Long summer days open up many opportunities for 9-5 workers to get out and enjoy the outdoors. This is easier said then done. For many people finding the energy to actually enjoy your evening activities is hard. After working all day and then getting the kids to activities and running errands, it’s easy to see why many people feel too burnt out to get outside to enjoy the weather or exercise.
Lucky enough, the solution might be easier then you think. No, you don’t have to load up on 5-hour energy drinks or coffee that will probably end up keeping you awake all night. Rather, you may just need to adjust your diet. The foundation of this nutritional secret is in your blood sugar. Glucose levels in your body are directly related to your brain and how it preserves exhaustion. This is what happens when people experience sugar highs and then crashes. So how do you fix this?
1. Eat breakfast! Why? It’s the most important meal of the day! Research shows that people who eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and high fiber cereals and protein for breakfast rated their energy for the day higher then those who ate high sugar yogurts, smoothies, or other simple carbohydrates. These folks also had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index).
2. Eat every three to four hours. You’ll help to keep your blood sugars level by eating every three to four hours. You don’t have to eat a full meal. Instead, by eating a high fiber or high protein snack such as a protein shake or ½ a cup of Greek yogurt with granola, you’ll avoid the mid-morning and mid-afternoon crash. Eating every few hours also helps your body keep your metabolism elevated, which allows your body to constantly burn energy throughout the day.
3. Make lunch or breakfast your largest meal of the day. This is the opposites of most households which generally eat their biggest meal at dinner. But think about it. You eat food to give you energy for the activities you have to do. So why would you eat so much between 6 and 8pm? For most of us, after dinner activities consist of things like getting homework done, working at the computer, and getting ready for the next day. By eating your largest meals earlier in the day, you allow your body a chance to burn off all this energy. Eating a larger lunch also gives you the energy you need to hit the gym after work or enjoy the beautiful summer weather with a walk or a hike. Think of it like this: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
5/27/2012 0 Comments
Tai Chi is a form of exercise developed in ancient China that uses gentle, flowing movements to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, and to reduce stress. To do Tai Chi, you will perform a series of postures, moving from one to the next in a slow, graceful manner ensuring constant motion. Like other forms of Eastern exercise, such as yoga, the breath is tied rhythmically to the movement in Tai Chi promoting inner calm and reducing stress. Tai Chi is low impact exercise making it suitable for most anyone especially older adults who may not be able to exercise otherwise.
You can try Tai Chi with the help of accredited instructor, Lynne Roberts, during a beginner’s course at the Peak Health and Wellness Center. The six week class starts June 12th on Tuesdays from 10:30 am – 11:30 am. Call 251-3344 for more information
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection and injury. While initial inflammation is necessary for healthy healing, prolonged inflammation can actually decrease the body’s immunity and prevent tissues from repairing. Here are some tips to reduce chronic inflammation without the need for over the counter medication.
With summer quickly approaching the American Red Cross suggests a couple steps to take to reduce your chance of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean
What to do in Heat Emergencies
Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-1-1 if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
Learn more at safemt.com.
Most folks are familiar with the benefits that come from daily exercise. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
Yet new studies out of the University of Illinois are showing that regular aerobic exercise can help improve cognitive brain function. That’s right. Walking and other exercises can make you smarter!
During exercise, the body produces brain-derived neurotropic factor or BDNF. This substance strengthens neurons and axons, fortifying connections among neurons while sparking neurogenesis.
What does this mean? Simply put, BDNF can help regenerate brain cells, something that up until recently was thought to be impossible. Studies are also showing that BDNF can also help slow the normal deterioration of the hippocampus (the area of the brain aiding in consolidation of information from short-term to long term-memory).
Bottom line? You’re encouraged to get out there and walk, run, swim, bike or play, all of which will improve your overall health . . . both body and mind.
For more information, visit our clinic website by clicking here . . . or call our clinic at 406-251-2323.
Prediabetes is when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of type II diabetes. Individuals with prediabetes are more likely to develop type II diabetes and may have some associated problems already.
Fortunately, prediabetes does not have to turn into type II diabetes. The disease can be reversed at this stage by lowering body weight and adopting an active lifestyle. The American Diabetes Association recommends losing 7% of your body weight and engaging in moderate exercise for 30 minutes, five days week to reduce the risk for developing type II diabetes by 58%.
Prediabetes also increases the possibility for developing heart disease and stroke, so risk factors (such as tobacco use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol) for these conditions should also be controlled.
The Diabetes Care and Prevention Program will be presenting a 16-week course at the Peak Health and Wellness Center on this topic. See the details listed here.
Living Well with Prediabetes
Course: 16-Week Diabetes Prevention Course
Starts: April 25th
Times: Wednesdays: 5:30-6:30 PM (in the cycling studio)
Location: Peak Health and Wellness Center, 5000 Blue Mountain Road, Missoula, MT, 59804
Cost: $100 with $50 refundable at completion of the course
Registration: You must pre-register by contacting the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program at 406-329-5781.
Open to anyone at risk for diabetes, including anyone who overweight (BMI 25 or greater) AND has been diagnosed with one of the following:
Please note that space is limited. And remember, you must call early to preregister.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to change your life!
Special thanks to Gary Gales, DPT of Alpine Physical Therapy for submitting this post. Gary knows a lot about pain and how to help people who have chronic and complex pain.
Contrary to popular belief pain is NOT weakness leaving your body. Acute pain is a complicated warning system that something is a danger to you. If you continue to ignore certain pain warnings you will cause tissue damage that leads to injury and possibly chronic issues. And stopping an activity that is painful usually will prevent injury. Once you have injured your tissue then a healing process occurs and that area will be more sensitive to further injury/damage and be heightened in terms of the pain warning system.
As we get older, we hope to gain some wisdom with regard to body awareness, and be knowledgeable if we are causing harm or helping our bodies. If you have more pain in your JOINTS following a workout than before the workout, ask yourself which one you are doing! MUSCLE soreness can be a good pain….especially if it resolves after 2-3 days.
Recently one of my patients switched from lifting heavy weights to a Pilates-based routine and even bought a Pilates Reformer Apparatus for home use. She was amazed at how good she felt after her workouts and was elated to not take Ibuprofen for her back pain.
If you are stuck in your routine and having pain you may want to think outside the box you’re in. There are many options for fitness that work your body in a helpful and low impact way. Some that come to mind include yoga, Pilates, and water aerobics. At fitness centers like the Peak Health and Wellness Center, there are commonly private and semi-private sessions, multiple classes, and experienced personal trainers.
For more information about the topic of pain, please be sure to visit our clinic website by clicking here or by calling our clinic at 251-2323.
Don’t think it doesn’t happen. You’re staring at the computer screen, sitting at a stop light, watching TV. Then next thing you know, your head is jutting forward, kinda like a chicken pecking for its next grain pellet.
Here’s a succinct yet informative bullet list from The PT Project as to why this goofy looking posture can cause you a real headache, among other problems:
6 facts about Forward Head Posture
1. The effects of long term forward head and neck postures are long-term . . . and may result in muscle strain, disc herniation, nerve impingement, and the early onset of arthritis.
2. Forward head posture is strongly linked to decreased respiratory muscle strength and breathing ability, reesulting in up to a 30% loss in vital capacity in the lungs as well as a significant increase in cardiac and vascular pressure.
3. For every inch of forward head posture, it is found to increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. On average, this is over a 100% increase of weight bearing stress on the spine and it’s associated neuromuscular structures.
4. A Loss of the cervical spinal curve, due to forward head posture, can stretch the spinal cord up to 5-7cm, resulting in adverse neural tension. (Subsequently causing additional tension of the meninges and eliciting additional pressure on the brain-stem nuclei leading to increased compression and disruption of basic metabolic control functions and diseases.)
5. Forward head posture results in an increase in discomfort and pain, due to disrupted proprioceptive and sensory input from the first four cervical vertebrae.
6. Forward head posture results in an anterior translation of the body’s center of gravity. This in turn results in a significant loss of balance and coordination, and increased likelihood of sustaining a fall.
To combat this problem, think tall . . . stand tall. Attempt to visualize that your head is sitting balanced atop your neck. If you struggle to maintain this ideal posture, consider a consultation with one of our 10 physical therapists at Alpine Physical Therapy by calling 251-2323.
My thanks to Leah Versteegen, DPT, of Alpine Physical Therapy for her thoughts and insights on this topic.
Research overwhelmingly shows that by maintaining a healthy body weight and getting regular moderate intensity exercise, you can significantly improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, while also decreasing the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
It is often intimidating to begin an exercise program, especially if you view your self as overweight or obese and don’t want to enter a public setting to workout. You might also be afraid of injuring yourself or aggravating an old injury. Or you may simply have no idea where to even begin.
Utilizing the services provided by a Physical Therapist (PT) can be a safe and reliable gateway to making a lifestyle change toward adding regular physical activity to your daily routine. The traditional view of PT is to treat a specific injury or help recover after surgery. The reality is that physical therapists are also available to help minimize knee or back pain, which are common when beginning a new exercise routine. PTs also teach safe body mechanics to minimize joint stress with exercise, and they provide guidance on proper exercise progression to fit your individual needs.
For more information visit our clinic website at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com, or to get started call our clinic at 251-2323.
Here’s a brilliant presentation describing the number one antidote to numerous types of health problems, including death. I’m fascinated by how Doctor Michael Evans artfully presents this form of medicine in a fun and meaningful way.
It’s not too late to formulate some worthwhile health and fitness goals. Perhaps this video will give you the nudge to help you get started on your road to improved health and wellness.
Alpine Physical Therapy, we help a lot of people who may have challenges with pain, balance, or stamina who really want to take the next step toward a healthier tomorrow. Our south office is located in the Peak Health and Wellness Center, and patients who chose Alpine for their physical therapy get to experience all that the Center has to offer.
What a great message!
Click here to view Doctor Evan’s presentation.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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