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

Tag Archives: health

Sleep & Clothing Size

We have had had some spectacular weather the last week or so in our area. It makes sleeping so much nicer. Did you know that lack of sleep may be one of the culprits for that expanding waist line? A new study out of Great Britain suggests that insufficient sleep may cause you to go up a waist size. Those who averaged 6 hours sleep a night had waists that were about 1.2 inches larger than those that slept around 9 hours a night. Those with less sleep also weighed more. The theory is that less sleep causes an imbalance between two hormones that tell you when to eat and when to stop. Less sleep may upset that balance, making you eat more. Sleeping less also seems to be tied to slower metabolism. Thus, less sleep combines two factors that may contribute to the perfect storm toward weight gain and increased waist size!!.

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!!

Shut down sooner!!

Did you ever wonder if working all those long work days and weeks are paying off health wise?  Those long hours may pay off financially, however there is growing evidence that they may be raising your risk of atrial fibrillation. A-fib is an irregular and often rapid heartbeat that can cause blood clots and other complications. A huge study of more than 85,000 men and women found that those who worked at least 55 hours per week were 40% more likely to develop a heart complication of atrial fibrillation compared to workers who only worked 35-40 hours per week.  Only 10% of those in the study had pre-existing heart conditions prior to the study.  Though our brain tells us to shut down at the end of the work day, our heart may be telling us the same thing!!

Forget “low fat” & “heart healthy”

Wow, what weather we have had in our area.  Hope everyone and their vehicles and houses made out ok.  Lots of tree damage and hail damage.  Speaking of damage, did you know that many years ago one doctor decided that dietary fat was what caused heart disease?  This ideology was then sanctioned by the WHO.  They determined that animal fat and cholesterol in our diet was the culprit.  Did you know that 75% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol?  The more our society has tried to lower cholesterol and trim the fat, the worse heart disease in this country has gotten.  Talk about damage! The enemy is sugar, and foods labeled “low fat” and “heart healthy.”  These foods equate to significantly more sugar in the diet and perpetuate inflammation within our bodies.  Those are the factors that increase the risk of heart disease.  We must eliminate most processed foods from the diet, read the labels, stay informed.  It might help you avoid meds such as Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Norvasc, Diuril.

Mac & cheese & phthalates

We all know that there are certain chemicals in our foods that are not that good for us, but much of it is often unavoidable, as toxins, it seems, are in almost everything we touch or consume.  The scientist and/or government may say that trace amounts of a single toxin are not harmful.  My theory is that if you are getting trace amounts of chemical toxins from multiple sources, they will add up to toxic levels at some point.  I read that study of packaged macaroni and cheese products were found to have “phthalates” in them. Phthalates are man-made chemicals that are hormone disrupting.  They have been linked to a “plethora” of behavioral and brain development issues in fetal and childhood development.  The phthalates are not added directly to the products but are infused into the packaging material which then leaches, over time, from the package into the cheese powder.  Experts say to try and make the mac and cheese from scratch and avoid the packaged products if possible. Phthalates are in so many products it is almost impossible to avoid.  As I stated, you are only exposed to trace amounts, but what is acceptable to you?

Baby food and lead..!!

If you have kids or grand children, then this is a bit of a disturbing news. Researchers analyzed 11 years of federal data and found detectable levels of lead in 20% of over 2100 baby food samples.  As you may or may not know, there is no safe blood levels for lead in kids. The toxin was found most often in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots and cookies such as teething biscuits. Lead can cause problems with cognition, attention and behavior as well as the cardiovascular system and immune system. None of the samples, unfortunately, were identified by brand name so I cannot provide that information. Another researcher who analyzed an EPA study that was released earlier this year, found that food is the major source of lead exposure in 2/3 of the toddlers.  It may be a wise choice to eliminate these specific food items from your kids diet. Do your own research on this topic also!!

Arthritis and Fiber

I just read an interesting article about fiber and arthritis?  Did you know that a study of more than 1200 adults found that those who consumed the most fiber had a significant reduction in their risk of knee arthritis. The top 25% of fiber consumers had a 61% lower risk of osteoarthritis of the knees, than those at the bottom levels of fiber intake.  It also showed that eating fiber earlier in life had even more positive effects on arthritis later in life.  The authors concluded that there may be two reasons: 1) a reduction of inflammation which causes pain and 2) helping maintain a healthier weight which puts less stress on the joints and bones.  Either way, seems like a good reason to eat more fiber…!!

Enjoying your life to the fullest?

Health is something most people take for granted, however as we age, we start thinking about our mortality a little more frequently. Spine problems are one of those things that can make every day activities more challenging if not addressed. Here are just a few of the problems that can occur with the spine as we age. Degenerative changes of the disc and vertebrae can be a result of genetics, trauma, wear and tear or just life itself. The discs can become thinner, the vertebrae can develop bone spurs. Arthritis can contribute to pain in the spinal joints. Stenosis can occur with a bulging disc or bony changes along the spinal canal. All of the previous can contribute muscle or nerve issues along the spine that can affect the limbs (think sciatica). Chiropractors are educated and trained to diagnose and treat patients with these issues and help them enjoy their daily activities to the fullest. Don’t let spine problems ruin your fun!!

Ankle Injury

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend.  I asked a question about an ankle sprain last time, and the answer is the “anterior talofibular ligament” as being the most commonly injured ligament with an inversion sprain.  An inversion sprain is the typical “roll” the ankle after stepping on a uneven surface or sports type injury.  The pain is along the outside of the ankle, just under and forward of the lateral malleolus. That is the bony protrusion along the outside of the ankle. Another ankle injury we hear more about all the time is the “high ankle sprain” which is a sprain of the ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula just above the ankle, thus the term “high ankle sprain”. I see it more with football players than most other sports. I have had my share of ankle sprains and chiropractors can treat these injuries as well as anyone!