Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Core Fitness - What Is It and What Is It Good For?

Core training is a no-longer-new catchphrase on the fitness landscape. The concept of core fitness, by now, has been promoted by every Pilates school, yoga center, and chain of fitness clubs around the world. Many doctors, including chiropractors, physiatrists, orthopedists, and even cardiologists, emphasize the importance of core training with their patients. Practically every physical therapist and personal trainer has learned a variety of core exercises to use with their clients. Core fitness has become an advertising buzzword, helping to sell all kinds of health-related products. The overall result is raised awareness of the importance of core strength and the opportunity to engage in a critically important form of healthy exercise.

What exactly is the "core" and what are you training when you train it? Your core muscles are your four abdominal muscle groups - the transversus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, and rectus abdominis. Back muscles, too, are included in the core group - specifically the erector spinae, longissimus thoracis, and multifidus. The importance of the core muscles is their ability to provide a "center" or focus for the physical work your body is doing. If your core is not fit other muscles will have to take over, leading to the likelihood of strains, sprains, and other injuries.

Who even knew we had a core? Plenty of people did, long ago, but in those days no one talked about a "core". For many decades football coaches, ballet instructors, and gymnastics coaches trained their athletes in vigorous and strenuous techniques that all focused on core strength. High school gym teachers knew about the core. Remember squat thrusts, jumping jacks, and push-ups? All those ancient exercises (that we used to groan and moan about) train deep core muscles. We were doing core fitness before there was "core fitness".

Why do we need core fitness today? More and more our work involves sitting down. We stare at computer screens for eight hours a day. Instead of doing physical work such as farming or building, we type on a keyboard and talk on a cell phone. The long-term result is that muscles, tendons, and ligaments lost their integrity. Tight neck muscles, tight lower back muscles, and weak abdominal muscles are the result, and these issues lead to more serious problems such as chronic headaches, cardiovascular stress, impaired digestion, and depression. We need fitness activities that start building us back up again, and the right place to start is at the center - by engaging in core fitness.

The best thing about core fitness is that you don't need any equipment. You could get a mat and a physioball, but those items are optional. Take a yoga class. Take a Pilates class. Learn a few core exercises and begin to do them several times a week. You'll soon begin to notice that you feel better, in general. You have more energy. You're sleeping better. Your mood is improving. All due to a few squats, a few planks, and a few push-ups. That's a pretty good deal.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The greatest power in the universe is your own life force! The energy that keeps you alive also powers every bit of your healing! Will you use it to your full advantage or ignore and squander it, erroneously assuming your healing power is to be found elsewhere?

Your body is constantly working as best it can to preserve and improve its vital domain: repairing its parts when needed, regenerating, rebalancing and optimizing all of its functions. This healing force is vigorous and thorough, under favorable conditions.

With rare exceptions, your genes contain the perfect instructions for all manner of self-healing; it happens automatically. All that is needed is that we intelligently cooperate with the body’s calls for rest so that it can accomplish its tasks without interference. This means stepping out of the way and conserving energy so that our fullest energy potential is available for the healing work.

Some commonly overlooked habits that lead to miscommunication of teh brain to the body, and back again, are:

◦ignorance of ones self-healing ability

◦stress from incorrect beliefs and thoughts

◦stress from unnatural diet

◦stress from malnutrition

◦lack of raw foods in the diet

◦stress from working too much and too hard

◦stress from inappropriate exercise

◦stress from medicines, treatments and therapies

◦lack of rest and sleep

◦lack of social support

◦lack of self-love

Sure Chiropractic can help with your aches and pains, but a balanced diet and regular exercise with adequate sleep are paramount.
Until then, we are always here to serve your neweds and help you get back to wellness.

For more information on Dr. Peloquin and Hands of Gold Chiropractic, please visit our website at:


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Four Resolutions for a Healthier Back

A Happy And Healthy 2012!

Change your habits to change your health. 

Eat more vegetables. Stress less. Take the kids out to the park more often. You may already have a long list of resolutions for the new year. This year, honor your spine, too. With the help of your doctor of chiropractic, these simple steps can promote a healthier back for the new year.

Consider replacing your pillow or mattress.

Do you wake up with aches and pains? It could be time to purchase a new mattress or pillow. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends finding a mattress that evenly supports your whole body. There should be no gaps between you and the mattress when you lie down. When choosing a pillow, select one that supports your head and neck in alignment with the rest of the spine, whether you sleep on your side or back. Keep in mind that what works for your partner may not work for you— there isn’t one mattress or pillow that fits everyone. Simple adjustments, such as adding foam padding, can help tremendously.

Re-evaluate your posture at work.

Americans spend an average of 44 hours at work every week— often behind a desk. To avoid poor posture that can lead to tension, back pain, and joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, check that your chair is the right size and adjusted correctly, says the ACA. Do your feet rest comfortably on the ground? Does the chair offer lumbar support? Are you able to tilt or swivel easily while performing tasks at your desk? Also, be sure you have adequate light (so that you aren’t straining to see documents or a computer screen), adjust your computer monitor so that it is at eye level, and wear a headset for longer telephone conversations. And don’t forget to take frequent breaks and stretch throughout the day.

Learn how to lift correctly.

Many back injuries are caused by improper lifting of items such as luggage, backpacks or briefcases, storage boxes, or even groceries. But knowing how to lift properly can prevent serious injury. First and foremost, don’t bend from the waist. Keep your back straight, and squat to reach the item. Then, keep it close to your body as you lift, and avoid twisting motions. When traveling, check all bags that weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight.

Eat right and exercise well.

Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise helps your body stay toned and tension-free— and promotes a healthy weight and a happier spine. Smart exercise and a good diet can also prevent osteoporosis, which add strength to your spine and keep you from getting injured.