that parents and healthcare providers can help teenagers make healthy decisions to achieve and maintain optimal spinal health.
Sitting less, moving more.
Children are taught to sit from a very young age. In school, watching t.v., or doing homework, teenagers spend more time sitting than their bodies should. Teenagers need to stand, walk and move around just like adults to protect their spines from degeneration and injury.
Playing sports is healthy. However, there is a risk associated with teen sports. Although they are taught to play safely, encourage them to continue to educate themselves about sports injuries and know how to address them.
At Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, we’re committed to helping young adults and adolescents overcome and prevent spinal injuries that could turn into chronic pain conditions. We are continually developing our chiropractic, and physical therapy treatment approaches to achieve optimal results.
Sleep and Growth Hormone In Children
Growth hormones primarily control growth. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland regulate this hormone. Sleep plays an important role in the proper function of these glands. A review showed that:
Growth hormone levels rise and peak at the onset of deep sleep
Multiple but smaller peaks were seen during other sleep stages
Individuals that have a delay in the onset of deep sleep have delayed peaks in growth hormone levels
For children to grow properly, they need to have adequate levels of growth hormone. This means they need to have a sufficient amount of sleep. The proper amount of sleep is vital for healthy body composition. A study measured the body composition of preschool-aged children. The study found that children who had proper sleep levels had less overall fat mass and reduced body fat. Children and teenagers need to get the proper amounts of sleep for their bodies to grow healthily.
Clement, R Carter et al. “What are normal radiographic spine and shoulder balance parameters among adolescent patients?.” Spine deformity vol. 8,4 (2020): 621-627. doi:10.1007/s43390-020-00074-9
Driehuis, Femke et al. “Spinal manual therapy in infants, children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis on treatment indication, technique, and outcomes.” PloS one vol. 14,6 e0218940. 25 Jun. 2019, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218940
Manansala, Christian et al. “Change in young people’s spine pain following chiropractic care at a publicly funded healthcare facility in Canada.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 35 (2019): 301-307. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.03.013
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