Improving blood flow to improve your athletic performance
Better blood flow, in which sufficient oxygen reaches your muscles, allows you to effect a longer and more beneficial workout. As you move, your heart rate rises and your heart pumps blood to all the parts of your body which are necessary to keep you moving at this higher level. Your metabolic rate then increases, meaning that your body needs more energy to keep going without feeling fatigued; it acquires this energy by producing ATP, an energy molecule whose two main inputs are glucose and oxygen. A healthy circulatory system ensures that oxygen is getting where it needs to be in your body during workout.
In the period immediately following your workout, you should be intaking protein and nutrients that will help your muscles rebuild from the micro-traumas that they incur during exercise. Better blood flow means that these nutrients will reach your muscles in the right quantities to facilitate effective regrowth.
Athletes should make good blood flow a priority
At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Park Slope, we use acupuncture to help improve blood flow in athletes, helping them get the most out of their activities. Acupuncture stimulates circulation by dilating blood vessels and decreasing muscular stress. If you are interested in using acupuncture to effect improvements in your athletic performance, give our office in Brooklyn a call to schedule an appointment today.
“No time for a workout,” you say?
On days when you can’t make it to the gym or you wake up with no ambition to go for that run, there are still things you can be doing to stimulate your brain and body. It just takes a little bit of creativity: workouts can be done in small doses (1-10 minutes) that still capture the same benefits as a full workout.
A quick workout should:
Get your heart rate up
Move your muscles to remove them from a state of constant contraction
Encourage blood to flow more freely to all parts of the brain and body.
Micro-workouts serve a purpose
They do serve a very important purpose of bailing you out on days when a full workout is not on the cards. Focus on simplicity: you should be able to jump up from your seat at work and dive into a workout within your personal space. Examples of this include 5 minute yoga or pilates routines, 60 seconds of jumping jacks or 20 push-ups in an hour. Planking is great because all it asks is for you to get into and hold a position for as long as you can! The weight of your body and the position will condition the parts of your core which count for maintaining good posture throughout the day.
Make your space workout-accessible
Keeping a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat or a jumping rope stowed underneath your desk allows you to jump in and out of a workout whenever you have a spare moment. Workouts are about discipline so it makes sense to start small and work your way up- the important part is that you get your body moving throughout the day when you would otherwise be sedentary.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.