Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

October 10, 2012

Exercise Progressions: Zumba

I took the Zumba class at the gym last night. One reason is that I like to find out what my patients are doing; another is that I like to find out how my fitness level stacks up against what others are doing.

I did fine, but was reminded of a critically important concept in progressing your exercise program to avoid injury or relapse. In the progression from most safe to most risky it goes like this: not moving (safest), moving slowly, moving faster, moving real fast (most risky).

Of course it depends on what you are moving, and how far you are moving it. Bending at the waist or the knee causes potential risk to sky rock: the more you bend the more risk. Bend wrong and it’s all over – you are going to get hurt. It’s just a matter of time.

In general, dance is as natural a movement as you can get (it is easy to argue that some dance is more natural than others, I know), so I am all in favor of it. Just understand that because it is so fast you have to be careful.

Above, when I said that I did fine, I was referring to how I felt last night. Be aware that you may not know how hard something you did yesterday was on your body until today, tomorrow or even the next day. Delayed onset muscle soreness, for example, can easily take two to three days to show up. Injuries can also take time – and the right circumstances to show up. Anyway, I did do fine: I have already done an hour of Tai chi today and if I had any problems from last nights Zumba class (or the ab class that followed it), I would have known it by now. (Another great reason for a regular exercise regimen. It’s a baseline, status checker:-)

Which leads, logically, to the next progression consideration: how often you do the exercise. Class will take place again tomorrow night. For some a very minor injury that could have been recovered from will surface after the second or the third class – because there is only one day in between and that’s not enough time for their body’s to recover.

So… go easy in the beginning. Go only once or twice a week for a few weeks. Then take on the three-day-a-week routine and watch the health benefits accrue.

On another note (you knew that I would find a way to bring Tai chi into this, didn’t you?)… Did you know that a 20 year Kaiser Permenente study found that between 70 to 85% of all illness sending people to their doctors are CAUSED BY STRESS, not aggravated by stress, but CAUSED BY STRESS.

Harvard Health Publications called Tai Chi “medication in motion,” because of all the myriad health issues it heals or helps. What if Tai Chi and Qigong were massively spread throughout society in public and private education, corporate wellness, senior care, veterans care, etc.? Tai Chi and Qigong go to the heart of health, stress management, and mounting medical research proves that Tai Chi and Qigong can profoundly reduce health costs.



  1. But, the real question is: were you the only male in the class?! 🙂

    Comment by Heather Cheyne — October 11, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  2. As a chiropractor, we see patients as a whole, functioning system. A system that needs maintenance. An adjustment here, a stretch there, an exercise to stabalize a weak area. When injured, our bodies are like a truck stuck in the mud, it can get itself out, it just needs a little help sometimes. That is what chiropractors are trained to do.

    Comment by Gulfport MS Chiropractor — October 12, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

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