Health-E-News January 2017
empowering you to optimal health
Boost Your Youth With These Top Exercises
As your body ages, it can become harder to keep your physical health in check and to keep your energy up. The good news is no matter what age you are, exercise will offer you health benefits without spending any money or a great deal of time.
All you need to do is dedicate a small amount of time each day to the right exercises and your body will feel the results whether it’s an increase in energy, weight loss, muscle strengthening, or flexibility. Take a look at the exercises that will offer you these physical benefits, as well as reducing the likelihood of age-related diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, that you can do right in your own home, at a local class, or with a friend in the park.
One of the most important exercises you can do throughout your life, but especially once you hit 40 years old, is cardio exercise. This is the best heart-healthy exercise you can do and it’s not hard to find a way to incorporate it into your day.
Start parking at the back of the lot and walking farther to get to the grocery store entrance. Take a nightly walk before dinner and find time to enjoy activities like bike rides, jogs, and hikes. If you love to run or swim, this is the perfect way to get your cardio exercise in, whether it’s at the gym or in your neighborhood.
Have you ever tried yoga? It may be the perfect time to start. This ancient exercise originated in India in the sixth century to help with energy levels, stress management, and flexibility. It’s one of those exercises that can be done just about anywhere and most people will enjoy it giving you the perfect excuse to do it in a social way.
Sometimes lifting some weights and doing the right stretches is the most important way to give your body a break from all of the variations of cardio you’ve been doing. Make sure you take the time to tone your body in order to see better results in your other workouts.
Strength training can be simple with light weights from 1lb – 5lbs and can increase as your muscles get used to the weight. Since your muscles will naturally diminish as you age, it’s important that you make this a priority. You can strength train through lifting weights, doing push-ups, doing lunges, and more.
If you’re looking for something out of the box, Tai chi is a great choice for those that like the idea of martial arts-type movements. This is a gentle exercise that offers excellent benefits, such as improved mental focus, increased balance, and reduced blood pressure. Work with a trainer and start learning the art of Tai Chi, originally a martial art, with great health benefits.
You can also delve into the art of Pilates, designed by Joseph Pilates, to work out the whole body at once. It’s a great exercise for improving your strength and flexibility without stressing out your muscles too much.
Try out Corrective Training if you suffer from joint pain, muscle imbalances, or even posture issues. You’ll do more of those lunges, squats, pushing and pulling like you would in strength training. Lastly, you can even use this time in your life to take up stand-up paddle boarding, especially if you love the idea of exercising on the water.
Don’t call it quits on your physical health as you hit your 40’s and older. It’s the most important time to keep your physical health in check and reap the benefits of doing so!
Text neck – new name for an old problem
Scholar’s neck, reader’s neck, and text neck all mean the same thing – a forward head posture (FHP). This is what occurs when the head is anterior to the vertical line of the body’s center of gravity. An easy way to measure this is by having someone look at where your ear is in relation to your shoulder; if your shoulder is right under your ear, then you have no FHP. However, if your ear is forward of your shoulder, this FHP can place a fair amount of stress on your spine.
An average of 2-4 hours per day is spent by most people with their heads tilted to read either books or smart phones. This means a person can accumulate 700-1400 hours a year of loading their spine in a damaging way. On the upper end of the spectrum is high school students and adolescents who may spend up to 5000 hours a year with this type of neck posture. This tilting of the head can increase the progression of a FHP and the many secondary ailments that accompany this problem, as well as change the structure of the spine – reducing the natural curve and thus changing the way the spine is loaded.
Having the head sit in front of the body allows for abnormal load to be placed on the cervical vertebrae, disks, tendons, and ligaments of the neck. After a while, the body adds more bone to this area in an attempt to handle the increased abnormal load, which can cause pain due to the degenerated disks and bone on bone contact. A FHP will lead to wear, tear, and degeneration of the many structures in the neck.
Other negative effects that may arise from a FHP include increased tension on the spinal cord, flattening of the small blood vessels of the neck, permanent changes in the curvature of the neck, changes in the way sensory information is received, and altering the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). By affecting the flow of CSF, a whole other cascade of problems may arise because CSF is what helps circulate nutrients and chemicals as well as remove waste from structures in the central nervous system. Altering this flow can have a negative impact on the ability of the brain to function and may also change the structure of the spine itself.
In order to prevent the many negative consequences of FHP, it is important to ensure the spine is being cared for by restoring the natural curvature and reducing FHP as much as possible. Chiropractic can help reduce and prevent a FHP by adjusting the spine in order to return or maintain the natural curvature. This will in turn limit any abnormal loads placed on the spine and other structures of the neck, provide optimal flow of CSF throughout the spine, and allow for the best signalling possible between the central nervous system and the body.
Tully, G. (2016). Forward Head Posture and Decreased Lordotic Curvature of the Cervical Spine – The Potential Sequelae of Abnormal Alignment. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation, 2016(3), 21-24.
What You Should Know About Good Fats and Stress
You may be the type to shop at the grocery store for your favorite snacks that say they are “low-fat” and you feel good about finding a way to keep your diet in check while enjoying your favorite foods. What does it mean when something is “low-fat?” It likely means that they’ve reduced the content of good fast just to replace them with more sugar, something your body definitely doesn’t want.
What most people don’t realize is that fats aren’t the problem; it’s the sugars, high calories, carbohydrates, and the list of ingredients on the box that are filling your body with chemicals in order to lower that fat content.
While it may be a new concept for many, it’s important to get good fats into your diet, specifically to help with energy levels, to protect your organs, and to keep your body warm. Now another study is showing that filling your diet with the wrong things is going to affect how you handle stress. Take a look at the relationship between good fats and combatting stress.
Understanding good fats vs. bad fats
It’s first important to understand what makes a fat good or bad. Good fats and bad fats are compared by their substance of being solid vs. liquid. When you come across a fat that can be solid when it reaches room temperature, such as butter or lard, you’ve come across a bad fat that is made of trans fats which increase cholesterol.
These types of fats are filled with hydrogen to make them solid at room temperature. Compare that to a fat that is liquid at room temperature and now you have your goo fats. You should make 20%-30% of your calories coming from good fats which should include fats that your body doesn’t produce often, including nuts, plant-based oil, seeds, and fish, the “polyunsaturated fats.” This is a great way to combat cholesterol levels.
How fats and stress are related
Studies have been done to compare the effects of these various fights on women in their effort to fight stress. It turns out that the higher fat meals with higher calories, such as a Big Mac and fries, which is filled with bad saturated fats, struggled to burn as many calories when dealing with stress than women who eat a similar meal made with good fats.
Where to find good fats to fight stress
If you’ve made the decision to stick to the good fats, you may be wondering where to find them at the grocery store. You can find it in various stops around the store, from the produce section to the pantry goods. Stock up on blueberries, the fruit full of antioxidants that help combat stress. Grab avocado for more good fats that will help you combat overeating.
Grab plenty of salmon to make sure you are getting your omega-3 fatty acids which will decrease the effects of stress. Seeds like sunflower, flaxseed, and pumpkin will make a great snack this week to get you the magnesium you need to regulate emotions. Lastly, grab yogurt for breakfast and some dark chocolate for an afternoon pick-me-up and you’ll find more sources of good fats that help with your stress levels. The goal is to find foods that help balance your emotions and keep you feeling full, the keys to fighting stress.
The link between good fats and stress is that these good fats make stress easier to handle which will affect all areas of your life. Start choosing the good fats and cut bad fats out of your diet for better results!
Chiropractic and an improved quality of life go hand in hand.
The case of a 36-year old male undergoing chiropractic care highlights the importance of nervous system maintenance and the lifestyle changes that may accompany such care. He came into the clinic suffering from stress, headaches, eye pain, left leg pain for 14 years, feelings of depression, and a loss of interest in daily life. Years of sub-optimal lifestyle choices included alcoholism, smoking, lack of exercise, a diet full of caffeine, sugar, and fried foods, and a reliance on over the counter pain killers for gastrointestinal pains.
The patient received adjustments for an 11 month period, which focused on the subluxations around the upper cervical, mid thoracic, and pelvis. Following care it was reported that he was pain free and no longer relied on medication. In addition to the physical change, the client noted improved personal and occupational relationships and a better outlook on life. Many spontaneous life changes also took place during his time under chiropractic care such as the cessation of smoking, the uptake of regular exercise, better nutritional choices, and beginning relaxation exercises.
Removing vertebral subluxations is an important component of restoring nerve health and removing nerve system inference, which will lead to an enhancement in health and well-being. Beyond the correction of subluxations, other important components of wellness such as the psychological, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical can impact health. Taking that into account, partaking in health-enhancing activities in each domain would allow someone to achieve optimal well-being. It has been said that a healthy person makes healthier choices; which may only take small changes overtime until they become habits of improving health.
Pauli, Y. (2006). Quality of Life Improvements and Spontatneous Lifestyle Changes in a Patient Undergoing Subluxation-Centered Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation, 2006, 1-15.
[Reprinted by Permission – Original]