You Can’t Out-Exercise “Sitting Disease”

So you like to exercise?  And you think you’re pretty active right?  You run/walk/exercise 1 hour or so/day, 5 days a week.  That’s good right?

Yes it is.  And if you do this, kudos to you.  You are ahead of the game….if the game means moving more than the average Joe.  The problem is…..the average Joe is sick and dying.  And you’re comparing yourself to them.  Not a good idea.

Why do I say this?  I’m so glad you asked.

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. That’s pretty common knowledge.  But did you know you can’t out-exercise the culture of sitting we’ve developed in our country?

Think about this.  Let’s say you get up and go work out for an hour early in the morning.  You shower and hop in your vehicle and drive 30 minutes to work.  You then sit all day, 6-8 hours, maybe more.  Then you hop in your vehicle and drive another 30 minutes home.  Now you sit down and eat dinner, then finish the evening up with sitting down to watch TV, or work some more via computer etc.  You’ve now spent 12 or more hours sitting.  Your measly 1 hour of exercise will not offset that.  After all, your exercise only makes up around 5 percent or so of your day.  The other 95% is sedentary.  That’s a losing recipe in the world of wellness.

Instead of thinking about designated exercise time, think about movement.  Movement includes your time exercising, but it also transcends it.  We are genetically designed to move throughout our day.  We need to set up reminders to move.  Using an alarm on your watch or phone is good.  The new fitbits remind with a vibration when you’ve not moved enough in the last hour.  Use those tools to get up and do 10 jumping jacks. Walk around the office.  Take a restroom break.  Walk to the water cooler.  Even taking a stroll around the building or inside your office breaks up the monotony of your sedentary  time.  It’s been shown that two minutes of light activity per hour can lower your risk of dying by 1/3 according to the Journal of Nephrology.

If you’re unfamiliar with the risks associated with too much sitting and being sedentary,  Here is a great link to check out.  I promise you’ll be surprised how sitting affects us physically and physiologically.

And for more ideas on how to combat this insidious illness causing habit, click here.  Please just start moving more.  In my time walking planet earth I’ve seen the huge decrease in activity levels.  A generation or so ago, none of  us had all of the things we have now to entertain us from a seated position.  Heck, even our blue collar jobs have become more sedentary with the ability to use computers to monitor so much in our workplace. It’s a trend and a tragedy.

We are designed to move.  Decide to do something today to improve/increase your movement patterns.  Move well and move often!

Until next time….Be well!

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The Perfect Storm For Illness

Look around.

You’re in it right now as we speak.

The perfect storm for getting sick.

Scared yet?

Don’t be.

This time of year begins to set us all up for increased odds of illness.  You know it as the “cold and flu season”.  Newsflash:  There’s no “season” for colds and flu.  Do you honestly think that the cold and flu viruses are like the birds that fly south for the winter?  Do they have an innate timer that says it’s time to go to North America for the next 3-4 months?  Then where do they go after that?

What’s more likely is that we are in that perfect storm of illness, or more correctly, the perfect storm of lowered immune response.  Why?  Good question.  Read on for that and how to beat it.

  1.  Vitamin D.  This time of year we get exposed to less and less sunshine, which equates to lower and lower vitamin D levels.  Vitamin D levels are directly related to immune response.  Supplement with a solid Vitamin D3 to combat it.  I personally take about 4000 IU a day.
  2. Stress.  Especially this month, during the Christmas season, we are exposed to more stress.  Holiday parties, shopping, extra cooking, hosting gatherings, dealing with family members that rub you wrong etc.  All of this adds to your stress levels, releasing more cortisone in your body, thus reducing your immune systems ability to recognize and fight off bacteria and viruses.  Take time to slow down, sit back and enjoy the season.  Watch a good Christmas movie with the family.  Maybe go to the mall just to watch the people and enjoy the decorations.  Take time to relax
  3. Exercise.  The less than ideal weather for being outside tends to make us less active.  Sitting on our backsides leads to decreased immune response and exercise has been shown to improve immunity.  And, linking back to the stress issue, exercise reduces the effects of stress on your body.  So move it regularly!
  4. Sugar.  Sugar.  Sugar.  There’s just so much more of it available during the holidays.  There’s definitive links between sugar and the immune system..  Unfortunately, every time we turn around this season there’s more chance to consume more sugar.  So, when NOT at a holiday event, be sure to fuel yourself smartly!  Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies, drink hot teas, plain coffees, lots of water (yes we can be well underhydrated in the winter) and avoid too many sugar or processed treats!  Focus on planning out your meals to reduces unhealthy binging!

So, that’s why we have this “season”, and how to battle it out while it’s here. Pick two of these to work on, then once those are part of your lifestyle, work on some more!

Until next time….Be well!

Dr. Bruce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Note Of Thanks…

…from Dr. Bruce.

I have so much that I am grateful for, daily.  Not just today on Thanksgiving, though it is a bigger focus this time of year.

Today I want to say thank you to my patients.

You have no clue how fun it has been for 26 years to be able to care for the thousands of people that have wandered into my life through my office.

You have no clue how much I LOVE seeing YOUR names on the list for any given day in the office.

You have no clue how energized I feel after taking care of my patients at the end of the day, even if my “white collar job” requires “blue collar effort”.

You have no clue how much it pains me to see some of you hurting physically, and sometimes emotionally in your lives.

You have no clue how excited I get to share new information with you that can impact your health (ok some of you know how excited I get about that, when I won’t shut up…much to your chagrin)

You have no clue how many of you have become part of the fabric of my life over these last couple of decades.

You have no clue how much I look forward to seeing you guys again this coming Monday.

Thank you for letting me be part of your life, and for becoming so vital a part of mine.

As a baseball fan, I love hearing Lou Gehrig’s words to the fans:  “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.” I quite often feel that way in my office because of you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”  Philippians 1:3

So You Have A Whiplash, What Does That Mean?

Just today someone came up to me and asked the question.  THE question.  The one I get often from people that have been in a car accident. Here it is.  “They said I have whiplash. What does that mean?”

Good question.  Fair question.  Too often my brothers and sisters in health care would be graded an “F” in patient communication.  Telling someone they have whiplash qualifies as one of these moments.  All they know is that they’ve been in a car accident (most commonly) and they have neck pain, and they can’t move their neck very far.  But what does it actually mean?

Sometimes I’ve been guilty of telling such people, “Well, you have sprained and strained your neck”.  Honestly, that doesn’t make it much clearer.  I did that today.  (Face palm time).  So let’s take a slightly closer look at what this all means.  Whiplash.  Sprain/Strain.  Confusing terms.

To put it as simply as possible, let’s think about an ankle sprain.  Often this happens when one turns their ankle playing a sport, or stepping off a ledge of some sort and the ankle rolls inward.  Ouch.  When that happens muscles and ligaments are overstretched, sometimes torn, slightly or completely.  The result is pain, swelling, inflammation and loss of mobility.  This is also what happens when someone has a car accident and their head is thrown forward, backward, sideways, or all three.  Muscles and ligaments are once again overstretched and possibly torn.  The same pattern of pain, swelling and inflammation occurs.

Treatment should include ice to control pain and inflammation.  Electrical muscle stimulation to reduce spasm and pain.  Spinal manipulation to improve the motion of the neck joints.  And, as soon as possible, controlled exercise should begin, even if it’s only minute movement.  Studies show that the faster we get movement occurring, the faster they heal, and the longer they stay better.  That’s why we’ll start people immediately (with very few exceptions) on our progressive rehab program for whiplash cases.  Exercise should always be done below the threshold of pain, meaning no sharp pains should be felt.  You’ll hear us repeat that mantra (no sharp pain) often in our rehab area.

Combining our chiropractic care, along with rehabilitation, is the gold standard of care for whiplash injuries.  If you or a loved one has suffered from this type of injury, get them to a chiropractor sooner rather than later!

Until next time….Be Well!
Dr. Bruce

Why Does My Back Pain Return??

Many times I’ve heard people or patients of ours talk about their frustrations with their back.  The biggest complaint is that they continue to suffer from recurring episodes of back pain.  Often, as the patient ages, their pain becomes more severe, and the episodes more frequent.  That can be disconcerting to say the least.  Our focus at HealthSource is to help our patients get to the point where the chances of those episodes recurring are as remote as possible.  So let’s discuss why these situations can occur, and what can be done to minimize them.

The biggest reason back pain recurs can be summed up in one word:  Weakness.  Studies have shown that people with recurring back pain or chronic back pain have a group of muscles that need to be addressed.  They are called the multifidi.  They are small intrinsic muscles deep in the back right next to the vertebrae.  They function to create stability so that the everyday micro-traumas, and the occasional macro-trauma, have less effect on the patient.  Unfortunately, these muscles are found to be weak and atrophied (shrunken) in patients with recurring back pain.  So, these muscles need to be strengthened..  Our progressive rehab specifically addresses those muscles to maximize a patient’s spinal health.

Another challenge causing recurring back pain is not following through with a recommended program of care.  Patients sometimes feel they are better before they are completely better.  And when the pain goes away, so does their commitment to finish care.  This leads to incomplete healing, leaving the patient susceptible to further episodes of back pain.  And each exacerbation creates more scar tissue, leading to more challenges for healing to be complete.

Lastly, a patient’s overall health impacts their healing capabilities..  Poor health habits mean poor healing.  It’s as simple as that.  If a patient smokes, is obese, has too much stress, and eats horribly, they will likely have a poorer result compared to a patient that takes better care of their body.  To help with that, we provide a Health Risk Assessment to evaluate a patient’s health habits and help them fine tune those habits to maximize healing.

In short, make sure your care includes proper rehab for your back pain, and you keep your back strong, follow your chiropractor’s recommendations to a “T”, and be sure to keep your overall health rocking for optimum results!

Until Next Time….Be Well!

Dr. Bruce

Make Today Your Independence Day

 

Happy Independence Day!  Today in America we celebrate 240 years of freedom, and of declaring “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  I hope you enjoy your day.

Today I also hope you are working on your own personal freedom.  If not, why not start today and declare your independence?  Independence from what?

I am talking about being independent in regard to your health.  If you’re suffering from health issues, you are dependent on something else such as medicine or the medical profession.  If you’re not living a healthy lifestyle, you’ll become dependent on others to care for you sooner rather than later.  If you’re not living a wellness oriented lifestyle, you’ll not be free to enjoy the life you dream of.  Remember, the greatest wealth is health.  Decide today to begin walking toward a healthy lifestyle.  Day by day, minute by minute, declare your independence by making the best choices in how you eat, move, think and rest.  Exercise your freedom of choice, and determine what the last years of your life will look like:  

There Ain’t No Shortcuts

Yes, I said Ain’t.  My elementary school English teacher, Mrs. Sims would have a fit if she saw that in my title.  But it just seemed to be the right choice.  I promise I ain’t going to use that word in this post though, so I hope you ain’t deterred from reading further. Onward we go.

It happens monthly, maybe even weekly.  I see/hear of another shortcut for weight loss.  Sometimes it’s a supplement.  Sometimes it’s a weird diet.  Sometimes it’s a weird activity of some sort. And yes, sometimes it’s even surgical intervention (which while I don’t like at all, may be necessary in extreme morbid obesity cases I think).

Well guess what?  I heard of a new one recently.  What it is doesn’t matter, it just goes to show that our Western culture’s infatuation with the shortcut to health still exists.  The magic pill, the long sought for panacea, the fountain of youth, the…….the…..well you get the point.

And guess what?  It probably works to reduce fat and make one look better.  Yep that’s right, they look better.  The key word here is LOOK.  Notice I did NOT say be healthier.

In 1984, I owned a 1973 VW Beetle.  It was a sight to behold.  It was mostly blue.  It had a yellow door.  It had 2 gray fenders.  It had rust.  I spent about 400 dollars to have it reworked and painted, (yes all one color).  It looked much much better, just like new.  However, if I didn’t change the oil from time to time, clean the carburetor (remember those?), change the spark plugs out when needed etc. then the car would die.  It would still LOOK good on the outside, but would be ill on the inside. And no one would notice as I drove it that the engine was about to blow.

Yep, our bodies are the same. In our culture we want to look good on the outside (botox anyone?).  We want the appearance of health so badly, that we focus on the outside instead of on what makes us truly healthy (or for that matter, what makes us truly sick).  So billion dollar industries are created on this farce of health and wellness.  Yes it’s a farce.  And it’s a suicidal farce at that.

The reality of it is, while we slowly commit suicide by lifestyle in our culture by running to the next magic cure, the answer is really oh so simple.  Simple?  Yes, simple.  And if you read any of my stuff you should know the answer by now.  Eat well, Move well, Think well and Rest well.  That’s it.  There is no other answer.  Oh sure, surgery for some of our self inflicted illnesses is necessary at times when things are too out of control.  But that only puts out a fire, it doesn’t rebuild the structure.  My formula listed above does rebuild the structure.  It’s the only way.

Ok, one more time, repeat after me:  There ain’t no shortcut (my apologies to Mrs. Sims).

Until next time… Be Well!
Dr. Bruce