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Exercise Myths: Are You Buying In?

Have you read the article Lose 10 pounds in 1 minute or How to build buns of steel in 30 seconds or less? Ok, that’s an exaggeration. But really, why do we believe these crazy “expert” approaches to exercise? The more time I spend treating patients, the more I grow tired of hearing exercise myths that have been accepted as fact. Here are my top 5 exercise myths that need debunking.

Pain: A Sensitive Subject

As individuals pursuing active lifestyles, we’ve bought into the phrase, “No pain, no gain.” We’ve embraced the idea that pain makes us stronger in our weekly exercise routines, meanwhile other medical professionals will tell us to “listen to our bodies.” I see patients daily who are torn between the two mixed messages. Neuroscience experts suggest that understanding pain is essential for trying to address why we hurt. To do this, we must understand a simple yet painful truth about pain: you can’t live with it, and you can’t live without it. Here’s why.

Pregnancy and Back Pain

Here's a fact: Pregnancy often time leads to lumbar/sacroiliac pain, or "lower back/tailbone pain." But why? Is it because of the increased curvature produced in the lower back because of the growing fetus in the womb? Is it because the ligaments lining the "tailbone" become loose in preparation for childbirth? Or could it be due to the decreased core strength related to the stretched out abdominal musculature?

Stretch it Out

As a physical therapist, I am often asked, “What is the best way to avoid an injury?” One of the best answers I have is to stretch. When muscles become tight, they become weak and do not function properly. Injury can be caused when we call upon those weak muscles to do things that they may not be ready for at that moment. Thus, it is important to maintain proper muscle length for pain-free movement. Stretching is necessary for everyone and especially for those participating in some type of fitness or sport activity.

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