How many days a week should I work out?

Take a break Sandy Springs!

I was talking to one of my clients at Corrective Chiropractic – Sandy Springs the other day, an elite level CrossFit athlete, about the value of rest days in your weekly workout regimen. He told me that rest days make him feel weak. Especially the day after words and that he felt like he didn’t get anything accomplished on the days that he rested. He explained that now, for example, on “rest days” he only does back squats, double unders, works on his heavy cleans and runs five miles.CFV

That is not a rest day! Scheduling days off or “rest days” is essential to allow your body to heal, strengthen and regenerate. The truth is, by taking days off and allowing your mind and body to rest you will increase your ability to become stronger and fit. By not taking “rest days” you run the risk of burning yourself out physically and mentally and possibly injuring yourself. In that case, you wouldn’t have the choice to rest or not, so why don’t you just do it to begin with and save yourself the trouble.

For all of you work out junkies out there! Here are some of the benefits of having rest days and depending on fitness level how long you should be resting for.

Resting Helps Prevent InjuryLike I mentioned earlier if you decide not to have rest days you run the risk of injuring yourself, but why? Overuse is a term that is sometimes forgotten when you are trying to reach your goals. Your muscles, ligaments, joints and organs need a break every once and a while. When certain areas of your body are not functioning at 100% that leads to compensation. When a muscle, ligament or joint is pushed past it’s ability to compensate you have injuries.

Your Mind Plays Tricks on YouEven though you may feel weaker after a rest day it actually takes almost two weeks of non-activity for your performance level to start decreasing. That first day back after even one week may feel awful but you will see that your ability is exactly where you left off.

Staggering is KeyJust the simple fact that people stagger their workouts so they are not working the same muscles day after day proves the fact that muscles need rest. It is a fact that while lifting weights you are essentially tearing muscle fibers. It is the repairing and rebuilding of those muscle fibers that occurs during periods of rest that allow them to   increase in strength and durability.

Don’t RedlineWhat repairs your body after all the micro trauma from lifting weights, your immune system! Your immune system also has another very important function, keeping you healthy. Without proper rest your immune system gets overworked and will not be able to repair all of the damage you are doing to yourself by exercising. This leads to exceeding the capacity of a certain muscle group and/or compensation which both end in injury.

How often you should rest and the duration of the rest period depends on several factors. Your age, fitness level, severity of the workout, routine, and history of injury. I work with high level athletes that need very little time to rest. This does not mean that they are impervious to injury though. These athletes are pushing their bodies to the limit and the amount of recovery work that they need to sustain this high level is sometimes two to three times more than the actual time spent working out.


What are complements to Chiropractic?

What Can I Do At Home While Seeing the Chiropractor?

One of the most common questions I get on a regular basis is people asking me things they can do at home to achieve maximum results. Many of our clients range from CEOs and construction workers to professional athletes, pregnant moms, and the list could go on forever.

Even though each person is unique in their goals and what they are striving for, many of the at-home movements will be the same to achieve better results.

  1. Cat – Cow Posesb8fa5349-356c-49f8-aa37-c6f96713c56b

One of my favorite yoga poses is doing cat-cow to accentuate my spinal curves and open up my spine. In Sandy Springs, there are lots of great yoga studios to teach yoga, which I highly recommend, and this pose is usually a staple. Our two favorites studios in Sandy Springs are Thunderbolt Power Yoga and Infinity Yoga, which are both unique to themselves and offer excellent classes.

For cat, as you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling.

For cow, as you inhale you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling.

2) Foam Roller

An easy and “good pain” tool to incorporate would be to foam roll your back while crossing your arms. Crossing the arms takes the slack out of your back and works out any knots and helps to release tension in the soft tissue. This is especially good if your lower back has been bothering you and you foam roll the paraspinal muscles, which are the big muscles along your lower back. If you have neck tension then rolling around your shoulder blade and even above in the trapezius are going to be great areas to remove tension. 

Thanks to Infinity Yoga for the wonderful pictures!

3 Phases of Chirpractic

Breaking Down the 3 Phases of Chiropractic

3 Phases of ChiropracticPicture walking onto a construction site, and the contractor shows up with no blueprints or plans. He says he is going to show up every day, view the progress thus far, and make all decisions on what to do as he goes. Is that a fool-proof plan that will lead to successful results? Unfortunately, it is not.

Before even lifting one hammer, the contractor should explain in detail the different stages of construction, what to expect during each stage, and when you should expect the job to be completed.

Chiropractic care is, and should be, the same way. Your Chiropractor should have a plan for your care and explain the three phases in detail, so you can fully understand what to expect during each phase and where you are throughout the process.

Phase 1: Crisis (Relief) Care

Most people begin in this phase, unless they have been under care for a significant amount of time or if their spinal structure is in excellent condition. The primary objective of Phase 1 is to eliminate pain and have patients function as they did before the pain started. First, a thorough examination is done to reveal the areas of spinal dysfunction. Then, a care plan is created with two objectives in mind: eliminate or reduce discomfort/dysfunction and stabilize your condition in the shortest time possible. Each plan is personalized depending on the presenting condition of the patient. Phase 1 typically takes 4-6 weeks and is confirmed through objective testing.

Phase 2: Corrective (Rehabilitative) Care

This phase is centered on maintaining the progress that has been made in the relief phase while also strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. With the areas of stress in the spine diminishing, it is important to give the body the time it needs to adapt all of the surrounding structures and tissues to their position of optimal function. The frequency of visits reduces during Phase 2 because the body is starting to hold the adjustments longer and is becoming more stable. This phase typically lasts 6-8 weeks depending on the patient’s progress.

Phase 3: Wellness Care

Wellness is the third and final stage of Chiropractic care. This phase is meant to maintain your improved health and spinal function while also preventing the return of any condition we have corrected throughout this adjusting process. At this point – depending on a person’s goals- specific suggestions can be made to take a patient’s health to the next level, such as on the topics of fitness, mindfulness, and nutrition. Please understand that if during this process you suffer an injury or setback, you may need to begin with Crisis Care initially to support your body, and that is perfectly okay. The good news is that your body has gone through this process in the past, so it will be ready to move through the phases more quickly!