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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Category Archives: Exercise

All about exercise.

Sitting and Heart Damage (it’s real)

Check this out!! If you haven’t heard, sitting for long periods every day is bad for us. If fact, it increases the risk for diabetes and cancer and doubles the risk for cardiovascular disease. More importantly, now we know how. When we sit all day, it is linked to a buildup of certain proteins called troponins, which heart muscles release when they are damaged. These are markers that physicians look at when diagnosing a heart attack. Researchers found that those who sit more than 10 hours a day had above normal troponin levels. They referred to this condition as “subclinical cardiac injury” which isn’t quite high enough to qualify as heart attack level damage. People who sit more have more signs of this particular heart damage. Thus, there is likely a strong connection between sitting and chronic heart damage even if there isn’t clear definitive causation at this time. The bottom line is to move and move often, exercise and stop sitting so much…!!

10,000 steps? Not so much?

Have you got your 10,000 steps in today yet? Well if you haven’t, you probably shouldn’t worry too much. Did you know that the 10,000 step plateau is totally fictional? Yep…it was based on the marketing of a Japanese pedometer from the 1960’s. The 10,000 steps was not based on any scientific determination of the optimal milestone of movement. In fact, heart rate is a better indicator of the impactful influence on the benefits of movement. That means, 10,00 steps at a snails pace, isn’t as beneficial as the same amount at a much faster step pace. Studies have shown that 15,000 steps are more beneficial for health. Who would have guessed?

Exercise away Anxiety!!

Did you know exercise can help those with anxiety? A study of over 1000 participants suggests that in particular, resistance exercise can help reduce anxiety symptoms. In fact, according to the author of the study, the positive impact of exercising is comparable to what could be achieved with medication or psychotherapy. Resistance exercises are basically any exercises that require muscle contractions, such as a pushup or squat, or weights or machines or resistance bands. The cool thing is you really don’t need any equipment as body weight and gravity can also be the resistance you choose. Learn more with discussions with your chiropractor!!

Hammy tightness & back pain!!

I recently had the opportunity to go to the Air and Water Show along Lake Michigan here in Chicago. I did a significant amount of walking and at the end of the day my low back was a bit tired. It felt fatigued. For guys who develop back issues, more specifically lower back issues, hamstring tightness is quite common and often contributes to the back pain. Did you know that tight hamstrings can alter the mechanics of your gait and change the way you should normally walk or run? It happens more often in men, however I do come across women who are particularly tight along the hamstrings. In fact, the tighter your hamstrings, the greater chance of lower back issues. Almost any issue with your lower extremity will eventually effect your lower back, if it lingers long enough. To remedy this take time to stretch the hamstrings and calf muscles several times daily and hold the stretch a minimum of 30 seconds each time you do them. A little prevention goes a long way!!

Save a back!! Stop the pain!!

Back pain is so common among people it has its own talking points. Did you ever get into a conversation with someone only to end up comparing back pain stories? Well, here is a quick exercise that can help. Bending or twisting are the two motions most my patients perform that contributed to their back injury. Here is a simple exercise to help you bend properly, and save your back, it is called a “hip hinge”. You will need a broom. Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart. Place the broom along the spine, holding the top of the broom against the back of your head and the base of the broom against your butt. Now hinge at the hips and flex forward but keep the broom in contact with the head and rear end. You should be hinging at the hips without rounding the lower back. You might feel some pulling in the hamstrings. Stop when the broom pulls away from the head or butt. Practice this enough so that you can do a hip hinge for almost any bending activity. It can literally save your spine.

Short and quick exercises add up!!

For the avid exerciser, walking is probably under appreciated, especially if they are into harder or more strenuous workouts. As I often make note of exercise information, another new research article from the University of Colorado demonstrated with a group of couch potato office workers, that 6 bouts of brisk walking at 5 minutes per session throughout the day, was more effective than a 30 minute daily gym-type workout for overall health. This included improving mood and decreasing fatigue. Even if you have never been one to exercise much or at all, you can improve your overall health with the most minimum of effort!!

Do something! Just not too little or too much!

I talked about how exercise effects our immune system. Did you know that several studies have shown that when elite runners or rowers were exercising at their peak, around competition time, there was an “impressive increase” in respiratory infections? On the flip side, other studies have shown that frequent brisk walking can reduce the number of sick days by over half within 3-4 months. The ‘too-little exerciser” or the “extreme exerciser” can both be at a higher risk for infections.  Moderate exercising, even a brisk walk, can make a profound positive impact on your health. Any physical activity can help. Don’t wait, it’s as simple as that!!

Sports injury treatment, like the pro’s

Last time I spoke about sports injuries. I am a certified chiropractic sports physician (CCSP) and have been treating those with sports injuries from the beginning of my career. Did you know that you can get the same care professional athletes get when they are injured?  Let’s be honest, professional athletes generally can have around-the-clock care and access to all the bells and whistles that you and I probably wont get when we get hurt. However, an injury to a pro athlete is often the same injury you and I get. A major difference is, we cant miss work and tend to gut-it-out through those injuries. I don’t know about you, but if I’m not working, I usually am not making any money. So, if you or the young athlete in your family suffers a sports or non-sports injury, think Chiropractic.  It works.

Hats off to Dads!!

I had a great Fathers Day and hope everyone was able to spend some time with dad over the weekend, talk to him or share a couple of great memories of time spent with him.  Dads (and moms) all over the country have taught their kids how to play various types of sports. Speaking of sports, did you know chiropractic physicians treat sports injuries of all types. In fact many chiropractors, such as myself, further their education by taking specific post-graduate classes to deal with sports injury and get additional certifications in treating those types of injuries. Those injuries could be everything from sprains and strains to concussions. So next time you or a child has a sports injury, talk to your chiropractor, I’m positive they can help!!

More walking is good!!

Last time I discussed some of the more surprising benefits of walking. I wanted to add a bit about walking and its effects on boosting the immune system.  A large study of men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who only exercised once a week or less.  Even if they did get sick, it was for shorter duration and with milder symptoms.  That sounds pretty good for just 20 minutes a day!!