Chiropractor Blog - by Josh McDonald

Top 18 Reasons Why You Should Try Weight Training

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Weight training isn’t all about muscle development. There is a lot more to it. Below are the top 18 reasons why you should engage in weight training, no matter what your body type is.

  1. Weight training helps tone your muscles, making them look great and increase your basal metabolism. With this, you continuously burn more calories 24 hours every day. Surprisingly, you will even burn more calories as you are sound sleeping. Now, isn’t that tempting?
  1. Weight training can help reverse the natural slowdown of your metabolism which begins around age 30. As we all know, our metabolism slows down when we reach the age of 30. This is why we tend to gain weight as we grow older. Prevent this from happening by training your digestive muscles to metabolize food quickly, every time.
  1. Weight training provides more energy. It gives you enough energy for you to last all day… and all night.
  1. Weight training moves, develops, and tones all your 650+ muscles. Wake up your dormant muscles and nerves by working them out once in a while.
  1. Weight training strengthens your bones and your joints, reducing your risk of developing bone problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
  1. Weight training helps improve your muscular endurance.
  1. Contrary to popular belief, weight training will not develop bulky muscles on females, just toned muscles! So if you feel like your arms and shoulders are too manly, tone them by doing the right weight training exercises.
  1. Weight training can make you active and strong. Strength and endurance gives you added confidence and makes performance of daily activities less troublesome.
  1. Weight training helps you prevent neck, low-back, and other spinal injuries.
  1. Weight training helps reduce resting blood pressure.
  1. Weight training helps decrease your risk of developing adult onset diabetes.
  1. Weight training helps decrease you chances of acquiring gastrointestinal problems and even developing colon cancer.
  1. Weight training helps increase your blood level of HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol.
  1. Weight training helps improve and maintain your posture.
  1. Weight training helps develop the function of your immune system.
  1. Weight training improves the function and efficiency of your heart.
  1. Weight training improves your balance and coordination.
  1. Weight training elevates your mood. So, if you are constantly worries, anxious, depressed, or angry, weight training can also improve your emotional health aside from physical fitness.

Who says weight training is for bodybuilders only? If you would like to be physically and emotionally fit, now is the right time to try weight training.

Alternative Diet for Lactose Intolerance

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Milk and other dairy products, such as eggs and cheese, are a major source of important nutrients necessary for a healthy diet. One of the most essential among these is calcium, which is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of bones. With enough calcium in the body, conditions caused by shortage of calcium such as very thin and fragile bones that break easily or osteoporosis can be avoided.

The Serious Problem of Lactose Intolerant

It is, therefore, a major concern for people who are lactose intolerant how to find alternative sources of calcium. In addition to this, milk and milk products are also the major source riboflavin, vitamin D, and other nutrients.

Inability to take milk does not mean that we will be completely deprived of these important nutrients that are contained largely in dairy products. There exist quite a number of food varieties, which contain high level of calcium and other nutrients while having low lactose levels. Provided here is a listing of food varieties, which may act as sources of these missing nutrients.

Your Milk-Free Food Options

  1. Many green vegetables, such as lettuce, pinto beans, broccoli and kale have high calcium content. However some vegetables with high calcium content such as Swiss chard, spinach and rhubarb contains substance called oxalates which stops calcium absorption thus our body cannot use calcium contained in this vegetables.
  1. Many fishes with soft, edible bones including sardines and salmon are appropriate for a diet that is high in calcium but low in lactose content.
  1. Yogurt with active cultures can be an ideal source of calcium for many lactose intolerant people, high its lactose content. Research shows that the bacterial cultures used in making yogurt produce the lactase necessary for proper digestion. However, commercially frozen yogurts are sometimes re-pasteurized thereby killing the bacteria, which produces lactase.
  1. Calcium-fortified orange juice and soymilk are now available in the market.
  1. Vitamin D is important for absorption of calcium in the body. Therefore, it is necessary to food with vitamin D such as eggs and liver.
  1. Dietary supplements may also be taken. However, we should be warned that taking the wrong types of vitamin and minerals or taking them in the wrong amount could be harmful, instead of being helpful, to the health. It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor or dietitian when deciding whether to take any dietary supplements and choosing the proper dietary supplements.

Therefore, milk is not the only source of calcium. If milk is not an option for you, for whatever reason you have, there are alternative food items that you can enjoy. Happy munching!

Vitamin C: The Importance of Taking Vitamin C

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Take in as much vitamin C as you can and build extra defense in your body against serious diseases and ailments!

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the body’s most effective defenses against ailments. It fortifies the immune system for stronger resistance against different infections. It also keeps dental tissues tight and fit, thus, keeping gums and teeth strong and healthy.

More Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also essential in keeping the cement-like matter between cells strong and prevents cataracts and other eye diseases. It hastens the repair of cuts and wounds and keeps the bones strong.

In addition, some studies show that sufficient intake of Vitamin C can help combat arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, and even heart diseases. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level. It can also keep the artery walls strong, thus, stopping the damaging adhesion of white blood cells to the arteries. It also aids in the absorption of iron.

In a scientific study in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine involving more than 100 studies over 10 years, it has been found out that there really is a growing list of the health benefits of vitamin C.

Sources of Vitamin C

The rich sources of this water-soluble vitamin are fresh fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are the best sources of Vitamin C like lime, orange, pomelo, and naranjita. Non-citrus fruits like guavas, papayas, tomatoes, and chicos are also high in Vitamin C. Also, vegetables like mongo sprouts and bamboo shoots contain Vitamin C.

But since vitamin C is water-soluble, most of it is lost during cooking. In order to retain much of the vitamin C content, eat fruits and vegetables while they are still fresh and uncooked. Prepared fruit juices must be refrigerated for no more than three days. When steaming, use a minimal amount of water or microwave for the shortest time. Store vegetables and fruits in airtight containers. Other vegetables like potatoes must be cooked in their skins to retain the essential vitamin.

Discovery of Vitamin C

The health benefits of Vitamin C was accidentally discovered in 1757, but it was in 1928 when Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Szent Gyorgi gave the rightful credit to vitamin C as the content of lemons that cured the scurvy disease. In 1970, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling, realized the vitamin’s crucial importance in enhancing the immune system.

And another good thing is that since Vitamin C is water-soluble, you can take it in as much as you can and over dosage won’t lead to toxicity. The extra vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and passes out as perspiration and urine.

 

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And in this case, tons of vitamin C could be the cure!

Short and Overweight: What Are the Risks?

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Little people may have different nutritional needs than average-sized individuals. Moreover, according to various studies, there is misinformation that the bone condition of little people is due to the fact that they lack in calorie intake or other nutritional deficiencies.

Having Achondroplasia Condition

People with achondroplasia, have a greater tendency to become overweight. This condition, according to medical research, may be due to the fact that patients of this ailment have a relatively slower metabolic rate. Having said that, it is also important to take note that all people must take care not to become overweight – whether you are short or tall.

A little person weighs more than a regular-sized child with the same height measurements. For little people, charts for their ideal weight at various ages or stages in their lives are hard to come by. This is because there are various conditions affecting bone growth for little people. For some little people, their bones are brittle. For others, their bones are broader. Still others have heavier bones.

Because of this lack of information, nutritionists have devised another method to ascertain if a little person is overweight. They call it the pinch test, which also works for petite people. The methodology of such test is as follows.You will have to pinch the skin near the last set of your ribs. If you are able to pinch more than an inch of your skin, then it could only mean that you are overweight.

The Importance of Weight Loss

Why is it important to lose weight? Especially for those with achondroplasia, being overweight strains the bones and joints. It is also not good for the heart, and the respiratory system especially breathing. The life span of overweight people is also shortened by at least 10 years. Reaching and maintaining the ideal weight for your stature will also greatly improve your confidence and self- esteem.

Tips on Losing Weight

The typical recommendation for average-sized people to lose weight is a well-balanced diet and exercise. The latter, however, is not for little people. The joints of little people cannot take much exercise and the wear and tear that accompanies it. Thus, having a good diet and probably meditative techniques are the answer for losing weight for little people.

Here are some of the tips to lose those excessive calories for little people. Normally, little people should eat half of what an average-sized person eats. Thus, to lose weight, a little person should eat a fourth of normal meal. What is important is that the diet is balanced. To lose the calories, a little person’s ideal calorie intake should be 600 calories.

Exercise FAQS: Get Motivated to Work Out

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Are you too lazy to exercise? Do you have many questions that you haven’t find answers for? If you find yourself constantly making excuses instead of finding ways to move your body around, then you may not be totally convinced yet of the many benefits that exercise provide our body.

If you still have some hesitations about exercising and other health-related stuff, you may want to start indulging yourself with the following frequently asked questions:

Why do we need to exercise?

Regular exercise keeps bones, joints, and muscles healthy. Physical exertion makes the rate at which the heart beats increases, pumping more oxygenated blood around the body. To assess how fit someone is, measure how quickly the heart rate returns to normal after exercise.

Why do we feel pain in our muscles after exercise?

Exercise causes the muscles to contract, thereby producing an acid known as lactic acid, which acts like a “poison”. Lactic acid causes your muscles to feel tired. However, the body needs to feel tired in order for it to rest wherein the body replaces the lubricants that were used up in the joints.

Why do we perspire?

In order to keep our body at a normal temperature of 98.6 ° F, we perspire. When our body becomes too hot, the vessels in the skin open so that the extra heat can radiate away and for the perspiration to evaporate. Perspiration helps remove toxins from the body. It is like a shower that lets fluid in the form of microscopic drops flow out of the body through millions of tiny openings in the skin.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Our body, in order to go about its daily tasks, needs energy. That’s the reason why we have to eat. Although almost all foods can supply energy, carbohydrates supply the body with the most energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods include cereals, ride, pasta, potatoes and bread. However, our body needs vitamins, minerals and protein to build and repair cells and to keep bones, muscles, blood and skin healthy. So make sure to eat a balanced and varied diet.

Can I lose weight without exercising?

Yes, but it will take much longer. If you couple diet with exercise and the right lifestyle, i.e. getting enough rest, avoiding alcohol, and saying no to fast foods, you can easily and quickly lose excess weight. Additionally, you will notice how life becomes better and stress-free.

What are the best exercises to begin with?

There are a lot of exercises you can perform, and it all depends on your objective. For example, if you want to improve your heart, lungs, and blood circulation, go with cardiovascular exercises such as running, brisk walking, and swimming. For muscle development and toning, weight training is what you need. For weight loss, try whole-body exercises such as dancing.

If you think that exercising is uncomfortable and painful, believe that it is only the start of a better, healthier, and fitter you. Start exercising now and rip all the benefits as you grow older.

Do-Anywhere Cardio Exercises for the Joints

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Our joints play a vital role in our everyday activities. Without them, we won’t be able to move naturally and turn most of our body parts including the head, arms, hands, fingers, legs, and feet among others. To prevent joint problems such as arthritis and immobility, it is important to engage in regular exercises, especially during the younger years.

Stretching, flexibility training, and cardiovascular exercises are the most appropriate workout routines that help the joints and bones develop extra strength and prevent impairment due to aging or stasis.

Benefits of Cardio Exercises

When establishing a fitness routine, it’s important to include two or three 30-minute sessions of cardiovascular (cardio) exercise. Cardio exercise involves continuous physical activity, which helps increase your body’s endurance and allows your body to use oxygen more effectively. With this type of workout, your lungs strive harder to bring in more oxygen to the body and your heart works more vigorously to pump blood to the muscles. All of these processes strengthen the lungs, heart, muscles, nerves, and joints in the body

Common Cardio Exercises

The following exercises will effectively improve your cardiovascular fitness:

  • Walking briskly
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Climbing the stairs up and down
  • Cycling
  • Using a stationary bike
  • Aerobic exercises – regular or low impact
  • Vigorous dancing
  • Ice or roller skating
  • Rowing
  • Cross-country skiing

Jumping jacks

Just 30 minutes of this old-school staple is a do-anywhere cardio work out that can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reducing your risk of heart disease. Jumping jacks are even better than jogging because you engage more muscles as you leap. Plus, you’ll burn 250 calories or more in a half hour. Two 15-minute sessions also provide health benefits.

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Stick both arms straight up in the air. This is the starting position. As you jump, bring your legs together and move your arms by your sides keeping them straight. Jump into the starting position again. Repeat these motions slowly until you get your own jumping rhythm and then you can increase your speed. Bend your knees slightly with each jump to soften your landing. Continue for one to five minutes.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope can obliterate calories (up to 1,000 an hour) and rocks your heart rate on par with running, but without the joint-jarring impact. It also improves your agility, balance, posture, reflexes and coordination. The staple of a rope workout is footwork changes, which you should do every 30 seconds or so to avoid muscle fatigue. Make it a point to change your pace and style of skipping rope – you can opt for a single bounce, a double-bounce, a skip, a jog, a knee-up, even a decent boxer’s shuffle.

Stand up straight. Grasp the jump rope handles so that the rope is still touching the floor, when your forearms are at right angles to your upper arms. Start with the rope behind your heels. Swing the rope in an arc over your head. Jump over the rope as it passes under your feet. Either jump simultaneously with both feet, or skip over the rope. Repeat the movement in a continuous motion. Jump vigorously to create deep breathing and continue for one to five minutes.

Cardio exercises provide many benefits to the body and mind. Start your work out now to improve the function of major organs and structures of your body.

Chiropractic and Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis used to be strongly associated with aging as grey hair is. And because it is perceived to be a natural development for the elderly, it was often advised that people with arthritis just slow down and take things easy. Recent studies however, show that there is more to life for people afflicted with arthritis than just rest and medication.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The term arthritis is of Greek and Latin origin meaning disease of the joints. It is now generally accepted to mean inflammation of the joints and is often used to refer to rheumatic diseases. There are over a hundred different conditions regarded as rheumatic diseases. This includes osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. About 2.1 million Americans or one percent of the US population have rheumatoid arthritis. Though this condition is more frequent among the elderly, it usually begins in middle age and can also start at a much younger age.

Features, Symptoms and Cause

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling, disfiguration, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. It shows several features unlike other kinds of arthritis:

  • The swollen joints are tender and warm.
  • It brings fatigue, fever sometimes, and a general sense of being ill.
  • After a long rest, pain and stiffness persist for more than 30 minutes.
  • The effect to the body is symmetrical. When the left part of the body is affected, so is the right.
  • The most frequently affected joints are those closest to the hand although it may also affect the joints in the elbow, shoulder, neck, hip, feet, knee and ankle.
  • It may last for years and may affect not only the joints but other parts of the body.

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, like most autoimmune conditions.

Treatment Options

Exercise – In the successful management of arthritis, exercise is critical. Exercise helps make muscles strong, maintains joint mobility, flexibility and endurance. It also controls weight. Some of the exercises recommended for arthritis patients are range of motion exercises like stretching and dance, strengthening exercises like lifting weight, endurance or aerobic exercises including walking and swimming.

Rest – It helps to decrease pain, fatigue and active joint inflammation.

Patients with arthritis need a good balance of exercise and rest: more rest when arthritis is on the active phase and more exercise during remission of the symptom.

Medication – The medication may start with over-the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines then prescription drugs. Immunosuppressant drugs for arthritis suppress the immune system and help slow the progression of the condition.

Nutrition – Certain foods and nutritional supplements can control the inflammation and possibly the progression of arthritis.

Chiropractic Care in Arthritis

Chiropractic care is an important option in arthritis treatment. The chiropractic doctor can plan an individualized program for the patient’s specific needs. This program will:

  • help restore range of motion to the joints
  • improve posture, flexibility, and endurance
  • increase muscle strength and tone

The chiropractor can also give advice on nutrition and supplementation that will aid in reducing and controlling joint inflammation.

When warranted, chiropractic adjustments will be performed. These adjustments will help take the stress off the patient’s nervous system. This will allow the body to relax and heal and function better, consequently.

Chiropractic care can play a major role in the restoration of your body to proper function, the attainment of which, will allow healing and health to happen naturally.

Top Tactics to Triumph over Hernia

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One common cause of heartburn, which you may not be aware of, is hiatal hernia. This is a condition where the stomach pokes upward into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm. Having heartburn does not necessarily mean you have a hiatal hernia. After all, some­times you can have a hiatal hernia without having any heartburn at all.

 

Hiatal hernias are common among seniors, but they do not usually need treatment unless the hernia is in danger of becoming twisted or causing severe GERD – but in that case, surgery may be necessary.

 

No one seems to know what causes hiatal hernias, but some scien­tists think that straining to have a bowel movement may be a factor. So make diet and lifestyle changes to prevent constipation and you may also prevent hiatal hernia or ease its symptoms. Many of the diet and lifestyle changes that fend off heartburn may help hiatal hernia symptoms, too.

 

To keep heartburn symptoms from flaring up, you may have to trade some of your normal habits for new ones. Pick up these helpful habits to help you put heartburn down:

 

  1. Do not eat while working, playing, or driving. Additionally, do not engage in heavy activities after consuming a meal. It is best to wait and rest for about 30 minutes before you go back to routine.

 

  1. Do not wear clothes and belts that fit tightly around your stomach. Make sure that your wear comfortable clothes in which you can breathe in and out easily.

 

  1. Ask your doctor whether the medications you take could cause heartburn. For example, aspirin or blood pressure medication may be a factor for some people.

 

  1. Avoid heavy lifting and straining. This will cause contraction of your abdominal muscles, squeezing the acids of your stomach and bringing them into your esophagus.

 

  1. Keep a diary of the foods you eat, when you eat them, and when your heartburn occurs. Keeping a record can help you track your history and will be helpful during health assessment by the doctors. Take it with you to help your doctor better understand your particular situation.

 

  1. Improve your posture. Sit up straight when you eat – never stand or lie down. And do not bend over immediately after eating. This forces food and digestive acids back up into your esophagus. Engaging in chiropractic care can help you develop good posture.

 

  1. Drink plenty of water with your medications, and do not lie down after swallowing a pill. This helps the pills go down and stay down.

 

  1. Finally, do not forget that putting an end to smoking and constipation may help your heartburn in the long run, too.

 

While there are proven treatments for hiatal hernia, such as chiropractic care, it is still always better to prevent it from coming.

How to Maintain Good Posture

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Posture is an integral part of one’s health and personality development. It refers to the body position one presents in executing daily tasks and activities. At present, your posture can either be considered good or bad, although we know that we all need to develop and maintain good posture for a healthier and more attractive physique.

 

A posture is considered good if there is a graceful presentation of the body or form – whether you are standing up, sitting down, or walking. Having a good posture creates a favorable impression to other people, while a drooping, lax posture brings out a sluggish appearance and poor muscle tone. More than the physical aspect, though, proper posture is important to keep the bones and joints healthy and avoid any type of muscle pain.

 

If you have a poor posture, you have to start breaking bad habits and develop good ones in order to achieve the right body form and prevent various kinds of joint and muscle pains. If you neglect your posture during your younger years, you will feel the effect on your older years. Take care of your health before it’s too late.

 

Here are ways on how you can maintain good posture:

 

  1. Keep your body aligned when standing up or sitting down. Make sure that you distribute your weight evenly to both of your feet when standing up, and your hips, shoulders, and ears are vertically aligned when sitting down.

 

  1. When your work requires you to sit down for long hours, make sure to use an ergonomic chair that will help you prevent back strain and take load off your spine.

 

  1. Get up and move around. Prolonged sitting is harmful to your back and spine. Make sure that you don’t spend the whole day just lying around or sitting on your couch. Stand up and do some stretching. Engaging in regular exercises can also help you maintain proper posture.

 

  1. Wear flat and supportive footwear. No matter how fashionable high-heeled shoes are, wearing them often is harmful to your posture. High heels affect your body’s center of gravity and causes misalignment of your body, which in turn affects posture and back support.

 

  1. Engage in chiropractic care. Chiropractors are alternative medicine specialists who can help correct faulty postures and maintain proper stance through a hands-on muscle, joint, and bone care discipline. With regular sessions, you will be able to develop and maintain proper posture.

 

The above steps are very easy to follow, and yet will provide lifelong benefits to your health. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. So start making that change before it’s too late.