5 Tips to Get Your Body Ready for Summer

Even though the 4th of July weekend is here, it is never too late to get your body ready for summer or to get into better shape.  If your goal is to look good on the beach or look good for your partner, taking care of your body doesn’t have to be difficult.  Here are some tips to get your body ready for summer with some help from my fellow chiropractor, the late Dr. Jack LaLanne.

Watch what you put in your mouth. As the “Godfather of fitness” always said, “What you put in your body is what you get out of it. “1 A good rule of thumb is to eat live food.  That means fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables, and meats.  Limit or eliminate man made foods such as breads, pastas, and processed foods. 

Skip the alcohol, and the sweets.  These are empty calories that stress your body and are too easily converted to body fat.  Dr. Jack would say” You would not feed your dog a coffee and doughnut for breakfast followed by a cigarette you will kill the damn dog.”2 Jack new early as a nutritional pioneer that overindulgence in sugar and processed foods was an addiction equal to alcoholism and he called sugar a drug.

Dr. Jack and I agree that the #1 key is to move.  Dr. LaLanne is credited with opening the first modern gym and designing many exercise machines still used today.  He would comment “You can eat perfectly but if you don't exercise, you cannot get by. There are so many health food nuts out there that eat nothing but natural foods but they don't exercise and they look terrible. Then there are other people who exercise like a son-of-a-gun but eat a lot of junk. They look pretty good because the exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom!”3

Dr. Jack recommended “to train to failure”4 when exercising.  A misconception people have is how many repetitions of an exercise they need to perform.  People ask should I do lower repetitions or  higher repetitions but the key is training to failure. Dr. Jack was truly a man before his time. Currently the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity).5

Dr. Jack was known for his great physique and feats of strength. At age 70, Dr. Jack towed 70 boats with 70 people while handcuffed and shackled 1 ½ miles from the Queen’s Way Bridge in Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary.6 His power came from a strong spine and core.

My favorite core exercises are side bridges from the elbow.  Nothing works better or faster in tightening up the midsection and help supporting the spine.  Perform the side bridge with the forearm flat for support and facing 90 degrees from your body.  Push your hips up so you balance on your feet.  If this is too hard, go from the knees.  The key is to time yourself to failure on both sides.  For instance if you can do 30 seconds on the right but only 15 seconds on the left that strength imbalance will be your limiting factor for good upper and lower body strength.  From then on always do the weak side first and only match on the strong side what the weak side accomplished.  Good strength guide is holding both sides for 95 seconds for men and 75 seconds for women. 

Our last tip to looking good and confident while rocking that new swim suit is posture.  In his book “Live Young Forever,” Dr. Jack made a point to stress the importance of good posture. He said, “Always sit and stand with your back straight”7 As a chiropractor he understood that health comes through the spine.  That’s right the “Godfather of Fitness” graduated from chiropractic school in the early 40’s and this served as the foundation for his healthy lifestyle.  So tap into your own inner Dr. Jack LaLanne spirit and get your body ready for the summer and beyond

4. ^ "Jack LaLanne Fit As Ever At 70". Lodi News-Sentinel. UPI. 19 November 1984. Retrieved 24 January 2011
5. LaLanne, Jack (2009). "Live Young Forever". Robert Kennedy Publishing. Archived from the original on 17 June 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2011.

Dr. Jeff Woolston DC is a delegate with the AAC
and practices with his wife Dr. Larissa Woolston MA, DC
in North Scottsdale. Their practice emphasis is on treatment
of motor vehicle injuries and weight loss.

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