Whenever I am selecting my featured workout for this column, I always look for the most intense feat. It’s all about speed, sweat and pain…the good kind of pain of course!
However, I was bopping around the gym recently and I spied a flyer for a “spine class.” Even though the flyer did not suggest speed and sweat, I was intrigued. I am always fixated on toning my core or tightening my glutes, but I never offer any tender loving care to my spine.
So I took the encounter with the flyer as a little wake up call and jotted down the information for the “Spines in Motion” class.
I did some more research when I got home and realized this class was offered at a chiropractic office. I thought, “Oh great I am going to have to get cracked in this class.” (Although I always get corrected when I say “get cracked.” I am aware the correct terminology is “getting adjusted.”)
“I’m not the Easter bunny and chiropractic is a bit more sophisticated than voodoo dolls and ‘cracking backs’,” Dr. Andrew Oteo said. “This always gives me a good laugh, so I’m always happy to speak with people that are confused about the profession.”
I learned from the flyer that Dr. Oteo is the brains behind this “Spines in Motion” operation. So I dial the number of Longenecker Chiropractic Center and am greeted by a sweet Southern woman. I knew these were my kind of people because she gently referred to me as “sugar.” I am still enthralled by the Texas accent even though I’ve been a Texan for two years now. She hooks me up with Dr. Oteo and he gave me a quick overview of what to expect in the class and then signed me up.
“Your spine is the central structure of your body,” Dr. Oteo said. “In fact, your central nervous system is so important that it’s the only structure in your body completely encased in bone to protect it. When your spine is out of proper alignment, there are a variety of physical and metabolic factors that are compromised.”
Of course my ears perked up when he said metabolic issues were involved with alignment issues. Also, my shoulders are always hunched forward. Sometimes I feel like I have the posture of Marla Hooch on A League of their Own. So if I could gain any tips on how to straighten up, I was game!
“By receiving chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with a solid nutrition and exercise program, people are less likely to become injured and better equipped to adapt to higher intensity training as their program becomes more physically demanding,” Dr. Oteo said.
I walk into the office and the class was fairly small, which was good for my first time as I had not a clue what I was doing. I was quite impressed with Dr. Oteo’s knowledge of the anatomy of the human body. Every question I had…boom! He had a solid answer for me. Definitely made me excited for the class because I knew I was going to be offered some valuable tidbits.
“Through my research, I have adapted yoga, Pilates, and strength training techniques into a comprehensive program specifically geared towards posture,” Dr. Oteo said.
Definitely cleared away some of my ignorance. Dr. Oteo walked us through a series of stretches anyone can do, any time of day. He was articulate in having an explanation for everything, as well as a remedy. To rectify my Marla Hooch posture, he demonstrated some useful stretches. I have been practicing them after being hunched over a computer all day. I have to say I can see an improvement. I find that I am more aware of my posture, as I know that can affect my health.
“Without a properly functioning spine and properly responding nervous system, all of these key health components are not able to express their full potential,” Dr. Oteo said. “The health of your spine and nervous system therefore directly affects your overall health and vitality.”
Kimberly Westphall is the author of Blogging Fitness and a regular contributor to Midwest Sports Fans.
She attended the University of Kansas where she majored in Journalism. She participated in a podcast with Jerod, which will help you get to know her even better. While at KU, she was an anchor and online web producer for Jayhawk Sports Talk.
Kimberly made her MSF debut in 2009 discussing the fight between Kansas’ basketball and football teams and also had her column about the Dallas Stars Ice Girls featured at Dallas Sports Fans.
She also is a reporter for DFWreporting.com where she reports on positive, uplifting news in the DFW Metroplex.
She has a passion for fitness and is on the lookout for emerging fitness trends and workouts. Her favorite group exercise format is kickboxing, and when she’s not hitting up the aerobics studio, Kimberly is training for her second marathon: Disneyworld 2011.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter: @Fit_Trip_Kimber