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The Four Pillars of Movement & Why They're Important

women in yoga classAs a fundamental aspect of life, movement is vital, as it gives us strong bones, healthy joints, good circulation and more. In this blog, Dr. Dan and Dr. Pascal discuss the four pillars of movement and why each is critical.

#1. Stability

The more stable you are, the better balance you have, and the greater ability you have to prevent injuries in terms of slips and falls. Core stability is number one to prevent disc injuries and chronic low back pain.

Here are some simple ways to promote stability:

At home, practice standing on one foot when you brush your teeth, one minute per side. If you have a foam roller at home, lay it on the ground and try standing on it. This is ideal for someone with decent stability who wants to challenge themselves.

Little exercises like these can help increase stability to protect against falls and injuries.

#2. Strength

Especially as we age, it’s vital to maintain strength. That’s because the less strength and stability we have, the more prone we are to falls and injuries.

If you want to age well and have a great metabolism, one of the best things you can do is resistance exercise, aka build strength. It doesn’t take a lot of weight, any increase in pressure or stress to your muscles will be beneficial. Remember to keep increasing your weight as you get stronger!

Resistance training becomes even more important to maintain muscle mass to protect yourself from falls and injuries. As we age, it’s important to continue to use and strengthen the quad and glute muscles. Dr. Dan mentioned that having strong legs, glutes, and backside will help protect your lower spine.

#3. Aerobic

Mention aerobic exercise, and you may think of running on a treadmill, or working out on the elliptical or stair climber. Aerobic exercise simply means you’re doing exercise at a moderate level. It is not intense, because it means your heart pumps blood, you breathe oxygen, and the energy produced for this exercise is coming from the blood pumping in the heart.

Even a 20-minute walk after dinner has most of the benefits you need for aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is so vital for our overall health, and of course, protecting the cardiovascular system.

#4. Flexibility

Flexibility is a key component for injury prevention. Here are some simple ways to determine your flexibility: Can you pick up your keys from the floor? Can you touch your toes? Can you tie your shoelaces without a bench? Flexibility is paramount in injury prevention.

As we age, we sit at a computer and move less, and as we move less, we don’t take our joints through their full range of motion,” said Dr. Pascal. Full range of motion for a joint is key to keeping it healthy and preventing it from breaking down and degenerating. This means the joint becomes more fibrous with scar tissue and it changes shape and mobility. With time, it develops arthritis and becomes stiff and achy. To prevent that, we need our joints to move through full range of motion.

One of Dr. Pascal’s favorite tests for patients, especially computer workers, is to see if they can do a wall angel. Being able to do one means a person has normal flexibility to get those points of contact and slide their arms up the wall. Those who can’t do this exercise don’t have normal flexibility in the upper shoulders and upper neck area.

They will definitely have more neck problems, headaches, and upper spine problems that will lead to further issues. And if a joint is less flexible, it will be prone to more inflammation, which causes more pain

Of course, chiropractic care can help you stay strong, stable and flexible. Contact your Winnipeg chiropractor today to book an appointment!

For more information, check out Dr. Dan and Dr. Pascal’s podcast “The Healthy Commute.”

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