Tag Archives: Fitness

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Simplify Your Family’s Health

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Life is not complex.  We are complex.  Life is simple,
and the simple thing is the right thing.
– Oscar Wilde

Minimalism can provide many benefits to your life, be it less stress, more money or more time. What many people don’t realize is that it also applies to your family’s health and well-being. We are often told we couldn’t possibly figure out how to improve our health on our own, that it is a very complicated process. The truth is – it isnt.

If you follow these simple yet essentials tips your family’s health will improve, without leaving you overwhelmed (or broke!).

Move your body in a way you enjoy.

Traditional “exercise” is not mandatory. Sure, you can join a gym if you’d like but it’s not necessary – and the downside is your children can’t exercise with you. So, instead – why not walk more?

It’s that simple. Move your body way more than you currently are and your health will improve. Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships –  it’s free, enjoyable and already a part of your everyday life. Plus, the whole family can be involved – even the dog!

The benefits of walking are endless – so let’s just name a few: it helps prevent and reduce the severity of chronic disease (like high blood pressure and diabetes), it also improves mood and mobility. The best part about these benefits is that it doesn’t take much time from your day to achieve them. Thirty minutes a day is where we see start to see great health benefits.

Besides these health benefits – there’s also quality and uninterrupted time as a family: Being outdoors and breathing fresh air promotes a sense of calmness that can lead to bonding time and better conversations. In addition, you’re leading by example -setting a great example by modeling good healthy exercise habits that can reap future benefits in a child’s attitude towards exercise and fitness.

If walking isn’t your thing – do something else. Hiking, pillow fights, dancing to music, bike rides, jumping on the bed, whatever your kids enjoy – anything to get your family moving.

Eat Clean

This one truly is simple – research has proven what matters most: make sure your diet consists mostly of real, minimally processed foods.

To successfully implement this into your life remember we often eat what’s convenient, and if you buy it and keep it in the house, you’ll eat it – so don’t buy it in the first place. The following are some basic ground rules to follow when eating clean. Eat more organic and/or local fruits and vegetables, and remember the fresher the food, the more potent the nutrients. Drink more pure filtered water (Divide your weight by 2, aim to drink that number in ounces). Eat a handful of raw nuts/seeds everyday. When it comes to meat and dairy – choose products where animals live as close to their natural state as possible -free-range, cage-free, grass-fed, raw milk etc.). Lower your intake of inflammatory/mucus producing foods (dairy, sugar, wheat) and instead aim to eat more raw foods that contain powerful enzymes and phytonutrients (try juicing).

You can even involve your children by letting them help make a green smoothie; this can be any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit. They deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from the chard, kale and spinach. They taste great and your children will learn about new foods and become more comfortable in the kitchen. Just remember the 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein (not all fruit/sugar).

Make Sleep a Priority

Sleep is often the single most undervalued behavior in our lives—and yet it is the one with the most immediate power to improve our lives in every waking moment. Getting a good night of sleep is one of the cornerstones of health, your body needs this time to repair and heal. Research shows that inadequate sleep can have disastrous effects on your weight loss efforts, impair your concentration, and weaken your immune system.

When it comes to bedtimes – the earlier is truly the better. Now, I know early bedtimes may not be possible with some families’ schedules, which is totally understandable. But for those who can do it – I strongly urge you to try.

Research consistently shows that putting kids to bed early is beneficial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Not only do kids tend to sleep more when the lights go out sooner, but they also may get a greater proportion of restorative sleep, too. Early kid bedtimes are also great for parental sanity. Sipping a glass of wine in silence? Snuggling up with your spouse to watch a grown-up movie for once? It’s really quite lovely.

In addition- sleep that happens earlier in the night tends to be more restorative than sleep that takes place later at night and in the early morning. So putting your kid to bed early may ensure that a higher proportion of her sleep is the extra-restful kind. And well-rested kids behave quite differently than sleep-deprived kids.

When kids (and adults) are sleep-deprived, their bodies release hormones including cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which give them a second wind at bedtime and also make it harder for them go back to sleep early in the morning.

If sleep is an issue it’s worth noting – if you follow the other tips we mention here (walking more, eating cleaner, and getting adjusted) – your sleep will most definitely improve.

Remove Interference

Chiropractic care can literally change your family’s life, and enable you to live a pain-free life full of energy and vitality. That’s because chiropractic adjustments help reduce or eliminate pressure on your nerves—the same ones responsible for your everyday bodily functions. Chiropractic will help eliminate pain and inflammation, reduce fatigue, and restore normal balance and nerve flow to all your organs, giving you the energy, drive and peace of mind to go out there and live life the way it was meant to be lived.

Your child’s spine is affected by a multitude of things: starting with birth, leading to crawling/walking and slips and falls, to backpacks, texting, and computers as they grow older. If statistics are what motivates you – consider this – in the US alone, over 200,000 children are taken to hospital each year to have playground injuries assessed. Other likely times that our children will become misaligned include learning to ride a bike, sporting activities or hobbies, and minor or major car accidents.

The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. By removing the interference to the nerves, many of these conditions can improve and/or resolve naturally – without drugs or surgery. Regular chiropractic check ups are a key component in growing healthy kids.

Focus on the lifestyle, not the goals.

Strive to make eating well and moving your body in an enjoyable way part of your family’s daily life. Enjoy the journey and do these things for the right reasons – and you’ll improve your health, fitness and quality of life.


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Improve Your Yoga Practice

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Are you having trouble doing certain yoga poses on your list? It might not be just your balance or flexibility that’s holding you back – it could be a sign of a structural shift in your spine. Read on to learn how regular chiropractic care can enhance your yoga practice and have you saying “ohm” in no time.

chiropractic and yoga

Restoring Health and Balance

Your body craves alignment. When we are properly aligned – our bones – not our muscles, do the bulk of the work to support our weight, reducing effort and strain.

When the muscles around your spine tighten up, your first instinct may be to stretch or try things like yoga to loosen those muscles up. But the reality is that oftentimes, your muscles are tense because the joint itself is locked up and affecting your nerve roots that supply those muscles.

Chiropractic adjustments help to improve posture, range of motion, and flexibility.  These are all very important parts of a strong yoga practice, so one can see how routine adjustments are beneficial to practice. When the spine shifts out of place it can cause your muscles to hold themselves in tough positions in order to cushion what lies beneath. It’s your muscles’ way of protecting what is essentially an unstable joint.

When movement and alignment are restored, the muscle doesn’t have to be as tense anymore – that is, it doesn’t have to work to protect an unstable joint by holding everything locked into that position.

In this way, we find that chiropractic is complementary to restorative yoga. You can combine them to help you recover from injury, or even if you’re just trying to get yourself into positions that don’t seem to be working for your body. The problem may lie in your muscles, but it could also lie in your spine.

Yoga Practice

Yoga practice addresses the mind, body, breath and spirit. We live our lives through our nervous system, constantly assimilating and responding to internal and external stimuli. Whether our responses can be controlled or not, becoming aware of our body and mind stuff offers a means to take the reins and steer toward balance.  Removing impediments to the body’s natural flow of energy (whether it’s through movement, chiropractic care, breath, meditation, diet or otherwise) engenders vitality and a balanced state of health.

Like chiropractic, yoga is another tool to help realign the body.

What’s more, postural awareness is an important practice within yoga, both on and off the mat. Posture has an obvious impact on spinal health, but it also impacts our emotional and bio-physiological health. Through awareness, we can shift ingrained movement and holding patterns within our bodies (such as hunching over cell phones and computers), as well as learn to respond to external stressors in a more mindful way. Chiropractic care is one such way to realign the body and its nervous system thereby offering balance and health.

At True Health, we have countless patients who have combined yoga with chiropractic care. In doing so, they’ve found that they have become more flexible and limber over time. Joints that were typically stiff were now lubricated and moving more easily because of regular adjustments. Yoga poses that were once forced into completing have become more fluid to move through. Most importantly, their yoga practice has become that much more fun and fulfilling!

How has chiropractic care enhanced YOUR yoga practice? Share your story with us in the comments!


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5 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

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healthy thanksgiving

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, or simply showing up to eat, the holiday’s can be stressful for the health-minded individual.  The good news: We’ve got 5 excellent tips to keep your holiday the way it should be – filled with family, relaxation and health!

 

1. TURKEY TROT: Start your day off with a brisk fall walk (or run!). Starting your day with exercise is a great way to boost your confidence and keep your health at the forefront of your day (chances are there is a 5K kicking off first thing in the morning in your neighborhood). It’s also important to have some non-food related activities planned (after dinner walk, playing catch, etc.) instead of eating as the sole entertainment.

2. ADD GREENS: Get some color on your plate! Adding delicious, colorful salads and leafy greens to the table before and in addition to turkey time will satisfy your body’s craving for nutrients and prevent over-eating during the main event. Use caution around the junk carbs that your family may push on you – like stuffing, dinner rolls, and pies.

3. SHOW SUPPORT: Support others who are practicing healthy habits during the holidays- don’t sabotage your family or friends by guilting them into over indulging. Be thankful and grateful for what you do have in your life and share with others.

4. DON’T STRESS: No matter how many quality ingredients you put on the table, if you’re weighed down with STRESS during the holidays, you’re not functioning at optimal health! Adjustments help you to better adapt to the stress of the holiday season.

5. DRINK UP: Don’t get too excited – we’re talking about water, it’s important to balance any alcohol intake with water consumption. Plus, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep from overeating.

Happy Thanksgiving from True Health Family Chiropractic!

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Why Your Injury Isn’t Healing

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heal

In our office, we see many patients who are not injured – they’re simply looking to make their bodies work more efficiently. After all, normal structure allows your body to operate smoothly and function at its best. But, for those who find their way into our office with an injury and those who may be contemplating a visit, this post is for you.

There are many reasons why an injury would not improve, here’s 5 that you may not thought of:

1. Not Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Sleep is when your body is able to heal and repair. Aim for at least 7 hours of real sleep – as in not using any sleeping “aids” (they actually impair the ability to reach the deeper stages of sleep). So what can you do: try limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption during the day, keeping your bedroom cool, avoiding foods we may be sensitive to (sugar, grains, dairy), and getting some form of exercise daily (even walking as little as 30 minutes a day).

2. You’re Not Moving

I know, you’re injured – you think you should rest. The truth is that too much rest will actually delay your recovery. Most tissues recover more quickly from injury or trauma if they’re gently used. This means staying active after an injury – it does NOT mean doing things that will likely aggravate your condition.

3. Your Diet Stinks

Harsh yes, but often times bad dietary habits are a contributing factor to delayed recovery from an injury. Studies show that as the body heals it uses more energy to aid recovery (potentially increasing energy needs by 15%). This can mean that the calorific requirement may be more than anticipated, so think twice before cutting back – just make sure that all your calories come from nutrient-dense foods: fruit and vegetables, good fats and pasture raised protein. You should also increase your intake of wild caught fish (or supplement with a high quality fish oil) which are rich in omega-3 and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

4. Attitude Adjustment

Research has found that having a positive attitude and strong mental awareness is essential in an individual’s recovery, whether it be from a physical or mental injury. This is because stress and depression have been shown to compromise every system in the body. The mind is a powerful thing – you have to want to get better. So take part in your care, be committed to your exercises,and ensure you are eating well, sleeping, and doing lots of recovery work.

5. You’re Only Addressing Symptoms

Most chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists focus on relieving your symptoms. You can go to any one of these professionals – and there is no doubt that any one of them will make you feel better. However, if your injury is related to a structural shift of the spine, then you may require our care – Structural Chiropractic Care. Injuries are often a Secondary Condition of a Structural Shift. When the Structural Alignment is restored, problems related to abnormalities in the spine and nervous system resolve.

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself. When the body has the right nutrients, regular movement through exercise, a great mindset, and full function of the nervous system, it has a recipe for long lasting health.


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Performance and Prevention With Chiropractic

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performance chiro

Recent research from New Zealand has found that Chiropractic care may reduce gym and fitness-related injuries while also improving performance.

According to Dr Heidi Haavik, Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, the inability of some people to properly activate and control their core muscles when engaging in exercise, predisposes them to injury – particularly in the lower back. This may be reversible with regular chiropractic care.

“We know that delayed trunk muscle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Research suggests that this is partly due to a failure of the brain to predict what is going to happen during some movements. There is now accumulating evidence that chiropractic care may play a part in improving the ability of the brain to engage the core muscles appropriately and stabilize the spine”, states Dr Haavik.

The nervous system plays such an essential role in our bodies, especially when it comes to our fitness. Your nervous system connects to every system in your body – from your muscles and bones, down to your organs, it even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brain acting as the power source. When there is interference to the nervous system (a structural shift in your spine) your electrical system will not work properly. When it comes to athletic performance, this interference results in an inability of the brain to activate the core muscles in time – which may be the cause of many gym and fitness-related injuries.

It’s important to note that poor nervous system coordination will not manifest itself as a ‘symptom’ until it is too late. So, if you’re only using chiropractic care as pain management – you’re missing out on this performance and prevention benefit.

Chiropractors and elite athletes have know for years that chiropractic care helps them perform at an optimal level – it seems that now science is finally starting to catch up and demonstrate how it actually works. From Dr. Haavik:

“Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. We are also starting to see research developing which suggests that a single session of chiropractic care may improved muscle activation and increase muscle contractions equivalent to findings following three weeks of strength training. This line of research also suggests chiropractic care may possibly reduce muscle fatigue developing during strong contractions.”

In our office, we see Athletes, Crossfitters, Triatheletes, and Runners – and guess what? Most of them don’t have back pain, but are actually looking to make their bodies work more efficiently. After all, normal structure allows your body to operate smoothly and at its best.


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