So you’ve made a resolution to be more active, and you haven’t given up yet (or maybe you’re just a week behind). Good for you! Physical activity is one of the single most important things you can do for your health. It has one major design flaw: For you to keep getting the benefits of it you have to keep doing it.
The most common reasons people quit exercising is because it hurts, or because it feels inaccessible. Your workouts don’t need to be 90 minutes at a time (30 minutes a day, spread over the day is better than nothing). You don’t need to do them alone (physical activity can be great for your friendships). They don’t have to leave you feeling destroyed (the idea that muscle damage is necessary for growth and adaptation is old, and wrong).
If you are doing physical activity it is better than you not doing physical activity.
If you want to do more, a good strategy is to only increase your volume OR intensity by 10% per week. You can increase it by more, but your likelihood of experiencing pain is greater. If you’re starting from a sedentary lifestyle, choose an amount per week that you feel comfortable doing. 15-20 minutes per day 3-5 days a week is a totally reasonable starting point, assuming you’ve been cleared by your physician to start being more active. Activity could be as simple as going for a walk with your friends. If you do notice an increase in discomfort once you’ve started moving, stick with the current workload until your discomfort subsides before progressing further. If the discomfort persists for more than a week come talk to some of our excellent staff to help figure it out. In a relatively short period of time you’ll be doing more than you’ve done before and feeling better for it.
But only if you keep doing it.
Dr. Peter Johnston
Peter is a graduate of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, University of Toronto and Kikkawa College. In practice since 2005, he has extensive experience with athletic populations from junior to masters, including working with the National Canadian Diving team, triathletes, runners, racquet sports athletes, dancers and all people that move to live a good life.
Having experienced injuries and chronic pain during his own athletic career, Peter has experienced how disabling common sports and occupational injuries can be. Realizing that the most disabling aspect of pain can be the lack of confidence and guidance on how to restore normal movement, Peter’s vision for the practice of orthopaedic healthcare is the use of therapy, education and advice to make sure that every patient can move without pain or fear.
Peter is certified to use medical acupuncture as an evidence-based Chiropractor and Registered Massage Therapist. His treatments include comprehensive education, spinal and extremity manipulation, soft tissue therapy, medical acupuncture, tailored exercise programs and healthy lifestyle modifications.
Peter is available for new bookings on Wednesday afternoons and evening as well as Sundays at Body Co.