Benefits of Exercise

Nothing has been shown to hedge against future injuries and improve your overall spine health like exercise. In fact, both yoga and Pilates lead the way in terms of providing core strength and stability to the spine. Certain excercises can play an important role in preventive care for those who suffer from lower back pain and other spine disorders.

Yoga

Catch the hottest wave in fitness today by trying a Bikram yoga (also known as 'hot yoga') class. This unique method of honing both mind and body incorporates 26 postures and breathing exercises to provide a complete physical and mental workout using every part of your body. Classes are held in a heated room, typically around 105 degrees, in order to enhance yoga's natural benefits by protecting your muscles and preventing injuries for an overall mind and body workout. Benefits include:

  • Relieves stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Eliminates fat
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Improves postures and spinal alignment

Pilates

This is one of the hottest (and oldest) fitness secrets for building a stronger, more evenly conditioned body. This non-weight bearing system of physical conditioning combines the science of muscle isolation and body alignment techniques introduced by 1920s German fitness guru Joseph Pilates with the muscle elongation principles of ballet and the mental focus of yoga. The results? Longer, leaner, more symmetrically developed muscles - without the bulk. Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs by strengthening the "core" of your body. Pilates can be performed in a class atmosphere or, one-on-one with our certified pilates instructors. Benefits of pilates include:

  • Builds strength
  • Increases flexibility and agility
  • Increases oxygen capacity through breathing techniques
  • Develops optimal core control
  • Creates an evenly conditioned body with flat abdominals and a strong back

 

Strength Training for the Elderly

Weight training can benefit everyone, regardless of age, by increasing bone mass and improving balance. Recent studies have shown that the elderly can benefit significantly from a regular program of strength building exercises. What are the benefits?

  • Better balance. Strength training can help improve balance, which is a key issue for the elderly who are at risk for falls. Particularly, hip muscle strength reduces the risk of a fall. If you can't rise out of a chair without using your hands, you need to strengthen your hip muscles.
  • Faster responses. Exercise can increase the ability of muscles to respond quickly and efficiently, which may also play a role in preventing falls.
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises help build and maintain bone mass, reducing the likelihood of osteoporosis.
  • Improved quality of life and mental alertness. Studies show that people who exercise regularly enjoy a higher quality of life and increased mental alertness.
  • Creates an evenly conditioned body with flat abdominals and a strong back

Beginning a strength training program does not have to be complicated. Walking around the block, or taking longer walks at the local shopping mall, is a good start. Swimming is also an excellent choice as part of an exercise program. Exercise with hand-held weights or training machines build strength. Common household items (like small canned goods) can be used instead of hand weights. Ask your doctor or physical therapist to prescribe an exercise program that matches your abilities. The more you know, the better chance you have of avoiding back pain - which affects 80% of the adult population and is the second most common reason people visit their doctors. If you have back pain or want to know how to avoid it, consult a spine care specialist. (SOURCE: North American Spine Society)

 

 

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