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Did you know?

Pain can alter movement…

While pain lets us know that damage has occurred on some level, it can be difficult to completely rest the body for optimal healing to occur.  When we continue to move through pain, our brain coordinates adaptive motor patterns that reduces the stress on the injured structures. This compensation can of course be helpful in the short term to reduce further injury and minimize pain, the longer this altered pattern persists, the more likely the body will maintain these new patterns.

Compensation patterns can put sub-optimal loads on connective tissue and joints and create longer term consequences such as joint degeneration, leading to Osteoarthritis and connective tissue stress such as tendonitis. If you are experiencing pain, please speak with your doctor or a health professional.

Learn more about Chiropractic Therapy and Physiotherapy at Body & Soul.

 

Bend those knees!

Keeping your knees bent while exercising ensures that the weight of your body, in addition to any weights being used, is actually supported by the muscles surrounding your knees instead of the knee joint itself. Locking your knees puts unnecessary strain on your knees and can lead to pain and injury. For example, consider that when landing from a jump most people try to reduce the impact by bending their knees as they land to avoid hurting their knees.

Photo credit: Alexander Mainwaring

Core activation is important

Your core is the key to optimal performance, stability, and posture. It is the foundation for all movements of the body, and also functions as a biological lifting belt and brace.

Being able to activate your core will improve your posture by keeping your spine in alignment. It will also improve your ability to balance and perform complex movement patterns. Trying to perform technical and/or compound exercises without first activating your core is the easiest way to get injured at the gym, especially as you increase the weight being lifted.

If you’re not sure how to properly activate your core, or if you have questions relating to core activation, speak with your personal trainer. They may give you simple core activation exercises that you can do at home or at work.

Added sugar

If you took the time to read the labels of food in your house, you may be surprised by the number of foods which contain added sugar. Unfortunately, few people seem to understand how much added sugar they are – as a result – consuming. Did you know, for instance, that added sugars might show up as “syrups” or variations of words ending in “ose” like fructose on the label?

While added sugar in small quantities may not be an issue, it’s important to keep in mind that it is digested immediately and can boost your blood sugar levels rapidly.1

Push and pull

You may have heard your trainer talk about push or pull exercises. When using the push/pull approach, you would focus on “pull” exercises one day and “push” exercises the next day.

Pull exercises focus on muscle groups that contract as the weight is pulled toward the body and lengthens as the weight is extended away from the body (i.e. chin-ups). Conversely, push exercises focus on muscle groups in which muscle tissue contracts when the weight is pushed away from the body and lengthens as the weight is returned back towards the body (i.e. chest presses).

Photo credit: Alexander Mainwaring

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