“So Doc, do you do all the things you tell us to do; what do you do to stay in shape?” questions I hear at least 2-3 times per month. Considering these common questions, I thought I (and the other docs at Ho Co Chiro) would dedicate a blog post to answering them.
Like most of our patients, I certainly did not start out doing “postural exercises” like Bird Dog, Brugger’s or Clams. (This better sound familiar to all our patients!) I, like many started off participating in mainstream sports such as lacrosse and basketball during my childhood. By 18 years old, I had begun running and lifting weights and along with lacrosse was staying darn active. Lacrosse continued until age 27 when I graduated Chiropractic College and began chiropractic practice. (It was then I realized that if I did so much as sprain a finger, I could not work…that made for an easy decision to hang up the stick.)
So, running and weights. That has been the routine for quite some time now. Like many things in life, my exercise routines have gone through ebbs and flows, usually to maintain some balance with family, work and everything else life throws at you.
In my late twenties and early thirty’s running was it! I ran 6-7 days per week, logging serious miles. I loved it; in the summer, it could not be too hot and in the winter, the more layers I had to put on the better. In retrospect, I think dealing with the challenges of the outdoor elements (and having people tell me I was nuts) was part of the joy I got out of running. It made me feel good to do something that most would not or could not do. I did several races per year and accumulated quite the collection of medals (I never won anything…everyone gets a medal for finishing.) I did some weight lifting during those years, but running was king.
Docs in Action…Dr. Russel V. Antico
Eventually, that pace (sorry, no pun intended) caught up with me, and my body made it clear that if I did not slow down and diversify it would shut me down altogether. Like many of my patients, I was faced with the decision to keep plowing through and hope for the best or be pro-active in managing my desire to stay active with my desire to stay well. Diversification won out, and I reduced my running to 3 days per week and increased my weight lifting to 2 days per week. I even added some boot camps and boxing into the mix at times.
That has been the routine for years now. I run 2-3 days per week and lift weights 2-3 days per week. I try very hard not to have any type of formal routine. There are lots of things in my life that require a strict schedule and adherence to procedures and formalities. Lots of things that dictate what I do and exactly when I do them. For me, that is the LAST thing I want exercise to be. Exercise serves as my escape from those things.
Whether it is a long run through the trails of Rockburn Park or listening to The Grateful Dead while lifting weights at the gym, it is a time to (try) to disconnect from the rigors of life. No rules…no schedules. If I feel like running fast, I do; lifting heavy, great go for it. But if I do not…that’s Ok too. I let my body and state of mind on any given day dictate what I do.
So there it is, that’s my routine. It works for me. It keeps me in shape and keeps me (mostly) sane in what at times, can seem like an insane world. Exercise is different for everyone, providing a multitude of various benefits. But one thing is for sure; physical activity should be a part…no a big part of everyone’s life. We owe it to ourselves and those we love to strive for good health and longevity.