Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: October 2018 Health Newsletter

October 2018 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Which Workout is Right for Me.
» National Chiropractic Health Month Starts October: Get Moving!
» Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

Which Workout is Right for Me.

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Which Workout Is Right for Me?


Exercise has a wonderful way of decreasing stress.1 When people focus on pursuing joy as a motivator for physical activity, they find more freedom in exercise choices, and this inspires them to remain engaged in a physically active lifestyle.2,3

When choosing workouts or physical activities, find something you’ll enjoy and do it consistently. Participating consistently is much more important than completing the “perfect workout” once every few weeks. Keep in mind that the “right” workout might change, and what works for someone else may not work for you. The more you enjoy your exercise program, the more likely you are to participate for the long haul.2

As we discussed in a previous blog, the benefits of resistance training and cardio are important to physical and psychological health, but this doesn’t mean going to your local gym every day. It does mean discovering your way of becoming consistently physically active. It is important to assess your individual needs and what kinds of physical activities can address those needs. Take a moment to answer the following questions:

  1. What activities of daily living could be easier for you?
    • Example: Walking up stairs
  1. Do you have the energy to get through a normal day?
    • Example: Having the energy after work to spend quality time with family/friends
  1. What types of physical activity do you enjoy doing?
    • Example: Hiking
  1. What recreational sports, if any, do you currently participate in?
    • Example: Mountain biking

The best exercise program should be centered around the areas of your life that you want to improve and enjoy. SMART Goals can help guide the process of finding what will work for you.

SMART Goals & principles

SMART Goals is a systematic approach to setting specific goals with action steps and timelines. Applying this concept will assist you in choosing the most appropriate workout or physical activity. SMART Goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-sensitive.

Consider this example for mountain biking and push-ups:

  Mountain biking Push-ups
Specific Complete a 28-mile ride Do 30 in a row
Measurable 28 miles by set date 30 in a row by set date
Action-oriented Gradually increase distance Work up to 30
Realistic Yes Yes
Time-sensitive Complete by goal date Complete by date

Now it’s your turn! Grab a piece of paper, pen, and write down a couple of SMART Goals. If nothing comes to mind, spend time exploring what physical activities are associated with joy, fun, community, and family.

Bring your goal(s) to fruition using three basic principles of strength & conditioning (S&C):

  • Specific: The exercises, workouts, and/or physical activities we do should reinforce our paths to completing our goal.
  • Mountain bike example: Ride parts of the trail to familiarize yourself with the entire route piece by piece.
  • Progressive overload: Consistently pushing your body a little bit past its physical state, just enough to cause it to adapt.
  • Push-ups example: Gradually increase the number of push-ups you do in a single try. Complete 13 on the first try? In a few days, try for 15.
  • Progression: Taking exercise, workout, and/or physical activity to a new challenging level.
  • Mountain bike example: Once you can complete the entire route in one session, try riding faster, a longer route, etc.
  • Push-ups example: When you reach 30, work up to 30 clapping push-ups.

Can you see the overlap with your SMART Goals and the basic principles of S&C? If you have questions about how to accomplish your SMART Goals, a personal trainer can help lay the foundation with you.

Exercise workout or physical activity?

Physical activity is any activity that elevates your heart rate above its resting rhythm. Exercise is an activity done repetitively to yield a specific result and is generally broken down into resistance training and cardiorespiratory training. Resistance training is a form of exercise that requires movement against an external force. Cardiorespiratory training is a type of exercise that holds an elevated heart rate for a sustained period of time. These physical activities and exercise can be performed in and out of traditional gym settings. Get an in-depth look at the benefits of each.

If you thrive in a communal setting, group exercise classes can be a great way to establish connection.4 Or if learning about resistance training interests you, a certified personal trainer or strength coach can work with you privately or in a small group. If you enjoy being outdoors or aren’t interested in a gym, find a local personal trainer who holds sessions outside.5

Trainers and coaches have different resistance training tools that they prefer: suspension trainers, kettle bells, Olympic weight lifting, calisthenics (body weight), etc. Acquiring a new skill can be a world-expanding experience to new physical strengths and energy as well as a source for new goals. Finding a group, coach, or teacher can greatly enhance your drive to stay engaged as well as staying on the path to a physically healthy lifestyle.6-8

I want to leave you with this: Find joy, purpose, and community. Encouraging one another to participate in a physically active life can provide a level of support that strengthens intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.2As always, consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning any exercise program.

Until next time, live well and live active.


Author: Daniel Heller, MSc, CSCS, RSCC
Copyright: Daniel Heller, MSc, CSCS, RSCC 2018

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National Chiropractic Health Month Starts October: Get Moving!

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide are promoting the benefits of movement to overall health as well as the prevention of back pain during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) in October. This year’s theme, “Move 4 Life,” encourages people to move more now so they will be able to move better later and avoid chronic and painful conditions associated with sedentary lifestyles.

For information on the benefits of movement and tips on how to stay active and prevent injury, visit and follow ACA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram--look for the hashtag #Move4Life. (Those who would like to help promote NCHM can also find a campaign toolkit with information and resources to share on social media and in their communities.)

Research shows there is a worldwide pandemic of increasing inactivity. In the U.S., only about half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity, putting them at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes as well as falls and low back pain.

“The bones, muscles and joints that make up our body’s musculoskeletal system require regular movement to stay healthy and function properly. As we age, we are more at risk of developing low back pain and joint problems if we do not get enough physical activity,” said ACA President N. Ray Tuck, Jr., DC. “With their non-drug approach, chiropractors help people move better by relieving back and joint pain and improving joint function.”

ACA offers additional information on how to get and stay moving:
  • Good nutrition, ergonomic workspaces and proper lifting and movement techniques can go a long way in helping people to strengthen their spines and avoid disabling injuries and chronic back pain, which often prevent regular physical activity.
  • Consider weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, which help maintain bone density over a lifetime and keep our skeletal bones healthy and strong.
  • When busy schedules are the obstacle, a re-examination of personal priorities is sometimes necessary to restore balance in life; make time for healthy habits such as physical activity.
  • Back pain is one of the most common conditions for which prescription opioids are prescribed. It was once believed that pain medication and bed rest were the best course of action for low back pain, but research today supports first trying non-drug options for pain management, while remaining as active as possible, before moving on to other options.
Doctors of chiropractic practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care and pain relief that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. In addition to their expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. For more information, visit

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Online, September 25, 2018.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2018

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Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

New research suggests that women who exercise regularly, including walking, may lower their risk for heart failure. The study from researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York looked at over 137,000 women aged 50-79, of which over one-third had high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors such as smoking and diabetes. After a follow-up period of 14 years, researchers found that the women who got some form of physical activity were less likely to suffer from heart failure (11%). Women with the highest levels of physical activity, meanwhile, were the least likely to suffer from heart failure (35%), as compared to women who got no exercise at all. In addition, women who got the most physical activity were the least likely to develop a sub-type of heart failure called reduced ejection fraction (32%) as compared to women who never exercised. 33% of the same group of women were also the least likely to develop another sub-type of heart failure called a preserved ejection fraction. One of the biggest findings from the study, however, is that walking works just as well as other forms of exercise, including more vigorous types. To discover how much exercise the women got, researchers studied answers to a questionnaire about exercise that every participant completed. As it turns out, walking was the most common type of physical activity reported.

Source: JACC: Heart Failure, online September 5, 2018.
Copyright: LLC 2018

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