What is Healthy Fitness: osteopath View

What kind of fitness doesn’t harm our body exactly, what is dangerous about Nordic walking and a treadmill – this is what osteopath and cranioposturologist Vladimir Zhivotov thinks of in his column for .

Movement is life. These are not just words. Our body was originally created to move. With a lack of movement, it cannot function properly. That is why movement is the best medicine for the body. But, as in the case of any medication, it is important not to overdo it and choose the most suitable, especially if all is not well with the spine. 

To begin with, office work is the worst enemy of the spine. Sitting at the computer all week for eight hours a day, it is impossible to avoid pain in the back, lower back, neck or sacrum. To restore the body after the working day, just need movement. If you can attend a fitness club, it’s great. But even the busiest workaholic has the most ordinary foot walking available: 30-40 minutes after work will be quite enough. If you work not very far from home, in the warm season, you can generally refuse transport. But if without a car you go anywhere, go to the store for bread, take a walk with the dog – your body will surely say “thank you” to you. 

It should be noted that the term “walking”, I mean it is walking on foot indoors or outdoors, but in no case on a treadmill. The fact is that the monotonous pace set by the simulator is not suitable for our body. It is designed for movement, and the movement of the living – with a change of speed, active change in the position of body parts and the direction of gaze. The path also limits all these parameters. Even if the pace changes, this happens again in accordance with the program, and not with the needs of the body. Thus, the practitioner becomes a part of the mechanism, a detail of the track, and this contradicts the very nature of man. In addition, the eyes, as a rule, are fixed at one point, which reflexively entails fixation and tension of the suboccipital muscles and the entire axial muscles of the back.

Gym – with caution!

If fitness has appeared in your life not so long ago and its main task is to strengthen shaky health, then training in the gym is not the best option for this. Power (anaerobic) loads can have side effects in the form of strengthening the already existing problems of the musculoskeletal system. Many coaches, having learned that a client has a protrusion or intervertebral hernia, recommend “strengthening the muscular corset” with exercises on simulators. However, if a person has a skeletal curve, then strengthening the muscular corset in this way, it will only strengthen the curvature of the axial skeleton. For clarity, you can imagine what will happen if the curves of the mast of the ship to pull the sails. Submitted?

In addition, for most people who decide to go to the gym, the main task is to lose weight. However, intensively exercising at the gym, instead of losing weight, they often get the opposite effect: the numbers on the scales, contrary to all expectations, begin to grow. The fact is that power loads with unbalanced nutrition often contribute to weight gain. It also leads to an increase in axial loads on the spine and can only worsen the condition of the back.

Press: download or not download?

I would like to touch upon the popular myth about the press. There is no “upper” and “lower” press. This is one muscle – the rectus abdominis muscle, which starts from the cartilage 5-7 ribs and is attached to the pubic symphysis. Therefore, when performing an exercise, it is shortened all at once, and it will not work out only one of its parts.

Often, newcomers immediately indulge in all serious things: to pump up the coveted press, they strenuously lift their legs up, while being in the prone position. However, this leads to overstretching of the lumbar muscle, which often causes exacerbations of back pain. In order to download the press is quite enough exercises to lift the body. Also, in case of back pain, exercises with over-extension of the lumbar spine, allegedly “pumping and strengthening” the back, are absolutely contraindicated. Pain just occurs when the muscle is overstressed, and this kind of exercise will only increase tension.

Such exercises are contraindicated in the divergence of the rectus abdominis muscles (diastase). Instead, to bring the muscles in tone, it is better to use breathing exercises associated with the contraction of the abdomen. In this case, the stress can be very strong, and the increase in intra-abdominal pressure is completely excluded, in contrast to the classical abdominal exercises. Breathing exercises in this sense can be called the most useful. 

Fitness for health

The optimal solution for improving health and gaining pep is aerobic exercise. These are exercises for which the whole body works. They include all the muscles, ligaments, joints and bones, as well as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. In the process of loading, blood is actively flowing through them, “triggering” metabolic processes and washing out metabolic products. At the same time, the work of the internal organs is activated, and extra calories are burned. Thus, there is a general healing effect on the entire body.

Such loads include walking, running, swimming, dancing, cross-country skiing, team sports. As for the last point, if possible it is better to choose symmetrical types of games and, of course, avoid injuries. Asymmetric sports lead to an overload of the muscles of one side of the body, thus enhancing the manifestations of scoliosis. Recently popular Nordic Walking Nordic Walking can only be justified in the mountains. When moving on a horizontal surface, this kind of walking is not physiological: it leads to an overload of the muscles of the shoulder girdle and neck.

Whatever physical activity you choose, it is important to remember that its main task is to support the body, give it what it was created for, but in no case overdo it and harm it. Listen to your own feelings, do not pursue other people’s ideals, and then you can feel the genuine joy and positive effects of training.

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