Do you have a strict fitness routine, something you manage to stick to even when on vacation or around the holidays? Great! Half the battle toward better health is finding a routine that you can — and will — stick to. That routine is going to better help you get out and care for your health even on the days that you really, really don’t want to. When it comes to getting healthy and staying fit, routine can be key.

However, did you know that too much routine could actually cause problems? It’s true! When it comes to chiropractic care, one of the common causes of things like joint pain and subluxations is actually stress from repetitive motions. If you’ve been following the exact same exercise routine for a while, you might be causing undue stress to your joints. There is value in shaking up your exercise routine, and here’s why:

Impacts Of A “Routine” Exercise Routine

When you choose to do one type of exercise — or even the same set of exercises — consistently, the benefits are typically great for your health. Not only are you building strength as those muscle groups work, but you are also maintaining or improving your overall physical fitness, giving your body a cardiovascular boost, and improving your energy levels. That’s not even getting into the mental and emotional health benefits, either.

However, when your exercise routine lacks variety, that routine can actually cause problems even as you’re improving your physical fitness. The reason is that overworking muscles and joints without enough variety can create tension in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Many common, repetitive exercises only work certain muscle groups, which further affects the level of strain your muscles and other soft tissue can cause. This, in turn, can lead to that now-tight soft tissue creating additional pressure on joints and negatively affecting proper joint alignment. When soft tissue stays tight and joints are affected, this can limit range of motion. It can also cause misaligned joints to press against nerves and cause pain. So, while exercise is good for your wellbeing, it’s important to provide enough variety to your exercises and motions to prevent the problems caused by too much repetitive motion.

Tips To Make Your Routine Less… Routine

If you’re training to run a marathon, you’ll have to do a lot of running for obvious reasons. But, to better protect your joints and soft tissue, it’s important to add more variety into your workouts than just running. Of course, the same goes for any sort of training or fitness routine. Shake up your workouts by trying one or more of the following:

  • Eccentric Contractions — Also called “negative motion,” this refers to urging your muscles to lengthen while contracting. An example of this is lowering a dumbbell slowly.  
  • Interval Running — It’s beneficial to shake up your actual running pace. If you’re used to running slow and steady, mix things up with sprints and interval training.
  • Metabolic Conditioning — MetCon means including high-intensity cardio and strength training. This typically includes full-body exercises like burpees that get the heart rate up and require full-body strength engagement.
  • Hip Fitness — The hip joint can move in more directions than most joints, which means it needs additional stability help. Lateral band exercises and other similar exercises can provide strengthening for those muscles and joints.

As a whole, it’s a good idea to mix up how to work out. If you’re an avid runner or cyclist, add in strength training and yoga to help change the pressure that is put on your soft tissue and joints. If you’re a fan of tennis or racquetball, consider taking up swimming to introduce a different kind of cardio and strength building.

“Routine” Care For Any Exercise Routine

No matter what kind of fitness regimen you have, there’s one move that everyone should keep in the routine: visits to your local chiropractor. You don’t need to wait until you have an injury to experience some great whole-body benefits — our care is about so much more than just natural pain relief. Chiropractic care includes treatments like decompression therapy as well as adjustments. Our modalities also work well with other care, such as massage therapy and acupuncture, to provide further benefits.

Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve stress on your spine and joints, stretch out taut muscles, and improve range of motion. When incorporated into an ongoing fitness regimen, your chiropractor can regularly check to ensure that your joints are all in good alignment. Our modalities can also help ease tension caused by tight muscles and soft tissue, providing you with better range of motion — the better to provide you with more effective workouts, not just a reduced risk of pain.

Whether you’re looking for pain relief and sports rehabilitation or ongoing chiropractic care, the team at Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa can help. Connect with our Peoria office to schedule your consultation today.