Chances are you are not as flexible as you used to be
This is a perfectly normal occurrence: as we get older, our activity levels decline and our sedentary endeavors rise while posture remains a constant struggle. It is only natural that as our bodies age and weight is harder to keep off, our flexibility suffers. But the degree to which we let it deteriorate could make the difference between and old age full of pain and one of independence. If you are an 8-hour a day office worker, we want to help you preserve your flexibility to empower your life. When your body is flexible, every day motions are easier: the lifting, twisting and turning that occurs from the first second you step out of bed should not cause you pain.
Stretches to reverse the harm of excessive sitting and preserve flexibility:
- Fold forward: move to the edge of your chair and extend your legs straight with feet hip width apart. Sit up straight and inhale deeply; on the exhale fold your upper body forward reaching with your hands toward your feet. Grasp as low down on the leg as you can reach and hold for 15 deep breaths.
- Release the chest and shoulders: Simply take your hands off the keyboard, sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Gentle twist: again take your hands off the keyboard, sit up straight and gently twist to the right looking with your head over your right shoulder. Hold 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Release the neck: sitting upright, turn your head to look directly left, feeling a stretch in the neck. Hold 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Why stay flexible?
Posture is, of course, tantamount to preserving the integrity of your spine, and these stretches will release tension from the muscles that support an upright posture, making it easier to sit up straight. Loss of flexibility is pervasive in the office, so let’s start doing something about it. At our office in Milpitas, we can help you identify harmful patterns of movement and turn them into something positive. Let’s start moving more and moving differently to change the way your body feels and impact flexibility. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
A quesadilla could save your life
With a hectic schedule, it helps to have some go-to meals.
You arrive home from work exhausted, look in the fridge and find it’s (mostly) empty. For many of us, this necessitates a call for take-out or a delivery pizza! Now we are subjecting an already tired brain and body to insufficient nutrients and most-likely processed fats and sugars. We propose an alternative solution: create a meal from what you have.
Chances are you can find a spare red pepper and a can of black beans lurking in the back of the pantry, or a long-forgotten bag of rice. From this, we can create a meal that doesn’t follow a recipe, doesn’t require a trip to the store and utilizes whatever is in your kitchen to deliver a healthy meal that stabilizes blood sugar and gets your body the nutrients it needs.
When it comes to constructing something from nothing, it helps to keep this formula in mind: Grain + Healthy fat + Lean protein + Vegetable. This gets you the carbohydrates, fats and proteins you need to feel satiated and stable as well as certain vitamins from the vegetables.
And what fits this formula for a go-to meal? Here are some ideas:
- Whole grain pasta + olive oil + (red pepper) + chicken
- Quesadillas: whole-grain tortilla + cheese + refried beans + corn + salsa
- Rice + vegetable + le
Think ahead: Prepping meals ahead of time makes your go-to even quicker
Do you have a spare hour on a Sunday night? While you are idling by watching your favorite show, try throwing some ingredients for chili into a pot. You can make enough for several portions and then portion/freeze each one to be thawed and reheated as you desire! No prep involved. Every time you go to the grocery store, pick up a bag of pasta, lentils or rice to have as the base of a healthy meal. In times of desperation, these can provide you with a delicious, satiating meal that will keep your diet on track. At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we know that nutrition is one of the best ways to empower yourself throughout the day. Don’t let a busy schedule defeat your diet!
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Do you carry your head forward?
Forward head posture is becoming almost as prevalent as breathing among humans. You know the look: head held forward in relation to the shoulder joint, hunchback-style. This position lends itself to overextension of muscles in the front of the neck and tightness and stiffness in the muscles in the back. When left unaddressed, this can lead to degenerative conditions in the vertebrae, nerve impingement and a generally unflattering appearance. Here is our question to you: how many times have you felt tightness in the neck and done nothing about it?
Technology is our friend
It’s our all-knowing, life-optimizing friend who lives in our pocket. And just like with all friends, sometimes we need some space. But this can be hard to come by- you put your phone in a drawer but there is the tablet on the dresser, the laptop on the bed and the TV on the wall. Sometimes we need to practice self-discipline and truly unplug.
A formula for technology detox
Here are some things that aren’t so ambitious as reading a book, but will still help you to find some peace of mind and pleasure away from the internet.
- Cook for yourself: from scratch. Devoting time to purchasing, preparing and consuming your own meal is a relaxing and rewarding process as long as you don’t pick a recipe that is out of your skill-level!
- Hang out with friends: phone off the table. Phones have a way of becoming a third party just by their inanimate presence. And then they start chirping mid-conversation to everyone’s distraction.
- Legs up the wall: an amazing yoga technique for relaxation. Lie on your back and inch your legs up a wall until your buttocks are pressing against it. Let the blood flow and the stress drain out of your feet.
- Explore your neighborhood: walk, people watch, observe. The world is, in reality, so much wider than our phone’s can ever know.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 20 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days, every chunk of time is just as valuable as the next. Technology is often a crutch that let’s us escape from our own thoughts and live through the memes of the day; in this way, being away from your phone and alone with your thoughts is an amazing refresher. Call our office in Milpitas today and let’s start finding time to go unplugged!
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
For something you can’t even digest, fiber is critically important
Most of us don’t even know the recommended daily amount for fiber, let alone what it does for our body. The plain fact is: we need fiber; it is a nutrient that regulates the digestive process, helps keep us energized and boosts health across the board. How much you need depends on your diet, but the general guideline is between 20-25 grams per day depending on calorie consumption.
Benefits of fiber
High fiber foods are being shown to have great value in fighting cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. These properties aside, let’s focus on how fiber affects you on a daily basis:
- Fiber is another key to regulating blood sugar: when combined with carbohydrates, fiber slows the absorption of sugar, preventing the body’s insulin response from shooting up and then dropping off. Fiber is an essential component of defeating the dreaded sugar crash.
- Fiber makes you feel full for longer, helping to ward off hunger throughout the day and preventing you from over-eating; in this way, it is immensely helpful with diet control and weight management.
- Fiber is important in keeping cholesterol levels down
- Finally, fiber helps promote smooth bowl movements and prevent constipation.
Fast and full-flavored
No surprise here: most fiber is derived from unprocessed foods. Grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fresh fruit and vegetables are your greatest sources of fiber so it is important to seek out foods that please you but still contain fiber. Here are some sneaky and some not-so-sneaky ways to add in fiber:
- Certain cereal brands, whether the whole grain variety or a brand that is fiber-enriched.
- Substitute whole grain bread for white.
- Add chopped nuts and seeds to salad
- Consume whole fruits such as pears and apples
Fiber awareness starts now. Give our office in Milpitas a call to schedule an appointment and start feeling better today!
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.